There’s this phenomenon here in Spain where companies periodically “pre-retire” employees as a way of reducing staff without layoffs and reducing costs. I don’t totally understand how it benefits the company because in the case of my company the most recent round of “pre-retirees” took with them 80% of their salary to sit at home. (Can you tell I’m jealous? I am.)
Anyway, at the end of one of the typical “good-bye” emails from a coworker there was a P.S. note, “Go read the tale of the porcupine.” Hmmm, I was intrigued. Turns out the porcupines are wise, wise animals (or so the story goes, don’t read the Freud interpretation, it’s so pessimistic).
It was a cold, cold winter, and many animals were dying because of the cold. The porcupines, like other animals around them, decided to group together. Unfortunately, the quills of each animal wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.
Because of these small wounds, after a bit the porcupines decided to separate, but then, due to the cold, they began to die, alone and cold. So they were faced with a choice: accept the minor injuries from each other or disappear all together.
Wisely, they huddled back together and learned to live with the little wounds that came from the close relationship with their companions, while also benefiting greatly from those around them.
(I’m tagging this as “siblings, “family,” and “friends,” because… obviously.)
So, I got my period last week. 31 days. Literally my shortest natural cycle since going off birth control pills. Do I think maybe the Whole30 is to blame?? This happened once before, when I got my period randomly 2 weeks after eliminating sugar. So I have to wonder if maybe there is some hidden insulin resistance in me somewhere (all tests for that were negative)…
It’s funny what things remind us of some people, some places. Since starting the Whole 30 I’ve been drinking mostly tea in the mornings and after lunch. But earlier this week I gave black coffee (espresso with hot water, called an “americano” here in Spain) a go and found it actually quite good.
But it reminds me of my dad.
Growing up, over breakfast, I’d see my parents’ matching coffee cups, my mom’s with creamer and sweetener (it was the 80s!), my dad’s black black black. I’d sometimes sneak a sip when they weren’t looking, but never from my dad’s. His was “disgusting.”
Oh how things change.
I’ve been away far too long, I know. It was good to disconnect, though, and enjoy the holidays. They, the holidays, are so intense (5 family-heavy days) and so long (we wrapped up on Wednesday with Kings’ Day) here in Spain, and I was so ready to just get back to normal life. Today, with the kids’ return to school, we finally got to do that. Finally. Thankfully.
Life in general is chugging along as it always does. A few bullet points of mild interest are in order:
- Work on the new flat is coming right along. It has been full of headaches, as I should have expected, but I think we’re nearing the end. Paint colors have been picked and the kitchen is designed if not yet installed (that’ll come near the end). The most recent unwanted discovery was that they’d not left a wide-enough space for the new kitchen door to allow for delivery of the fridge, but they’ve apparently remedied that and all is well.
- I’ve started the Whole 30. Stan too. We just started yesterday but we’re both feeling committed and motivated. I hope it lasts.
- Andy decided to celebrate his last day of vacation (yesterday) by taking a diving leap off the couch (I think he actually fell; I was at work at the time) and into the corner of the coffee table. It wasn’t pretty and he’s now the proud owner of 4 stitches on his scalp.
- Work is good, but I’m most-likely pegged for an upcoming work trip to Boston and Toronto. I don’t mind the travel but the timing is crappy, what with the house and all… we’ll see how it all works out.
Anyway, just wanted to stop in and say hello. Hope everyone is well and happy Friday!