Updated: Feb 12, 2020
New Year’s Eve I cleaned my studio apartment, set-up my cleanse journal and sorted my cabinets so I knew what items I needed at the store for the Ultimate Reset cleanse. The fridge was bare except for a couple take-out boxes and a ½ of Jane’s pecan pie we ate for Christmas.
I threw all that out along with the desiccated carrots leftover from one of the summer farmer’s markets.
24 hours left of 2016 and I was ready to leave all that the year entailed behind. The Universe had other plans though. Money I was expecting didn’t come on time.
A ritual of lack that I was used to after several years of a mysterious financial connection to Mercury Retrogrades. You could pretty much predict the size of my bank balance and the various calamities related to money by the constellations and where Mercury was situated in the night sky. I kid you not. At one point in the last few years, I had minus numbers in my bank account the entire six weeks. Ramen and free meals became the norm.
Fourth Mercury Retrograde of 2016, on the last day of the personally tumultuous eight-year cycle we were leaving behind and this one was no exception. I had to fill my fridge and my pantry with groceries for the cleanse. I will spare readers the gory details which included a long wait in the way of last minute shoppers at Whole Foods while I sorted out my miscalculations with already bagged groceries. After a long string of these Mercury driven disasters you get very creative with how you pull things off.
$250 worth of organic produce procured with a brilliant work-around later I drove home to discover I was missing a bag of limes and I was charged twice for my asparagus. The Universe was going to get the last laugh, after all.
I’ve had this weird relationship to food. I love it, that is for sure. Especially when it is lovingly prepared and comes with a beautiful experience. Still, the way I eat sometimes, you’d think I had some past-life recollection of feast and famine in my memory banks. If I get $100 from somewhere you can guarantee a long night at Meritage or Sainte Dinette is in the works. I’ll feel like a Queen and enjoy every last tasty morsel – just in case I don’t get another opportunity.
On the other hand, I don’t get much pleasure from cooking for myself. Here and there I have dabbled successfully and promised myself it would become a trend. The lure of our amazing local farm-to-table style restaurants though soon pulls be back out, night after night. Cooking is tedious, requires washing-up and never tastes as good as someone else’s. Most of the time, it doesn’t taste good at all. I really dislike leftovers.
I did the Ultimate Cleanse once before. Last year, right after the MBA. I’d gained like 50 lbs during my two years in school, had high blood pressure and bad cholesterol. I figured it would help me get back into shape. 2016 was a fickle friend though. I cheated just a bit throughout the cleanse, including beer and wine at the curling club, restaurant meals when I was too tired and potluck samplings at work.
Still I lost weight and ate better for quite some time, until I didn’t and stuff happened and it got too hard to keep up with it all. My career and financial issues, my devastating inter-personal crises, my brother’s wedding, my gut-wrenching come to Jesus (not literally) soul-searching. I did quite a bit of that on the patio at Ox Cart, crying into my second or third, or was it fourth glass of wine?
If 2016 was anything, it was going to make me, come hell or high water, release anything toxic and reset my emotional course from turbulent to one in which I was in the driver’s seat of my own creation. And furthermore, 2016 wasn’t going to do it in that nice motherly way one would prefer. No, it was going to send me through a stone-polishing tumbler of epic proportions and kick my ass along with multiple deaths both spiritual and actual (it got so silly we were all joking about Betty White needing our protection several days before New Year).
One good thing, I took up yoga and managed to keep up my practice fairly regularly the last half the year. I cried on my mat a few times too but the flow kept me pushing through all the crap, one downward dog at a time.
Anyway, back to New Year’s Eve. 2016 was going out with a bang. I envisioned this for weeks and nothing was going to stop me. Not even my finances.
I turned up at Sainte Dinette and there was one last chair at the bar (just for me) in a night that was non-stop from 7:30 to well after midnight.
I ate the amazing Tasting Menu Chef Adam had come up with and Tweeted about it the whole time. I thought it amusing to take pictures of everything as though this was my last meal and I’d be starving after the 2nd.
I found my interest in making every last moment count, including an after-party at Bulldog and an after after party at my neighbor Cory’s apartment, intriguing. You’d think I was going away to a deserted island for a month, not just doing a cleanse. It was as if my life was over as I knew it and I was on some sort of death bed. Still, I had fun. I made sure of it.
I even got a post New Year drunken kiss like in the movies. Hadn't done that in awhile. There's just something fun about being in the moment, a man's hand on your thigh, a full belly and New Year's cheer going on all around. All of us were laughing and drinking. Cory and his sister were practicing their Norwegian. You can't make this shit up.
This morning I went to brunch at St Paul Grill, one of the only places open around downtown St Paul, which was like a ghost town otherwise. Not even the ice rink in Rice Park was open. I walked past Meritage and saw the remnants of last night’s New Year celebration – hats and other items piled up on a table.
I’d spent Christmas Eve at Meritage enjoying (yet another $100 meal) with families decked out in Christmas sweaters and other red-hued finery. I chose Sainte Dinette because I feel at home there and Laurel, the GM gives good hugs. Real ones where your hearts meld as one. She’s the best.
I don't think I know one single restaurant GM anywhere who runs up to you with a genuine smile on their face and offers hugs. Laurel lives in my building. I feel like we are friends now. Maybe one day I'll have my wedding there like the one couple I spoke to a few weeks ago. Course I'd actually manifest my committed relationship. Lord knows THAT didn't happen for me in 2016.
Back at St Paul Grill, I ate my very large brunch - steak and eggs with hashbrowns and a side of waffle - washed down with a spicey Bloody Mary. I got a glass of wine after (free by way of a mistake) and sat there and read Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.
Wow! she and I have very little in common other than Minneapolis but something about the way she dances with her words and describes human suffering stuck me to my core. This world does some crazy stuff to us and it always surprises me somedays how any of us survive and yet we do…clinging to the hope that tomorrow will be better.
Now it is the early evening of the New Year’s Day. I am thinking I should start my prep work for tomorrow's cleanse Day 1 and see how far I get.
Although I really want to get back to reading Cheryl’s book too. It feels like Monday today for some reason but it isn’t. Nevertheless tomorrow, which is the actual Monday I begin a process I have thought about for a very long time. The day has finally arrived. We'll start 2017 out with a very different sort of bang.
And this time - no coffee, caffiene or alchohol for three weeks!
If you want to help support my career transition and book publishing business - I am still running my YouCaring.com campaign. You can also reach me personally for direct donations and I take PayPal or schedule a coaching/healing session. https://www.youcaring.com/ginasmovinonupcampaign
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