At work we were talking about the relative rates of decline in our health of late. We’ve been drinking more, eating our feelings. A lot of us were caught at one of life’s crossroads when the pandemic hit, and never made it to our intended destination. This is what happened to me last year, when I finished my nutritional therapy course and got my certification. I’d planned to become an NTP at the clinic where I’d been employed for six years, but that opportunity withered during the months of quarantine and left me without the reward I’d been working toward. I guess the disappointment hurt a little more than I would have acknowledged at the time. I let my interest in the subject fade, and I spent a lot of time writing — never a health-enhancing activity at the best of times, but especially hazardous when mixed with middle-age defeat and existential angst. Of course I gained weight. Of course I felt like shit. Everyone did, because 2020 sucked with a Trump-level suckage that made the previous three years seem like nirvana.

Enter 2021. Joe Biden. Shots in arms. Visits again, and signs of life — daffodils, hummingbirds, the occasional sliver of bright blue sky. I’m drinking mango smoothies. Eating salads and harvest bowls, and vegetable soup, and kale. I’m down nine pounds with six more to go. So far it’s been breezy, and not because of some groundbreaking new formula or product or nonsensical gimmick from late-night TV, but because I remembered that I get to choose what I eat, and that fact alone is something to be grateful for.

I’m not mad at myself. Chips happen, right? I kept my skinny jeans and my 34Ds. Soon I’ll put them back in the rotation and move past this current problem and on to the next.

What are you attending to?