Ten Thousand Days

A New Hobby

January 21, 2019

Photo: Fancy Crave

Day 1608 – Day 1619

Usually as we start a new year, I decide that I’d like to give something on my bucket list a try this year – pottery, weaving, stained glass, planning a trip to some exotic place to see some wonder, singing or some such hobby.

I seem to have picked up a past-time that takes a lot of my mental and physical energy.  Following on from my last post, my digestive system is still out of whack, nearly at the end of month two of this.  I have eliminated wheat, dairy and soy and I am grateful to say that most of the time, I feel much better than I did, 7 weeks ago.  I’m better, but I’m not what I’d say is ‘well’, just yet.  Every morning starts out something like this:  What food will try to kill me, today?

Today, I found that amaranth is out.  Yesterday, it was oatmeal.  Both made me very ill, within an hour of eating them.

Without meaning to insult the fabric artists out there, this is worse than my sojourn into weaving.  To be fair, it wasn’t weaving that I hated, but threading the needles and not really feeling confident in what I was supposed to be doing.  My one foray into weaving was in a multi-level class that was overcrowded, and getting instruction or even the attention of the instructor was a challenge every week.  I never knew quite what to do with the shuttle at the end of the warp, in order to beat and turn,  and the handouts of different weave patterns didn’t really indicate that clearly.  My weaving had an experimental quality to it; sometimes I’d go under the warp and sometimes just stay on the top and go through the warp again.  I just hadn’t a clue and I experimented to see what looked best and what might unravel.

It kind of reminds me of eating, now.

I’m grateful to be feeling much better than I was.  But, still, unexpectedly puffing up and getting sick with something I’ve been eating all my life is just no fun.  Not knowing what might bring that on is a little bit more painful than an unravelling or wonky weft.

There have been small joys in this process, when I can go a full 24 hours with a relatively calm stomach and have a peaceful sleep.  I know that I’ve been grateful many times in the past for the small joy of a frozen pizza and a cold beer on a Friday night.  Now, both of those are impossible treats, for me.  Instead, I’m taking comfort in the warmth of a heated throw and the pleasure of my gas fireplace, when I come home from a long week of working.  And, I’ve had the delight of three performances by one of my favourite bands, SVER, since last I wrote.

There is a move to simplicity in all this.  I can no longer eat processed foods, and it’s a challenge to eat out.  So, when it comes to spending time with friends, I suggest concerts, walks and phone calls, instead.  In a world that is decluttering and moving toward ‘minimalism’ (a luxury I believe that only the rich can indulge – for the rest of the population it’s simply ‘doing without’), shifting from eating or drinking towards shared activities has long been something I welcome, with friends.

This challenge is forcing me to practice extreme self awareness and extreme self care.  I also need to plan ahead so that I’m not caught out at 9 pm at night after book club or song circle, famished because I didn’t pack something for a light dinner before my outing.  It has also made me much more profoundly grateful for my garden.  So far, anything that comes from my garden has been fine for me to eat.  I keep my fingers crossed that it will remain this way.

I’m looking forward also to concluding whether food has been the cause of my illness, or whether my reaction to food is indicative of a more complicated situation.  I’m hoping it is the former and I keep my fingers crossed for simple and definitive resolution.

I have nothing momentous to write about this week.  My focus has – quite literally turned inward to one of navel gazing.

I need a new hobby other than the game of let’s see what food will try to kill me.

Next weekend is the Bellingham Folk Festival and it is something I’ve been looking forward to, for some time.  There isn’t as much singing in this year’s workshop lineup, but there are other classes that intrigue me, and I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and acquaintances and spending some time together, making lovely music.

Photo: Aaron Burden

For what are you most grateful, this week?






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  • Reply Urspo January 24, 2019 at 3:33 am

    Dear me what a tedium that must be to have to be so diligent about food. I hope you find a hobby fun and meaningful

    • Reply Tania D. Campbell January 31, 2019 at 7:17 pm

      Well, it’s been a challenge to switch my diet so radically without notice, and I’m not sure that diet is the culprit or that diet is exacerbating the culprit, but feeling better helps to tackle whatever is going on. So far, the elimination diet has had me feeling better but I’m never sure what is going to make me feel unwell. So, I’ve eliminated gluten, soy, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners and I’m on the fence with corn and legumes at the moment. Feeling better and being well is all that matters. Thanks for your kind thoughts.

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