A balancing act

Update on the bread I made: it is delicious. However, when I took it out of the tin, I noticed it was still a bit soggy, so I put it back in the oven for about 5-7 minutes on 200c (not in the tin, just on a baking sheet) and then took it out and cooled it again. It is a little tiny bit more ‘wet’ than you’d be used to, but when you toast it, it’s SAH good and really very filling (that’s the fat from the cashew butter for you. Fat improves everything and that is a fat FACT).

It should have probably risen a bit more, but I used baking powder instead of baking soda and, like I said, I had less cashew butter than was actually required for the recipe. I will definitely be making this again though, so….great success.

Soooo, today I was thinking of writing a little bit about balance.

For me, balancing all the different things you should do and are expected to do is the hardest thing. Of course, I’m single, so I think it’s even harder when you’re single because a lot of the time, I have no motivation to be organised or to do anything consistently (except in so far as my job is concerned, of course).

So, let’s just get this straight: I’m expected to pray my rosary daily, get to daily mass as often as possible, remember to have masses said for the dead and other people, pray for all the different people who ask for my prayers, participate in novenas and other devotions, pray for the conversion of my non-practising/non-Catholic relatives and friends, pray for myself, read the Bible daily, do daily spiritual reading and spend time in mental prayer (apart from daily examination of conscience, morning and evening prayer and the Angelus), go on pilgrimage as often as possible and donate money to the poor and other needy causes, evangelise and try to convert those around me, be a witness and an example to others. Those are the basics as far as my faith is concerned. Ok.

As far as just being a woman is concerned, I should go the gym (or exercise in some other way) as often as possible, not worry too much about exercising but still look slim and toned, eat healthy food (while balancing all the things my body cannot tolerate like wheat, dairy, various vegetables), eat whatever I want and not be so hung up on these things (duh! you’re obsessed), look elegant and modest, look beautiful, look like I haven’t made much of an effort, not spend too much on clothes, not skimp on my appearance, look for a husband, discern your vocation, don’t be desperate, don’t seem too keen, be sure not to show when I am feeling ill because of things outside of my control, socialise regularly, not to be out socialising too much, read lots of books, read the newspaper, read fun things (don’t be so serious, you’re so earnest!), keep my room and flat immaculate, work as hard as possible, sleep enough, work all hours including well into the night, be up early in the morning (for mass or exercise), keep up with politics, travel the world, save your money, don’t be so serious and talk about politics all the time, talk to your parents regularly, don’t be so close to your parents, keep my nails, eyebrows and all other things look perfect, not spend too much money and time on my appearance. Above all, look beautiful but don’t look as if you have done anything to achieve that look. Those are the basics (and I’ve probably forgotten a million other things) for being a woman.

RIGHT. I’m glad that we’re not given too much to do. Lots of room for balance there, folks!

I don’t know about you, but I am usually either concentrating on things in the first paragraph or the second. I do not know how women do both and yet I feel so strongly that I am not called to neglect my appearance, though of course I know that God comes first. For the life of me, I can’t work out how to do both. I find the whole thing exhausting and I admire very much those women who seem to achieve this. If I were not trying to drink and eat as little as possible right now in anticipation of a gathering I’m going to this evening where I know I will be expected not to obsess and to eat freely, I would raise a glass of some alcoholic beverage to you. As it is, I’ll raise my glass of sugar free squash to you!

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99% of the time, I feel like a complete failure but I know the good Lord sees my efforts.

Below is a picture (apologies for the really bad quality and please appreciate that this is quite a big thing for me to show something like this…) showing my progress over the past 10 months or so, trying to eat a balanced diet and exercise with going to mass, praying and also socialising and eating out with friends! Bearing in mind, the second picture was taken in April and we’re now in June. I felt pretty happy with that at the time, but now I don’t know if I look the same at all 😦

I used to want to be ripped and look super super fit, but now I know that I cannot do that and have a life, and serve God as I should. No no, it cannot be done and all these people who are ripped and still claim that they are socialising enough and praying enough, there are not enough hours in the day to do all those things. There has to be a balance between them.

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