Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Sweet Peace #25: When life goes akimbo

Flowering Gum Breaking Free

     Moving makes tossed salad out of routines and habits. This “easy move” began three weeks ago and I’m still sorting out time and schedules, always feeling slightly akimbo.

(Sound of brain brakes screeching.)

Akimbo? I don’t think I’ve ever written that word before. Specifically, it means standing with hands on hips, elbows bent. Metaphorically, it carries the sense of things being out of alignment, not quite straight forward, awkward, bent out of shape.

Akimbo … a word gift from my scrambled brain. In some ways, my life is more bent out of shape by this move than previous ones: I’m in the midst of 200 very close neighbors and I have no kitchen. I didn’t think not having a kitchen would matter all that much since I’m neither much of a cook nor particularly particular about food. 

Having a cafeteria available seemed like a grand idea … no cooking, no shopping, no cleaning up … all seemed perfect. And it is. However, it comes with a few challenges. The cafeteria has a set schedule: an hour and a half for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What if my stomach isn’t on that schedule? To date, I’ve conformed to the schedule of three meals a day, arriving within the designated window of time.

I do believe this is where feeling akimbo was birthed. For the past several years, I’ve been following an intermittent fasting schedule focused on two meals per day within a six-hour eating window. It left my mornings free of food and thoughts of food. I liked that schedule and the way it made me feel, both physically and mentally. 

Now, it feels like my days are ruled by cafeteria hours and it’s time to rethink the program to make this system work for me. The answer seems simple and obvious: skip breakfast. That would put me back on my intermittent fasting schedule and leave my mornings free.

And the problem is? … … …

Meals are included in the “rent!” 

Not eating a meal seems like a waste of money. Somewhat like not eating everything on your plate because the starving children in China … etc. etc. 

Wow! I’m feeling akimbo because of childhood indoctrination about eating everything on my plate? That’s rather startling. And, I realize I have indeed been eating everything I put on my plate exactly three times a day, on precisely the cafeteria's schedule.

Today, I’m going to break free. Perhaps that’s the message that came through the last piece of art I made: “Flowering Gum Breaking Free.” It was my brain sending me a message that I need to make this new place and this new schedule fit me rather than me fitting it. 

How fun to get a message from a piece of art and then have it pounded into place with a completely unexpected word.


  1. I have been thinking the same thing - I don't want breakfast now or lunch - but I've paid for it as part of my rent. How do I manage? Once you figure it out, let me know!

    1. We may have to experiment with different approaches until we find one that fits.

  2. I have a fridge, a microwave and lots of containers to take food for two meals from the dining room, date them and store in the fridge. Give me lots of flexibility