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I’m pretty good at not over committing myself, but recently I do that more and more. I’m very good at saying no to things I don’t want to do but I’m not so good at saying no to causes or groups I believe in. The problem with Jackson is that there are so many wonderful opportunities to give back to and to meet fun and interesting people. (I’m not sure where people live who say there is nothing to do.) The other day someone asked me if I’d consider chairing a group that I love with all my heart. I told her I’d think about it at some point in the future, but now it’s just impossible. It’s never fair to yourself or to a group you love to do something half-way. That’s what happens when you take too much on. Even if you look fully present, you really aren’t. When you have too much on your plate, you don’t eat right, exercise, meditate or do whatever it is that makes you centered. The lesson for the next couple of weeks is to say “Yes” with a smile and full heart and to say “No” with the same attitude. —Kimberly Griffin

What I Learned From Being Carless I successfully, but barely, made it a month without having a car in one of the hottest months of the year. Initially, I thought to myself, “I don’t need a car, I’ll be the bike-advocacy poster child.” So I switched my work hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. since I was waking up early to beat the heat. I arrived to work each morning in my spandex and tank top and changed into my work clothes. For the first week, I felt like a badass bike chick. The second week, I just felt like a bike chick. By the third week, the heat and the city’s cracked and pockmarked streets began to break me down. During the fourth week, I wanted to kick my bike, sit down on the sidewalk and cry like a little girl. Did I become model thin with all this new exercise? No. Was I the badass bike lady? No. I was the sweaty, smelly office girl with helmet hair. Without a car, I felt stranded. If I wanted to go to the grocery store or downtown to a concert, I had new challenges of factoring in the time it would take me to get there, the amount of energy I had, and how sweaty I would be once I got to my destination. Biking is more pleasurable when it feels like a choice and not your only method of transportation. I still believe we need to become a more bike-friendly city. In Mississippi, the heat will always be a challenge, but the streets don’t have to be. We also need to

improve our public transportation system if we want to get people out of their cars. I also purged about 75 percent of my belongings last week, as I moved into a furnished apartment. I am vowing to only own as much stuff as will fit into my car, at least for the next five years. This feels much more healthy. Now that I have a car and a new place to live, I feel like I have fresh start. I’m going to try and have a semi-normal schedule, until life throws another curve ball at me. —Lacey McLaughlin

My Newly Paved Road I started the journey with high hopes, forgetting one little thing: I have ZERO will power! I haven’t been eating the best food these past few weeks. This week I’m starting a new plan: no meat or dairy products for a month. I’ve found this is allowing me to use the many vegan and vegetarian cookbooks I own. So many tasty veggies ready to be consumed. Next step: going back to the gym. If you happen to see a petite woman struggling for air in your local gym, don’t worry, that’s just me attempting to get in shape. —Ashley Jackson

Why I Still Drink Coffee On pain of death (or, rather, pain of dirty looks from Ronni), I’m taking stock of my five wellness goals. I’m falling short on some: My afternoon coffee intake has risen, not dropped, and I’m meditating about half as often as I’d like. The coffee goal might be a bad one, though. While I don’t love the headache and sluggishness that comes with a caffeine deficiency, I find something perversely romantic about the whole ritual, and sharing this weakness with so many people. The truth, though, is that my afternoon cups of coffee aren’t an elaborate social custom; it’s just me trudging solo to the office kitchen, barely appreciative of the coffee’s taste or powers. That’s not a habit worth keeping. The solution, I think, is to make the most of the (ideally) one cup I have in the morning: drink it slowly, in the company of others, and savor the lift it gives my senses. One goal is going swimmingly: I’m playing soccer twice a week, and my anticipation of the Wednesday and Sunday games is reaching dumb-Pavlovian-slobbering levels, which, come to think of it, might be a problem in itself. —Ward Schaefer

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Saying No

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v8n48 - JFP 2010 Jackpedia Issue  

The student-generated guidebook to Jackson's Nightlife, Shopping, Arts, Bikes, Beer and More.