Suffisant

5191F509-2936-412E-B55C-388D2B7FBE61For the last two years, I have tried a one word affirmation, as inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast, instead of new year’s resolutions. The first year, it was Read, which did spur me on to make regular time for reading. Last year, my word was Light, which became Léger/la Lumière in French.

Again, this method worked well for me. I redecorated my bedroom, lightening up the color scheme, and I’ve enjoyed it every day since. I unloaded the weight of a carload of things I no longer needed in The Great Purge of 2017 (I kept my husband, but he was a bit worried for a while).

CCE920E6-EC80-4DC7-9183-B9C472FC1B2CMy quest to lose weight was tougher. Despite some early success, no matter what I tried, my weight continued to creep up. In late summer, I found out that I had grown a rather substantial kidney stone that had to be surgically removed. Once it was gone, the weight fell off. The weight gain was really fluid retention due to a malfunctioning kidney. The lesson I learned there was that instead of beating myself up, I should seek medical advice if my body starts acting strangely. The DASH diet and I are now good friends to try to prevent the small stones in my other kidney from growing to the same mammoth proportions.

343230DA-4221-456A-BD1B-2D0450AD1A11This year, I have selected SUFFICIENT, or SUFFISANT (soo-fee-zahn), or suffisante (soo-fee—zahnt) when referring to a feminine noun. How do I see applying this to my life? Well, for one thing, I really don’t need any more clothes. In my overly analytical way, I have been keeping track of what I wear on a monthly basis. I found that I typically wore five items of clothing in each major category most months (for example, five blouses, five sweaters, five dresses) and about ten different pairs of shoes in any given season. Yet, I have far more than five (or ten) seasonally appropriate items hanging at my disposal in any given month. When tempted to shop just for the sake of novelty, I’m telling myself that my wardrobe is more than suffisant to meet my sartorial needs.

3C0FEC71-B379-49B5-94F3-7D07D862329AI’m trying to be more reasonable about what I put my Todoist app for any given day. After all, I can only accomplish a finite number of tasks, and when the list is suffisant, I schedule the new tasks for a later date.

1AC1180C-8ACD-4080-A56F-62CE59F61F6EBut suffisant also applies to things I need to do more of. For instance, part of my new anti-kidney stone lifestyle is supposed to be 100 ounces of fluids a day. One. Hundred Ounces. I have never once made this goal, peaking at about 64 ounces, and yet, the dietician and physician’s assistant both said that this was the most important change I could make. So, I’m going to be more diligent in tracking my fluid intake on my Fitbit app to make sure that I’m drinking suffisant, but I have significant doubts about 100 ounces.

I’m sure that as 2018 unfolds, I’ll find many more ways to apply suffisant to my life, but these ideas are suffisant for now (couldn’t resist, sorry). All the best for a more-than-sufficiently healthy and happy 2018.

C7467976-73C5-4340-A1B1-8EF5C1510F9DThe Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook

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About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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