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It’s 9:16 p.m. on the day before my birthday (which is also Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent).

At midnight two things will happen:

1) I will be another year older, and

2) I will give up chocolate until Sunday April 20th (Easter Sunday).

I gave serious consideration on how to spend my last day with chocolate. Do I binge or start the fade out early?

Ha, ha, ha, BINGE, OF COURSE. Binge eat the chocolate!

I was eager to locate and eat all the chocolate I could find in the house. I started my day off right by pulling out the blender and filling it with a banana, 2 Tbsp of peanut butter (unsalted & unsweetened, but not all natural because I’m just not there yet), 1 Tbsp of cocoa powder (WOO!), 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 c. of milk, 2 Tbsp of hemp hearts (whaaat?!) and a handful of SPINACH. YOU GUYS. Yeah, I like the spinach in the smoothie. The spinach bit is a new thing for me (the smoothie without spinach has been a thing for the last 3 or 4 years for me). I tried it, I couldn’t taste the difference but felt more energetic so decided to roll with it. It worked for Popeye.

I blended! I liquified! I discovered the base on the blender jug was loose!

Smoothie down the drain. Actually, it was all over the blender, the counter, and then down the drain. The air was blue.

I considered making another smoothie, but ultimately decided that the base of the blender was wet and that it was probably not a good idea to plug that back into an electrical outlet in the immediate future. So I ate a bowl of cereal and a couple of mini quiche. Not bad, but not chocolate. I headed out the door to run my errands, irritated and in want of tea.

Several hours later I had indulged in a mani/pedi and a cup of tea. I was in the loveliest of moods. No sarcasm! This is a wonderous thing because I have found for the last few years that the day before a birthday can be volatile. I am either be thrilled to have another year to celebrate my accomplishments, or it’s be a dark day spent woefully wondering what in the heck I’ve done with my life. Right then I was a happy little tree! And I was prepping my birthday cake. I’ve chosen a coconut concoction that is both challenging and descriptively mouth-watering. I’ve never tried it, but if I can’t experiment with my own cake, when can I?

NOTE: I am well-known in my social circle for my baking and cake decorating skills.

I’ve mentioned to several people that I’m experimenting with this coconut birthday cake. Great news is that no one has said, “Oh my word, are you sick? You always have chocolate cake!” therefore, I haven’t lied to anyone about my cake motive. *Fist pump* Anyway, so I was happily preparing my cake adventure when I got into a verbal altercation with a family member in the kitchen regarding the use of flour and the kitchen sink. I won’t go into details, but they were mad and I was mad and in the end this no-longer-happy little tree put away all things cake and retreated to her super-baker cave to continue her Veronica Mars re-watch-a-thon (the movie is almost here you guys!). I ate at least a cup of dark-chocolate chips, right out of the bag. I contemplated not making my cake at all, my mood was so ruined. I can’t bake when I’m not happy because, and this sounds so corny but it’s true, my mood seeps into my baked goods. The more cheerful I am while baking, the more cheerfully tasty my work. So I brooded and felt very badly for myself and ate more chocolate chips. That’s when it hit me; I’m PMSing. Tomorrow is my thirty-somethingth birthday, the first day I’m giving up chocolate, and I’m PMSing.

Holey Effing Cow. This is bad. This is very much bad.

I decided a little retail therapy wouldn’t hurt. I don’t generally turn to retail therapy, and I did have some birthday gifts to myself that I was going to pick up this week, I just decided to do it a little bit early. I bought some DVDs (Supernatural seasons 5, 6 and 8 with 7 on order. Used shops are the best!), some music (Linkin Park, Monster Truck and The Sheepdogs), and some moisturizer (I live in Canada and it’s winter, this is a necessity). As I checked out of one shop, using my birthday discount, the shop clerk asked if I was excited for my birthday tomorrow. I wasn’t prepared for the question and so honestly said no. I tried to make it sound like the only reason was because it was a day of fasting for my religion, but I don’t think that’s the whole truth. However, I pulled up my socks and stuck a smile back on my face. Browsing through music will helped to lift my spirits a great deal. If music be the food of happy pre-birthdays, play on. By the time I landed at Starbucks for my free birthday drink my mood was almost back to happy little tree. Big, big shout-out to Michael, the barista who served me, for being the sweetest of hearts and for using his friendly smile and good cheer to get me chatting, laughing and walking out of there feeling happy about my birthday again. You, sir, are a star.

After all of that, here I sit with the last sip of my chocolate chai beside me. Even on the last day, chocolate is my crutch. I mentioned very much bad, right?

Once I take that last sip, that’s it for me and chocolate for 46 days.

Bottoms up.

Coming soon: Do I choose a chocolate replacement or tough it out?