I am going to post a disclaimer right from the get go and say that this isn’t really a post about health, wellness, or food, though inevitably there will be some discussion of them anyway. This is a post about the seemingly ordinary series of events that have unfolded over the past two weeks, resulting in a very curious epiphany that I had tonight while shaving my legs in the shower. I often have deep thoughts while shaving my legs, it seems to be quite contemplative and meditative until I get too spacy and cut myself.
So, this all started a couple weeks ago when I finished my vegan 21 day challenge. It went very well and I felt good and good about it and somebody asked me if I was going to continue it and I felt a bit ambiguous. Maybe that isn’t the right word, I found myself feeling like of course it makes sense to follow a mainly plant based diet but I am not going to obsess about it. The fact that this thought crossed my mind is just bizarre because I OBSESS ABOUT EVERYTHING. I NEVER express a sense of ambiguity or rolling with it or just, you know, seeing what happens. That isn’t me. Then, that same weekend, Izzie and I went to our new church for the first time and I was inexplicably humbled in a way I have never been before, certainly not in a church setting anyway. I was overcome with this deep sense of gratitude for my life and the tiniest spark of something, a sense that maybe something inside me was shifting.
I don’t know if the rest of you have these moments, but there are times in my life when I feel like something is going to happen, some major change is coming. I don’t often have a sense of what it is, and even if I think I do the actual occurrence usually surprises me, but I had that sense, something was happening. So, here’s how it played out.
This week at work was different. For some unknown reason when I went into work this week I decided I was tired of griping and complaining about things I couldn’t change. I decided I was going to change the things I could, confront the uncomfortable things I had been avoiding, and focus on appreciating those people I work with who are truly amazing and inspiring. I was a MACHINE at work, I was abnormally productive, I had transformational moments with people, I broke barriers in groups that have been stuck in ruts for years, I loved and appreciated my staff. And while things were still frustrating and overwhelming and there were multiple conflicts thrown at me, I somehow maintained this inner calm. At one point the HR person I was working with broke some bad news and I responded; “Well, it is what it is, we’ll have to make the best of it”. Who says that!!!??? Not me! What is happening to me!?
Friday night came, I went for a run, I drank some wine, I did some homework.
Saturday morning we woke up and cleaned the house, did some chores, read books and then bustled about doing errands. Usually on the weekends I am eager to get going, to get out of the house, get things done, cram the day full. But I didn’t do that. While in Brattleboro on Saturday two strange things happened. I watched a man yell at some lady for parking crooked, then get very upset at the “pay for parking” box and kick it. We walked over and I found a quarter jammed in the slot. I was able to wiggle it free and used the meter, then I calmly walked across the parking lot to him and handed him one of my quarters. Did he deserve the quarter? Probably not. Then I went to pay for Izzie’s party and the lady wasn’t at the party place. I had to wait for fifteen minutes, when she came she told me we weren’t on the calendar but she was able to correct it. Then I got stuck in horrific traffic for twenty minutes. The funny thing was, I didn’t get upset or impatient the entire time, and it wasn’t like I was trying not to, it just didn’t happen.
This morning we woke up and I made Izzie this porridge. All of sudden I thought; why am I not eating this porridge? Why don’t I take the time to make myself these beautiful breakfasts? Why do I obsess about food? It’s so USELESS.
We went to church, the sermon was about justice and freedom from persecution and living a life of humble service. I felt relatively inadequate and tithed generously. After church we went to buy me boots, boots I need, boots I have been wanting for a long time. I couldn’t buy them. I ate a bagel, I ate it very slowly, thinking about the grains that made the flour, the baker baking the bagel, the homeless who don’t have any bagels or tofutti. Then I felt like a giant cheeseball.
I remained in my weirdly contemplative state most of the day. Izzie was cranky, we went on a family snowshoe that was tremendously painful given that Izzie melted down and refused to move. As I was putting Izzie to bed I thought about how five years ago tonight I went into labor, thinking it would end so differently then it did. I thought about expectations and how life screws with it all the time.
I ate chocolate. I exercised. I ate Tums because I had a bellyache from eating chocolate and exercising.
Then I showered and as I was shaving my legs I suddenly realized I am a gigantic a**hole. No, really, I am. I am completely self centered, selfish and self-absorbed and all I can think about all the time is this STUFF that just doesn’t matter. Why am I so obsessed with what I eat? Why can’t I feed my body and be done with it? Why can’t I just LIVE? Why, for goodness sake, can’t I stop talking and start doing? Why am I obsessed with making more money? Why do I care? I thought about all the places I could be right now, all the terrors I could be facing, and i realized that the answer to all my questions is pretty simple. Until I let go, until I let the reins loose and realize I can’t control anything, until I humble myself , I am not going to change.
So, I’m not saying anything more because really who knows what I will do with this thought. Maybe I will change, maybe I won’t. Maybe it will take me a long time, maybe not. Only one thing is certain, I am a big donkey a** and the only one who can change that is me.