Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Do One Thing a Day That Scares You

Eleanor Roosevelt said it, but I honestly thought lululemon came up with it.  Typical.  

This summer I jumped off a cliff.  Once in the water looking up, it seemed much shorter.  We trusted our friend that the water was deep enough and after watching everyone do it, I walked down to the water.
But then we went back the next day and I did it!  That was pysically scary- the decision to do something your body and mind know is dangerous.  The feeling of going through the air for the first time, waiting to see what it will feel like- really scary.    I was so surprised and happy with myself.

And then a family with teenagers showed up and proceeded to jump a million times and do back flips.  Whatever, for me, that was still my accomplishment.
 My friend's family lives in Spotsylvania, Va. and his parents both work full time jobs, run a cattle farm, and now they added milking a cow to their already full daily routine.  The only other time I've milked a cow was in elementary school on a field trip.  I want, need and crave that direct connection to animals, and to my food.

I want to know how to make cheese, how to raise goats, how to harvest lettuce so that it doesn't grow super tall and alien looking. (you know what I mean if you've attempted to grow lettuce in your beginner garden and don't realize you have to pull leaves pretty often...)  It's scary to follow a path that not only is different from mainstream eating, but can also get people pretty heated. 

I was not scared to start a gluten free, or even a grain and sugar free diet, because I desperately wanted to feel better.  Yet a lot of people who struggle with feeling poorly and digestive issues don't want to make changes in their diet because they're scared.  Maybe they cover it by saying they feel comfortable with the status quo, or like I've heard from many many people, they just could never give up beer.  But ultimately they're scared to feel uncomfortable or have to explain their changes in lifestyle.  But how scary is feeling crappy everyday, always feeling bloated or having anxiety about where the closest bathroom is.  Or that later on in life there's an increased chance of lymphoma- way scarier! 
 This past July we adopted Clover, our loving, frisky and strong boxer/bulldog mix.  She was trapped under a trailer with a litter of puppies and had a wire imbedded in her foot.  She was there for so long (they think 4 weeks) that the infection spread and turned septic, completely life threatening.  Now that we've gotten to know her personality and her cute little faces that she makes, I just can't imagine how she was feeling when she went through that.   It's strange at first to see her without a back leg, the amputated area looks wrong and you have to force yourself to get used to it.

Countless people comment on how resilient dogs are, how well she compensates, some get tears in their eyes and some even tell us she bought our ticket into heaven, I totally get it.  I'm pretty sure she doesn't feel fear, given that she sticks her head into any hole she can find and will chase a raccoon in a second.  But while scary may not be the right word- she connects me to people I meet on the street that I normally would never have reason to talk to in passing.  I love to think about those little moments and the simple relationships that are forged.
Chris and I live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, open floor plan condo.  Here in Arlington that's pretty standard.  I try to imagine we live somewhere really cool like Park Slope, Brooklyn and that our small space only adds to the coolness of our life.  But you know, it's now New York.  For the two of us and a dog it's perfect.  For guests, my baking and artistic endeavors, it's a bit cramped.

Instead of being frustrated by not having the even close to perfect space, I just started working (on the floor no less).  It's like I had to push through that murky feeling and just do things already.  There are so many things that I want to do in life and it's scary to imagine that I won't do them all, probably not even close.  I hate that thought!  But breaking my lofty hopes, dreams, goals and ideas into something tangible every couple of days helps me get things done, but it also helps me feel like myself and that I have something positive to offer.

And isn't that scarf I'm wearing so cute?  They'll be up soon in limited editions at my shop:


Francise said...

This was right on time. Here's to a 2012 in which we're always moving forward; even if its scary. Happy New Year!

Sara said...

I love this post :) Cheers to 2011 being a great year...and another to 2012 and all of the wonderful things to come!