Friday, September 10, 2010

Lucky, Lucky Me

On my drive into work this morning, I was chitchatting with a good friend many miles away. She is about to embark on a major life change and I was lucky enough to be sharing both her abounding joy and smidgen of fear.

I started thinking about my own transitions in life. We've lived in PHX now for well over a year and I'm rounding my one-year anniversary of my job. My life has become routine and settled after years of transition. In three years, we moved twice, got married, had a child.

But now, my life is relaxed. When a long-lost friend (or just someone across country) and we haven't spoken in a while, I love the fact that when I am asked if anything new is going on, my answer is, "Nope, holding to the status quo."

A year ago, my life was on the brink in a bad way, even though I didn't know it yet. But miraculously, somehow my life recovered and became better than ever. How did that happen? How did I get so lucky?

I can't really answer that. Sometimes, I find myself crossing my fingers, waiting for the other shoe to drop, wondering when the bottom will fall out again.

Maybe it will, maybe it won't. But all I can say is that right now, this very moment, I am satisfied with my life. I am lucky, lucky indeed.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Joy and Heartbreak

CEWG thinks she is a princess. Who am I to dispute, really?

This age is miraculous. She is uninhibited. She is joyous. She is filled with honey and with vinegar. She exudes confidence in everything she does. She knows she is the best dancer, the best singer, the best princess that has ever existed.

I wish I could bottle this joy. I wish that she could keep this love of herself forever. She has not learned to dislike herself yet, to wish that her hair was straight or her thighs thinner, to think she laughs too loudly or smiles too widely. She has not learned to criticize, just to adore and be proud that she can jump so high and dance so wildly.

How do I teach her to hold on to this part of herself? How do I teach her to love her body and her mind and her soul for all that she is? How do I show her that imperfections are not necessarily flaws that should be changed, but merely a part of the sum total of who she is and who she can be?

I try to show her by loving myself, by embracing my body how it is now, for all its imperfections which are not imperfections, really. My body grew another life, gave the light to that life, nourished that life for over two years. I am not only teacher, but also student, learning from my daughter to take pride in that body, to shower it with grace and love for doing all these wonderous things.

I want my daughter to hold on to her confidence forever. I want her built on a solid foundation of self-love and self-acceptance, so that inevitably, when someone calls her "fat" or "clumsy" or "ugly" she is not shaken and falls, but stands tall in herself and retorts, "No, I am better than that."

Sunday, September 05, 2010


(Warning: I'm about to get on my high horse and cliched, so be warned. Read at your own risk, dear reader.)

I read The Omnivore's Dilemma and I am duly horrified. Objectively, I knew much of the book's content. I've heard of docking chicken beaks and the cruelty of slaughtering beef on a slaughter line. I've always teetered on the edge of becoming a vegetarian because of my love for animals. (Ironic, of course, because I actually slaughtered my own chickens in Kenya.) But there is something about eating animals that I've always had a difficult time dealing with.

But there were plenty of things in the book that I didn't know. For example, it takes about 87 calories of energy to transport 1 calorie of food. I mean, that's crazy.

So The Doctor and I are attempting to revolutionize how we eat and drink in our small house in the desert. We're trying to buy local as best we can in Arizona. Farmer's markets, local stores, grass-fed, free range meats. I'm considering this my revolution, my food anarchy.