Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Maybe I'm not crazy...I don't know, maybe I am!

I was having a very stimulating conversation with a friend last night when it occurred to me that maybe I am not completely crazy.  See I have a love/hate obsession/relationship with food. I love food, but it is typically always on my mind, therefore I hate it.  Even as I'm writing this letter those dairy-free, gluten-free Newman's Own chocolate sandwich cookies that are in my pantry are haunting my thoughts.  That's it, food is constantly on my mind.  When one meal finishes I am only concerned with the next meal to come.  Even as I go to bed at night I am reassured with the thought of the big bowl of cereal that I will eat in the morning.  This all is borderline disorder, but as I consider it further, I think perhaps we are all innately made to think about food most of the time.  As Emily explained to me that food is what we are, what we are made of, and the one common ground we all have, I realized that not only is all of this true, but this can help explain why all I think about is food. Food sustains life and in its natural form (not processed, packaged meals) takes quite a bit of time to prepare.  For that reason, humans' lives were meant to revolve around food.  Well, God and then food.  But consider this, in a not-so-far distant past (and in many other places in our world still today), most jobs were food involved: farming, ranching. And even jobs that were not directly related to food, were somehow indirectly related to food: blacksmith, doctors.   Wives at home spent their whole day preparing for and cleaning up after meals.  If you didn't have the grocery stores of today and the conveniences of restaurants and microwaves, it would take most of your day to feed your family.  So maybe my constant obsession with food is just an effect from the ways of life before our time, or maybe I am just trying to find an excuse to justify my behavior...Either way, it brings me to another important point of health: that perhaps I am feeling this way in an effort to bring my own eating habits back to the habits of a generation or two ago.  Before the mass-marketed packaged and processed foods that are killing our bodies became a staple in every American household.  So my goal is to simplify my diet: many of you know that I am vegan, and at this point may be genuinely concerned about how it is possible to survive off what I am about to suggest, but trust me it is possible.  The changes I have made in my diet have introduced me to so many new and amazing foods.  When I can say that I sincerely enjoy collard greens and kale, I know that these changes are all for the better! So here is my suggestion, a new goal if you will: no more grocery shopping!  Alex, my beloved husband, has convinced me to start small here and aim for just one month (instead of the entire summer I had originally planned).  So you are probably freaking out now, how in the world can I not grocery shop?! Well, I am suggesting no grocery stores, I can still shop! I suggest using farmer's markets, co-ops and CSA's to get all the food I need.  Making this change in my life is going to help in so many ways.  A. Healthier diet for me and my hubby! B. Supporting local farmers and ranchers supports the local economy and discourages immigration and imports. C. Discouraging imports helps our environment by reducing our carbon footprint through reduced food transportation. D. No more processed foods: only true food- stuff directly from the ground!  E. And now when I obsess over food it will be to come up with creative ways to find food and how to use all my new found fruits and veggies and grains!

Here are some resources if you are interested in taking the No Grocery Store Challenge with me!  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Here it is...

Here is the big news, the big change, the thing I have been waiting on and counting on for so many months now. Here is the unfolding of all the hints I have been dropping, the anticipation I have been feeling, and the releasing of all of my anxiety (ok maybe not all of my anxiety). I feel so blessed to be in this position, and I have to pinch myself daily to check if this is all real. It fell in my lap, and while I feel that this is the job for me, and I am the person for this job...it still seems too good to be true. I am now the new Council Director for Girls on the Run-Iredell County. Girls on the Run is my favorite non-profit (mentioned previously on this blog) and I am just so darn lucky to have this awesome job. So for the last week I have been moving files, and boxes, and t-shirts and all sorts of other fun things into my small home office. And while I am excited to work from home, I am also a little stressed about the amount stuff that has been coming through my door this week! Let me tell you, running a small non-profit from your own home is not exactly the most organized decision you can make for yourself! Since this is only a part-time gig until I grow the council into something greater, I have also been on the lookout for a second part-time job that would afford me the time and flexibility to commit to Girls on the Run. So drum roll please...God is Amazing! He just turned up one day...(in the form of Bob Tracy) and offered me another job that fits the criteria mentioned. God (in the voice of Bob) says to me that he is looking for a part time receptionist at his business, Dirty Boys (interesting that God would name his company that!) Pressure Washing and Detailing and is willing to allow me to work on Girls on the Run while I am there (checking emails, voicemails, etc.) Now I am not saying that Bob is God...but that God appeared to me through Bob and has blessed my decision to work for Girls on the Run. Interesting and slightly ironic isn't it that I should work for Girls on the Run and Dirty Boys simultaneously! Well, as if that wasn't enough proof that this is where I belong, I ran in to a man at the YMCA on Tuesday who had a very important message for me (probably handed down from God as well). At the moment I was in a terrible hurry to leave the Y and get home for a quick shower before work...I was in such a hurry I almost blew this man off in an effort to not be late. Thankfully, I stuck around to hear what he had to say. His daughter, a little over a year ago, had been suffering with depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and an eating disorder. She was pushing herself too hard at the gym, and not allowing herself to eat. At the time I was working for the Y, and a member reported to me that she was in the locker room upset and crying. I told her parents about the situation. I never knew the extent of her depression, but I continued to talk to her each day she came into the Y and made it a point to get to know her. Well on Tuesday the man at the Y had pulled me aside to thank me for the role I played in his daughter's life. He told me how their family had been very frightened that they would lose her to her disorder. Since that time over a year ago she has gotten significant help, and while she still struggles, she is on the path of recovery. With tears brimming in his eyes he thanked me for what I thought was just a random act of kindness, but to him meant the entire world. All I thought was how grateful I was to be in the right place at the right time. If you ever wonder why certain things happen in your life...please know that there is a reason. At the time that I got to know this young girl, I myself was unhappy that I had to switch schedules at my job and work evenings instead of mornings. Had I not been there, I may have never made friends with this young woman! I am so grateful that she is doing well and I now realize that these are the moments we live for. Whether we are indirectly or directly saving someone's life physically or spiritually, this is what God created each of us for. And God has placed me in a position to positively affect the lives of young girls in Iredell County. I am so blessed to be given this role and opportunity and I am excited to see what else God can use me for.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Are we confused yet?

I certainly am! What is my focus, and what is my direction, and what is the point of this blog. I have spent some time reading others' blogs and have found that my blog is truly missing an underlying theme. What is this blog really about? Why should you read my blog? What are you getting from it? Shannon's blog is Christ centered and always a refreshing take on each day, Julie's is all about how to save money grocery shopping, Alyce has a blog for her wedding planning business, and my new favorite blog is all about vegan mothering (no I am not a mother yet). So what is mine about? When asked, how would someone describe my blog. Well, if I was asked, I would have to call it a mess. It's about this and that and changes as often as I change my clothes!

I created this blog as an aspiring wedding planner...that is what the title used to read. Well, as an aspiring wedding planner, I created a new blog on wordpress with a friend, and this one fell to the wayside. In an attempt to salvage this blog, I began writing about nonsense, changed the title to a very non-descript..."living the life God created me for" Well of course I am doing that...but what am I doing with that life? Certainly not wedding planning...amazing how I got an opportunity in an industry I've always wanted to be a part of, only to realize that maybe this isn't really for me. Friends, don't freak out, I am not closing any doors on this industry, just putting it on the back burner again. Maybe I will revisit it in the future...

So now with a new passion, or more of an old passion ignited in a new way, I begin another chapter in my life. Funny, how short that last chapter was! Hopefully this new chapter will be a little longer...and will stop confusing my readers...if I have any left! I still haven't answered the question regarding theme...but I'm getting closer! I am almost ready to let the cat out of the bag, to reveal my new self, my new title. I'm not there yet...almost!