So why was I so scared after I had already taken all of the other risks?
Many self-doubts stem from moving outside one’s comfort zone. We have been conditioned to seek and build comfort, safety, and a secure future. But in that process, we lose the ability to know ourselves and our limits honestly. In turn, we restrict the size of our comfort zone. I didn’t take many risks growing up, one because my mom was a little overzealous (I love you, Mom!) and two because I was afraid of everything! I started having insomnia and anxiety at the age of 12. It was an average level of anxiety for the most part. Failing classes, disappointing my parents and friends, not being the most popular kid in school...you know, the normal fears many teenagers face. But I was never encouraged to take risks to move past any of the fears. I held two jobs during high school and even started college classes during high school. I graduated high school early and began working full-time while attending a community college. It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I started taking a few risks - like meeting my future husband while playing an online game of Yahoo! pool, traveling to meet him, and then moving 1,500 miles away to live with him, but that was fourteen years ago, and I can say that we have been happily married for almost ten of those years. I jumped at the chance to move away from my entire family, friends, and the only life I had known to be with him. Yet, I remember being so afraid that it wouldn’t work out between the two of us that I didn’t unpack my belongings for the first six months that we lived together.
So why was I so scared after I had already taken all of the other risks?
I usually increase my reading during the winter months and recently finished three books that left me contemplating many things. But mainly, they left me with the question - what is my time worth? The books I read were, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Meet the Frugalwoods. I have read many motivation, self-help, or find yourself type of books over the years, but these three stood out to me.
March is Women's History Month, first recognized in the United States in 1987, and March 8th is International's Women's Day. Events and recognition for International Women's Day date back to 1911, in which we started celebrating the advancements and achievements of women in the social, economic, cultural, and political outlets. A call to action is also recognized during this month to help accelerate gender parity.
Often, when people cite their reasons for making the switch to a vegan lifestyle they cite one of three reasons: their health, the environment, or animal rights. When people cite reasons for not making the switch, they suggest that they can’t give up their favorite food (usually cheese or bacon), they don’t have the time or energy to focus on such a drastic lifestyle shift, and that they don’t have the budget for a vegan diet.
But this is a huge misconception. Budgeting for a vegan lifestyle should be one of the main reasons people choose the go vegan - not the other way around. Believe it or not, there are many economic benefits to going vegan, both for the individual and the country.
The night of September 11, 2015, is still as vivid as if it were yesterday. Steve and I ate dinner and watched TV as we usually did. We played with the cats and all of our foster guinea pigs. I, for one, had a particularly fun playtime session tickling Sunshine that evening. That was our thing.
He played hide and seek with Steve, and would try to make Steve feel like he picked a good hiding spot even though Sunshine easily found him each time. But with me, he would get my attention and then run around before throwing himself on the floor and rolling over on his back. That was the signal that he wanted me to tickle him. I would say, “I’m going to get you, I’m going to get you Sunshine,” while pinching my fingers together above him. He would squirm around on the floor and then squawk like a little duck when I finally tickled him.
He would then bounce up like a tightly wound spring uncoiling, run around, and then throw himself on the floor again. It was our special time together, and my fondest memory of Sunshine. You see, he and I had a rocky start. He was living the good life with Steve until I decided to move in with George and Layla in tow. Not only did he now have to share his Dad, but he also had to share his litter box, his bed, and his food! There were many nights I would wake up to find Sunshine sitting on my chest staring at me. I knew he was asking me what the hell I thought I was doing in his spot and when I was leaving and taking the other two fur balls with me. It took a few months, but he finally came around to the idea of us all living together. We became best buds, but Steve was always the twinkle in his eye.
The subject of food and eating animals, even though emotionally difficult to discuss sometimes, is an easier topic for me to cover. You can observe personalities, habits, and see connections by interacting with different types of animals. It is from those observations that someone might take a different perspective on how they look at and understand animals. But how do you do that with the environment? Our planet provides and sustains life to all living beings. It provides water, air, and the resources that create almost everything we see, touch, taste, and hear. But humans have tipped the balance of our environment into a downward spiral. We are using and depleting the earth’s resources faster than they can be renewed. Growing pollution, swelling waste, mounds of trash in the ocean, and stripping of earth’s natural resources can only go on for so long before a breaking point is reached. It is just like, how long can humans go without food, water, or sleep before we have to recharge and replenish to keep going. We can agree there are more environmentally friendly ways to live.
Have you seen this article?
I recently saw this article in my local newspaper, the Columbian. The article talks about Josiah Zayner, founder of The Odin company, and his use of green tree frogs in genetics-altering experiments. He uses tree frogs to see if he can genetically alter their genes, and to grow additional tissue and muscle mass. But that is not the unsettling part for me; it is that his company is selling kits in hopes of teaching kids, families, schools, or anyone about gene-editing. Each kit contains six tree frogs, two cages, and all of the paraphernalia to alter the frogs genetically.
I am guessing if you are on any social media platforms, then you have heard about the trending Ten Year Challenge. People are posting pictures of themselves to see how they have aged over the past ten years. I am not sure why it became popular in 2019 and not 2020
(I mean, wouldn’t it make more sense to go from 10 to 20? Or is that just my OCD kicking in?). I didn’t partake in the challenge except to post a picture of George as a kitten and then him as an adult laying the same position. It may have broken the internet with its cuteness!
I blogged a book about conscious living a few months ago, and this is one of the most popular posts from the book! The book is no longer online, but I am hoping the book will be published soon. In the meantime, I still want to share some of the ideas from book with you!
Food has always been a defining part of my life.
I grew up in a big family, and we frequently had large gatherings, which of course centered around food. There was always a feast whether it was for a holiday, birthday, or impromptu BBQ. My mother made the best BBQ brisket and potato salad in North Texas! As an early teen, my brother and I had a competition each Christmas to see who could make the best looking and tasting dessert. I went to pastry school after graduating high school and even had my own baking business for a while. Not unexpectedly, it came as a shock to my family when I told them I was giving up meat in 2012. I am a born and raised Texan with burgers, brisket, and steak running through my veins. I had concerns about giving up meat. I was never concerned about where I would find protein or vitamins, but more about the feelings I associated with food. I mean, how did I expect to go to a Major League Baseball game and not eat a hot dog? How would I celebrate with family at our gatherings now? These were real concerns for me.
I have mentioned batch cooking and meal prep many times, but it is something I forget to do in my kitchen. So I decided to give it a go again last week! I made large batches of brown rice, tri-colored quinoa, cheesy tempeh, and un-refried beans. I also prepared kale, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, chopped Brussels sprouts, chopped broccoli, and cut delicata squash. I made a lemon tahini dressing that I used on salads and bowls. Mid-week I made a large batch of cheesy tofu, and marinara sauce for spaghetti squash. I also used items in the pantry to save me money at the grocery store!