"- don't be so quick to knock it. People don't usually part with the weird shit they personally know because they know how easy it will be to punch holes in. Now I'm tellin you somethin. It's for you to poke through the soup and find the meat." John Patrick Shanley's 'the dreamer examines his pillow'

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Good Life

Eating high raw and vegan while traveling – what a trip! (no pun intended) My apologies for my lack of posts – I arrived in Minnesota last night to attend my grandfather’s memorial service, and haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and bang out my reflections until now.
First, I must say that I am very fortunate in that my family (both extended and immediate) has been ridiculously accommodating. There was not a snarky comment to be heard when I opted for only fruits and veggies at dinner last night. I was even taken at my word when I said “no, thank you, this will be more than enough.” Immediately after dinner my jet-lagged parents and brother drove me to the grocery store to pick up some fresh food for my time here. I couldn’t ask for a more loving and supportive family.
At dinner, as we munched on our respective veggies and pork sandwiches, my uncle flipped on the slide-show that will be shown at the memorial service. My handsome grandfather grinned at us from the television, a king in his fishing boat, towering over my fierce little grandmother, letting smaller versions of us cousins pull at his beard, smirking at a stupid joke his son was telling, pipe in hand. He spent his adult life doing what came naturally to him and what he was passionate about; soaking in the great outdoors, shooting the sh*t with gentlemen who needed a good man to look up to gardening, and the social work & counseling that he was still involved with when he passed away. Looking at these snapshots of his life, I couldn’t help but think, “this was a life well lived”.
I want to live my life fully like my grandfather, to be satisfied with the breaths I take. Obviously each of us has to answer for ourselves what the definition of a life well-lived is, and for me, a piece of the puzzle is as simple as exercising most days and eating lots of fruits and veggies - & no meat and dairy. Not only does it make me feel more alive and stave off depression, it’s a choice I can make every day that’s in line with my beliefs about how we should treat the land we live on. And it gives me infinite more energy to be with the people I meet and those I already love, which is deeply important to me.
To be honest, I am so exhausted in so many ways (it’s been a busy few weeks) that once we finally made it to Minnesota, I was tempted to just give up, sleep in, and eat whatever was in front of me. But I want to do honor to the potential for a “life well-lived”, so I’m going to drag my butt out of bed each morning and don my running shoes, and I’m going to say “no thank-you” at least 5 times at every meal, and it will be more than worth it. I know I’ll have more energy and clarity to listen, to be compassionate, to laugh – and I know when I make my body happy it is so much easier to just relax – which may be the most important thing when spending a week with the entire family...

May we all come closer to living our version of a good life this week – and in the years to come.



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