it was a whirlwind weekend and jj and i finished it by sitting out on the deck, making remarks that it feels like summer is nearly over. it is not, mind you – it’s barely mid-july. but the calendar is full and we have a pretty tight-packed week approaching, so i guess we’re just feeling a squeeze. he was looking around at the tinkering projects he was hoping to accomplish this summer while off of class, but i reminded him that those project can just sit there in exchange for taking henry to the pool, like we did today.

i finished my book, in defense of food. it really was a fabulous read, and if you’re not into nutrition biochemistry, i recommend just reading the last section. a particular angle i appreciated was that it’s not that the items on your current plate are evil and poisonous, but that they push the best stuff off the plate. example? in general, we’re over-meated. we need plants for several essential vitamins and minerals – we can’t live without them because we can’t produce them. however, there’s only one vitamin in animal meat that we can’t produce (and apparently we can get it from moldy veggies? i think i’ll go with a low-dose meat diet, please…). it’s not that meat is bad for us. but the more space on the plate we give meat, the less room for the veggies. i like this approach because a) it doesn’t necessarily villianize “sometimes foods” and b) it requires me to think about what i’m giving up when making a decision.

i think that as a culture we’ve shorted ourselves too much in this area. we go for what we think will fill us best, but without realizing it we’ve pushed the good stuff off the plate. if we’re not careful, the yard tinkering that we’re dying to do will eat away at the space necessary for taking henry to the pool. it’s not that the yard tinkering is bad. but life is not the sum of completed projects – when i reflect upon my life, trips to the pool will definately come to mind before the untouched flower bed on the deck.

i feel like we have been trained to consume. we take things in, allow them a place in our lives and never give much thought to why they are there. but slowly they begin to eat up space on the plate and our lives are suddenly full of cotten candy, that has the appearance of sustance, but quickly melts away and leaves you thirsty.

every so often i feel the push for some self reflection (in the past i’ve been fortunate enough for that to coincide with Annual Advance, when i can dig out my Life Plan) and i’m feeling the familiar tug. what in my life is just taking up space, offering little to encourage a healthy life (not just of the body)? what is filling the plate simply because i’ve mindlessly put it on, not because i’ve intentionally decided this is something that would add to my experience (rather than thinking “well, it won’t hurt anything”)?

to live deliberately, in the true sense of the word, is to live “from freedom” (thanks, pollan). i’d like to begin the adventure of living in a way that i don’t feel compelled to mindlessly accept things, but rather to choose what is going on my plate.

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