Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Yes! That's Exactly How I Feel!

There are two types of things that I like.  There are things that challenge my thinking, that teach me something, and take what I believe to be true and expand or challenge it.  Then, there are things that put words and thoughts to my deepest feelings.  They resonate deep within a part of me that I knew to be true but have never stopped long enough to claim as part of me.  A good joke works like this.  I remember watching an Ellen DeGeneres stand up routine about tripping on the sidewalk when we're by ourselves.  She had John and I in stitches about what we do after we trip on something small on the sidewalk:  the keep walking and act like it didn't happen, the laugh and look around to see if we can laugh it off with a stranger who noticed it, the stop and go back and examine what exactly caused the trip.  We were laughing so hard because it's so true.  It's exactly what we've done on so many occasions, and that's where the humor takes off.

The same is true with a good book.  I read something and think, "yes!  This author has said exactly what I was thinking.  She knows me so well!  It's like she's reading my mind."  I've had a life changing year in which I had four books come along that have resonated deeply with how I've felt about things, but I needed a talented author to slow down and think about it more for me.  They've exposed some bad parts of myself, which has been sad but amazingly freeing as well.  They've also given me courage to dream big for myself.  Recently, John came across a book that put words to his thoughts as well.  This is the third book that I've heard him rave about, besides In Defense of Food and the Gospel of John.

On our beach trip, John stole my beach read (a re-read for me) and gobbled it up.  I don't think I read one word on the trip, but that's what happens when the stomach bug hits on vacay.  While The Last American Man hasn't been as life-changing for John, they're still causing a shift for us.  Three pages in and he was wanting to cancel our TV and internet.  Eek.  For the whole week he was off, he enjoyed the magic of immersing into a book that deeply resonates with him, and we had some wonderfully fun conversations about those things.  We had dreams and made realistic plans.  We challenged ourselves to some new goals.  

Our changes are not grand or huge.  We're just changing in small ways.

We're remembering what it means to be a kid and crave adventure and excitement.
We're fighting the urge to become responsible consumers full of gluttonous patterns.
We're wrestling with the kids more often.
We're getting outside so much more.
We're (John really, I just cook) planting some veggies.
We're thankful we're inspired at the most perfect time of year (if we read it in the winter, I'm not sure it would have stuck with us).
We're hoping to change some unhealthy patterns.
We're thinking about the story of our lives.

While it feels so easy to keep doing what we've always done, to keep the same patterns, to stay where it's safe and normal and familiar, it's not where growth happens.  Growth is always accompanied by change.  It feels brave and scary to push ourselves in little ways here and there.  It's easy to accept our American fairy tale lives for how they are sold to us.  However, it's harder to stop and reconsider everything we do and question it.  (I'm looking at you, heavy consumerism.)  

That book. That message. Those ideas. We get it.  We're feeling it.  And we're nodding our heads.  Yes!  We want that.  That's us.  That's how we're feeling about so many things.  

With eagerness and trembling legs, more changes to come...


  1. I want to check out that book. We are all about fighting consumerism and trying to teach our girls to live that way.