Well, you guys, I have been eating A LOT of ice cream.
I realize the answers to life are not at the bottom of a half gallon container, but I have done my darndest over and over during the past week to just make sure they aren’t down there. I’m not even eating like really hip small batch ice cream with bourbon in it or other gourmet ingredients that I can rationalize. “Oh Yes, it’s ice cream, but it’s Organic Blackberry and Lavender in Grass Fed Cream. It’s AH-MAY-ZING.” No, no no. I haven’t gone that route at all. I’ve actually been quite into Circus Animal Cookie ice cream, which is $2.99 per half gallon and the ingredients completely reflect that. But as disgusting as it sounds (and I will acknowledge that it sounds a little questionable) I have enjoyed every single bite I’ve eaten over the last week.
It’s been a weird week. I wish I could find an acceptable thesaurus entry that could give me a new word to use when people ask me how I am feeling, but the reality is I just feel weird. Life just feels…not quite normal. We are all waiting for The New Normal to get settled, and as such I am just doing my best to stay in the moment and get things done. There is never a great time for the death of a loved one, but the fact that it happened during a really busy time at work (I’m back in Iowa for two and a half days this week. Yay! //sarcasm) and life just seems to be the crap icing on the crap cake.
See — ice cream is such a better alternative, right?
Anyway, WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING WITH THIS POST. Ah yes, right here. I was listening to a recent episode of the Balanced Bites Podcast — while eating ice cream, actually, which felt sort of criminal. It’s sort of like watching The Biggest Loser while eating Taco Bell (Not that I’ve done that or anything) — and on the episode which happened to be a rapid fire type Q&A with the show’s hosts, someone asked what inspires Liz and Diane. Diane gave a lengthy answer that I sort of tuned out on because she mentioned that reading people’s Amazon reviews of her book inspired her, and I thought REALLY? That seems like a half hidden way of asking people to review your book, which rubbed me the wrong way. But honestly? I’m crabby and overly sensitive right now, and so that might be where that came from. But when it came time for Liz to answer she said something that I found profoundly relatable.
She said her life was currently full of stuff: her job, writing her book, keeping her homestead running, etc — and that right now she feels mostly inspired by duty. Day in and day out she is just going through the motions to get the things done that need to be done. Duty. What an interesting thing to say. But I really loved that particular word choice. I’ve been floating around for months trying to find a balance between work and life and every time I get to feeling like I have things under control, something else pops up. It’s never something unmanageable, but it is SOMETHING ELSE — you know? On the upside, I feel very capable right now. BRING IT ON, LIFE! But on the downside I feel sort of uninspired. And after a few years of being really focused on my own health, wellness, happiness and goals, this feels a little weird. (Again, with the weirdness. Maybe I should flip through that thesaurus.)
Right now I am definitely going through the motions in life. I am eating good food (sometimes). I am working out (sometimes). I am keeping work and life balanced (sometimes). And I am taking care of others who have taken care of me (sometimes). There is a way in which that can start to feel rote, unaccopmlished and uninspired. But also, it is my duty. And what is not rote or unaccomplished is that there is intention behind it. There is the intention to love and care for myself in the best way I can, in the moment. (It doesn’t always *look* perfect, but it is all I can give at the moment. There is the intention to love and care for others. (I’m sure that doesn’t always *look* perfect either, but I am giving the things I know best how to give.) All of that doesn’t always make for a nice list, or exciting photos, or amazing stories. But I’ll tell you what it does do: It gives me a nudge to keep going. It forces me to get up and start doing. It keeps me learning — about myself, and about others — and it helps me understand more about how we all connect. It may not sound very glamorous when you look at the 30,000 foot view, but when you break it down I think there is nothing more inspiring than growing and learning.
This is me taking notes.