It has been nearly 2.5 years since I made the decision to no longer eat anything with a face. I’ll gladly offer resources and information when requested, but am not out to convert others to become vegetarian or vegan. (I will never be accepted in the vegan camp becuase I still have a leather couch, etc. and will not throw it out, but I no longer seek leather goods or items made from animals.) This is what works for me. The whole thing is fascinating, honestly. I tend to geek out about things, diving into stuff headfirst then figure out the details, if needed, later. The benefits of eating whole-food, plant-based were just too compelling to ignore. That, coupled with the experience of doing it and seeing my how my own health markers were positively affected made it a no-brainer.
To some that know me in real life, it may come as a surprise, but I find it very hard to swim against the grain and do my own thing. Highly Sensitive INFJ personality types tend toward perfectionism. (You can determine your personality type here! ) In real life that might look like, “I’m only a good mom if everyone eats a nutritionally balanced meal and no one argues at the table.” (I’ll wait while you stop laughing and collect yourself.) The reality in our family is that the 4 of us are very food-incompatible; a daughter who eats and will try most anything, a son on the autism spectrum who has a very narrow window of foods, a husband who shies away from new tastes, but bravely tries to accommodate, and then me who lives on fruit, nuts and seeds, veggies, rice, beans and pasta. Going veggie was a natural progression for me, but it creates a bit more work to accommodate our family’s preferences. Good thing I love cooking!
I saw a quote recently that “our job is not to convince others to our way of thinking, but to find our own path so that others may find theirs”. This hit me harder than I expected. Is it in our nature (or perhaps just mine) to convince others – of anything and everything? If mellowing with age has taught me anything, it’s that none of my “stuff” really matters in the big scheme of things. Not my circus – not my monkey has become a common mantra. My job is simply to love those around me well, and do what I know is right for me.
Like eating meat, the decision to abstain from alcohol is not only against the grain, but at times isolating. Among military spouses, it’s the norm. It’s how you get through rough depoloyment seasons. It’s how you get through the parenthood olympics, or so we are messaged to believe. Its the one thing that to opt out of immediately begs the quesiton, “Why?!” To not drink is to be dieting, detoxing, Whole30ing, or pregnant.
A blog I read regularly, the author had a recent post entitled, The World Doesn’t Stop Drinking Just becuase I Did.” Always with the impeccable timing you crazy universe! Yet again I’m told to sit down, be quiet and work my program. In my enthusiastic, straight-into-the-deep-end-head-first-ness, I forget that my journey is just that – mine. If it helps others, great, but it’s not my job to do the convincing. My only job is to do the journeying.