I have a new addiction in my life. It’s a Vitamix blender. On our recent trip to Texas, we picked one up and since we returned, I have been using it 2-3 times a day. It is truly a glorious thing. You can even make soup in it. Blend for 10 minutes, and it is steaming hot!
My daughter is wholly on board with the new toy too. Every morning, she says to me, “Can I have a smoothie for lunch?” Of course I say yes, because it gives me another opportunity to indulge in my addiction. That, and the fact that she now – very happily – skips off to school to eat a staggering conglomeration of fruits and veggies without a whimper of protest. The amount of spinach that child has consumed is nothing short of a miracle.
But here is what my Vitamix has taught me. One of my passions, one of my “causes” in life is healthy living. This stems back to the fact that I became a cancer orphan at 21, my aunt is a breast-cancer survivor, my sister has had pre-cancerous cells and my daughter was diagnosed with Severe Chronic Neutropenia at 13 months. Pretty grim.
However, I have also realized that my cause stems from a deep desire to love my family. As Bell Hooks says, “To begin by always thinking of love as an action rather than a feeling is one way in which anyone using the word in this manner automatically assumes accountability and responsibility.”
I crazy love my family. I truly believe my husband to be the most amazing man and my daughter to be the most fascinating girl on the face of the planet. But loving them entails taking care of myself. When I choose to put down the candy bar and replace it with an apple, it is not because I am trying to look like Jennifer Garner (although she is gorgeous and there are days when I would really like to look like her), but it is because what I put in my body is my act of love for Eric and Riley. It extends far beyond speaking love and becomes doing love.
It says, “I choose to do all I can do to make it to your wedding and to the birth of your children.” It says, “I choose to sacrifice that candy bar so that I have more energy for you.” It says, “I choose to eat well so that my brain functions better…and I am thereby more patient, kind and compassionate with you.” It says, “Even though I would really like to go on a binge, I choose you instead.”
Some days, I do better than others. But that’s ok. Because it not about expecting perfection of myself, it is about choosing the journey.