This should run in the July 24 Alameda Sun.
What Would Your Six Words Be?
There’s a site on the Internet called Smith Magazine (smithmag.net) that I’ve only recently discovered. It’s a storytelling site and on it are a few creative writing exercises. One has really stirred me up, called “Six-word Momoirs,” in which the site poses the question: What can you say about motherhood in just six words? The entry I submitted was: “It’s all going by too fast.” Not as clever as Michelle Norman’s “Stretchmarks are the roadmap of life,” but it’s pretty much how I feel these days. How did it get to be summer already? And soon school will open and then it’s Christmas and then high school and college and, well, you get the picture.
For the two or three of you paying attention and remotely interested, I am still pursuing a near-vegan lifestyle. (A near-vegan is someone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, but might eat honey and wear leather.) It’s been an incredible learning experience and I continue to learn new things everyday, some good—like, quinoa (keen-wa) is a power food! It’s a whole grain with a lot of protein! and some not so good, like Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe cookies are vegan! After consuming several boxes on my own (It’s vegan! It has to be good for you!), I must now look away when I get to that section of the Trader Joe’s at South Shore.
I am enjoying this focus on food. I haven’t been as obsessive as I usually am when I “diet,” which is a method that always ends in ruin. This time, I am approaching food with a researcher’s eye, as well as an open mind and palate. It has been a challenge to feed the girls and me, for now we have a near-vegan, a vegetarian and two carnivores in the house. I work hard to have a dinnertime, when we sit around the table, eat roughly the same meal (with a few alterations depending on who you are) and spend some time together.
We leave soon for our summer trip to the east coast, and I am curious as to how I will handle being a near-vegan on the road. I have already told the girls that I am eating pizza—the horribly unhealthy New York style with mounds of melted cheese, cut into triangles you have to fold and hold over the plate letting the grease drip off before you take the first bite. Oh, yes, and I will have a soft-serve vanilla cone dipped in chocolate on the boardwalk down the Shore. I am not even sure it it’s truly ice cream, but who cares?
People have been asking me why I am doing this “whole vegan thing,” as my sister calls it. What was at first a lark, a “can-I-make-it-through-Lent” experiment, has morphed into a daily trial and error of healthy living. I haven’t lost much weight, but I feel better—lighter, somehow. I also can’t help thinking that I am contributing to the fight for the environment in my own small way. Maybe this will lengthen my time on this earth, help reduce my carbon footprint while allowing me to take a few more steps and spend more time with my family, my beautiful children. Because these days I feel it’s all rushing by me too quickly.
So, my near-vegan experience can be expressed in six words: An attempt to add more time.