I’ve never been a worshiper of John Lennon. At the same time, I do hand it to the guy for (among other things, like, well, you know, some music and stuff) questioning the status quo and living according to what his own heart and mind told him. So as I slurped this homemade chocolate milkshake (rich in commercial, non-organic dairy and high-fructose corn syrup) recently out of this John Lennon glass from the Beatles set we got for Christmas, I couldn’t help imagining him shaking his head in disappointment at me for a few big reasons.
See, I haven’t been living in alignment with my true values and desires. I haven’t been living in a way that will enable me to look back on my life and feel I haven’t wasted it. I’ve been passing the time with milkshakes and daydreams, in the following ways:
1. Inside of me there is a physically fit person who runs, bikes, kayaks, hikes, and all kinds of fun stuff like that. This person feels strong and capable. She’s of a normal weight, energetic, and happily mobile. For the past 20 years or so, however, the heavy, depressed, procrastinating, milkshake-slurping outside of me won’t let her out. Instead, I sit on my ass, read Sunset Magazine, and dream of paddling rivers and hiking trails.
2. Inside of me there is an artist, craftsperson, writer, but instead of setting up a space, spreading out my supplies, and making stuff, I read magazines and blogs about people doing what I want to do, and I make things like milkshakes and lists of daydreams that get me nowhere.
3. Inside of me there is an environmentally-conscious, health-conscious, animal-loving person who hates what the government and big business have done to the American food industry. She knows her family is prone to heart disease, strokes, and diabetes, and that a plant-based diet has been shown to control or reverse these conditions. She knows the inefficiency, chemical manipulation, environmental destruction, and just plain cruelty involved in industrialized meat, egg, and dairy production. She even loves to garden! Yet the outside of me blocks all of this out for the instant gratification of sucking down a milkshake or savoring an occasional bacon cheeseburger.
At 43, I’m not getting any younger. Things have an increasing sense of urgency. I want to line up my life with my beliefs and desires, so I’m starting to do instead of dream. For the past week or two I’ve been experimenting with a vegetarian/vegan diet. I’ve cut back on my work schedule with the intention of doing actual writing and art. I’m saying yes to more of what I used to say no to. Trying to become worthy of some Lennon respect. Let’s see how it goes.