I’m a big believer in moderation. I shy away from just about all extremes—this includes, but is not limited to—sports, music, food, politics and personal comfort.
- I like Duke AND North Carolina men’s basketball (but Gonzaga is my team)
- I like Coke AND Pepsi (and Dr. Pepper, but it’s all Coke where I’m from)
Friend: You wanna go get a Coke?
(pull up to the drive-through)
Friend: What kind of Coke do you want?
Me: Dr. Pepper.
- I like summer AND winter; sun AND snow
- I watch American Idol, X-Factor AND The Voice
- I like singer-songwriters AND rap/r&b/soul
- I work on a Mac AND a PC
I like a little bit of a lot of things—even when they’re supposedly opposites or in competition. I rarely feel those pulls to the extremes. I do, of course, have some absolute NO’s on certain artists, politicians, etc. … but I’m a fan of the “Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate” mentality, so we will not discuss the UCONN Huskies or Redd’s Apple Ale commercials here.
I think one of the main reasons I happily live life in the middle is because I never want to utter the phrase, “And I’ve never been the same.” I live, somewhat, in fear of that notion.
When I hear enough people make similar statements about a particular thing, I’m ever-vigilant to avoid it.
“Derek got a flu shot in 2004 and he’s never been the same.”
Nope. About the 5th time I heard someone say that, I knew a flu shot wasn’t for me. I was already pretty sure, as I’m just not someone who gets sick often or catches other people’s illnesses (please don’t panic and tell me to knock on wood—I don’t even know what that means.) Oh that’s right … and I hate sharp objects containing the flu virus puncturing my skin.
“Girrrl, Tara got her eyebrows waxed last year and they’ve never been the same.”
Nope. Having to paint on artificial eyebrows every morning would send me into a downward spiral. I don’t want something that’s already pretty manageable to place me in never-been-the-same territory.
“My aunt did a cleanse a couple of years ago and I swear, she’s never been the same.”
Nope. Cleanses sound logical and intriguing. I’ll hear something about a new or popular one and think, “Well I don’t like Helicobacter Pylori any more than the next person. Maybe I should do a cleanse.”
I’ll read and research and inevitably circle back to the original fear: what if a cleanse encourages my body to never work another day in its life? What if the cleanse entices my digestive system to go on a sabbatical and it has such a good time, it never comes back?
I never want to knowingly upset the natural balance of my body and life.
So I suppose this is where “moderation” walks in. I’ll do what I can to stay well. I’ll avoid licking children’s palms. I’ll stay on top of my mostly-behaving eyebrows and I’ll make sure I’m not eating too many Vienna sausages.
Yes, I’ll put a hurtin’ on some hot wings, mexican food and craft beer—but I’ll also eat tons of veggies, drink plenty of water and workout. I’m just not the kind of person who is “all or nothing”—to me, that’s a formula for unhappiness. I prefer balance.
Admittedly, however, when it comes to personal comfort, it’s a slippery slope. I’m pretty patient and I usually acclimate quickly—but not when I let my guard down.
For instance, when I write in my study in the winter, I sometimes turn on a little space heater to stay toasty. You wouldn’t believe how quickly I’m “freezing!” when I turn it off or step away. And yet, there is no way I’m freezing. I’m convinced that catering to those little comforts is a recipe for losing my acclimation prowess.
I don’t want to become dependent on anything I can’t always have (I’m looking at you, electric blanket.)
Yet, here I am, fully admitting I don’t want to own a car without seat heaters. I’ve had them for years and fear the day I’m denied them will be the day I lose my will to live. Do you see how these personal comforts are slowly chipping away at my wherewithal potential?
Side Note: You can imagine how horrified I am at my unrelenting Chapstick addiction. Truly despondent.
Also, we lived with my sister and niece for several months when we were building our house. Part of that time, we were living through one of the hottest summers on record, so we slept with an oscillating fan every night. Well guess who “needs” her White Noise App (with accompanying oscillating fan noise) at night now? I disgust us.
At work I was offered a second monitor. I actually turned it down a few times, simply because I knew I would become dependent on it just about the time it was ripped from my loving arms. Cut to present day—I accepted it, we exchanged vows and I cannot imagine how I could possibly work without it. I’m deplorable.
Regardless of whether I stay the course or falter at times—allowing myself frivolous comforts—I know deep down that it’s best I stay strong and travel light, so the fall from personal comfort is more like being dropped on a Sealy Posture-Pedic than taking a header off a skyscraper.
Is it any wonder I’ve never tried drugs and rarely self-medicate? I don’t have an addictive personality, but I do have an, “Oh, this is really nice and I want it forever” personality. I know this. So I gladly live a life of moderation.
Maybe deep down I’m systematically preparing for—let’s just say “worse days ahead.” If an EMP or natural disaster occurs and we’re back to bare bones basics—having to brawl with others for water and squirrel meat—the last thing I want is to also be at my wit’s end over not having Dr. Pepper or weed.
Yes, I triple love my morning coffee, but if it was pulled from my line-up, I’d just be sad—not helpless. I’ve been a morning person way longer than I’ve been drinking coffee.
A wee bit of self-deprivation now to soften the blow later … is this weird logic? Maybe. But planning ahead is what got me into a Justin Timberlake club concert with only 1,000 other fans. Case=closed.
I’d love for you to join me on Facebook … it’s good for your health.