Adventures In Moderation

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.

Quick examples:

  • 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?
Me: Yeah!
(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.


48 thoughts on “Adventures In Moderation

  1. I had a fling with a Schwan’s man once and I’ve NEVER BEEN THE SAME…………..LOL love ya and good job as always!

  2. I wish I hadn’t become so dependent on eyebrow waxing, but if you look at any photo collage my mom has crafted for past birthdays and graduations, you’ll see the undulating extremes that my burt ‘n ernie eyebrows have taken. Now I’m a lifer. Fun read!!!

  3. “…the last thing I want is to also be at my wit’s end over not having Dr. Pepper or weed.” Bah! Best line!! And I can relate to this post, since I have an addiction to a certain trio of things and the fear of losing access to them frightens the pants off me. I need to shake it off. But: iPhone. iPad. iPod. I’m a goner.

  4. I love and understand your logic. We think the same way when it comes to moderation in an effort to stay on safe ground. When you were a baby, you didn’t care where you napped as long as people were in plain sight. What makes me laugh the hardest is that you recognize your weaknesses and try to steer yourself clear. Always funny when you “self-report.”

  5. I, too, am middle of the road to the point where it seems like I contradict myself sometimes. But I’m solid and grounded not prone to addictions, dependencies or extremes. Do you find that people often have trouble with that? Like it perplexes them that you aren’t jumping on their bandwagon or liking and wanting what everyone else likes and wants? I find people try to pidgeon hole me because they can’t fathom living that kind of balanced self-controlled lifestye. I like living simply but enjoy creature comforts too…and I agree, it is a nice way to live.

    • Nah, not too much. Most people I’m around are pretty comfortable in their own skin. I usually steer pretty clear of … certain types you’re describing. Life’s too short and “ain’t nobody got time for’dat!” Hope you read that in the right voice 🙂

  6. I have watched the video of that mama and baby kitten so many times, and it continues to warm my heart as quickly as the space heater that I also use in my office, even when it is 70F in March…
    Enjoyed the post — as always!

  7. Oh Anna – You crack me up! I think you might be ADD tho? I am however concerned that you might be ADD – as you went from Coke to eyebrow waxing to Flu virus to space heaters. See where I’m going with that diagnosis? Oh look a squirrel. haha Love reading you blog. Love ya kiddo. 🙂

  8. This is great… after reading something this good, well, I fear that I will “never be the same” again. LOL!

    I have a friend, she is from Georgia, she often says she wants a “coke” and then, goes ahead and orders a “sprite”. All this time I just thought she was being indecisive. Thanks for clearing that one up for me.

    Great post! I’ll check back later to read some more — I’m off to have my eyebrows threaded.

  9. I can relate to this. Here’s my own example: I’ve never flown first-class (even though I’ve had the opportunity to be bumped up a couple of times). I never seized the opportunity, because I fear it will make flying coach (the mode of transportation that best fits my budget) unbearable. 😦

  10. I like this post, and I totally get it. I love Stormy’s reply, it made me laugh.
    I live by moderation, USUALLY, but I also like to indulge in first class. If I got bumped to first, I’d so be there. 😉

  11. Balance is so important…it’s the source of harmony we need!

    I love how versatile you are in your choices. You remain open to new experiences, but you’re certain of what you like. Very good attitude to have!

  12. I feel iffy about cleansing but would like to give it a chance one day? Need to work on will-power first haha. But thanks for following me, looking forward to reading your future endeavors!

  13. The only bad thing about our new-ish minivan is that it does NOT have heated seats. And after buying my last car because it DID have heated seats, I cry just a little every cold winter’s morning when taking the kids to school, Damn them for lumping the heated seats with the in-car DVD player upgrade. It was just too rich for my blood…which now runs cold throughout my buttocks region as it sits on unheated seats.

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