Friday, January 9, 2015

Living Differently

I’ve always liked being a little different; just a little to the left of the norm.  The goal wasn’t to be super weird (though I’m sure I’ve come off that way to some).  I think we have officially ventured into the world of the truly weird.  We’re vegan (weird), we don’t own a home (weird for our income and family situation), and we live below our means (definitely weird for millennials).  That sounds like the makings of the world’s most boring reality show!  The only way you get a show with those criteria is if you also have approximately one thousand children. No thank you.

We’ve almost gone a solid week on the vegan train!  These are the good days.  I haven’t really had time to crave all the things I no longer let myself eat.  To be successful at a plant-based diet, I have to turn around the usual logic: I don’t think about all the food I can’t eat, instead I think about all the food I can eat.  That sounds so cheesy (cheezy?) and straight out of an upbeat diet book, but it works for me. Another strategy I use is getting into a good, solid rhythm of meals.  I have to build a habit or an anti-addiction.  I like to think I’m adaptable, but I’m good at getting in a rut.  Is there a positive word for rut? A moat?  We’ll say a groove.  I need to get in my vegan groove, and after I don’t have to think as much about eating.  I read that it takes 21 times to make something a habit.  Only 15 more days…

People always asked (Zach and I were vegan for a little over a year right before and after we got married), “Isn’t it hard?” It’s not.  So many more options are at the regular grocery store than you’ve ever noticed.  Do I miss ice cream?  No.  I can get a coconut-milk based, turtle ice cream that is out-of-this-world good.  Cheese?  Okay, yes.  I miss it almost daily.  I’d love to take a big bite out of a block of sharp cheddar a la Schmidt in season 3 of New Girl, but I don’t need it.

That is my main goal for 2015: sifting out the wants from the needs.  I majorly lack discipline, and this is the year I’m going to get it.  It was different when Zach and I got married.  I knew it wasn’t just me anymore, but I’m really good at convincing him to go my way.  He says manipulate.  He’s dramatic.  But now?  I can’t convince Tu to not go to college because I want a house.  That’s not fair to her.  It’s especially not fair because she has zero say in the matter right now.  So, no more Target runs for fun, no more eating at restaurants, no more Sunday afternoon mall visits.  We are hunkering down in our 700 square feet of apartment, with our vegan cheese, and getting out of debt!  Who’s with us?!

Zach here,

Passionate and dramatic are regularly confused for the other.