Wednesday, October 9, 2013

To Live Life

I appreciatively inhale the sensuous aromas of my simmering lunch. With sautéed onion as a base, I had added mushrooms, broccoli, sweet potato, frozen peas, kale, then dusted with garlic powder and black pepper. 

A rapturous moan purrs from my throat as I languorously chew a biteful of this simple yet divine composition of vegetation. 

"What are you eating?" she asks. I manage to crack an eyelid, interrupted from this delightful meal, and I dreamily inform her. 

"Vegetables?" she sniffs. "Rabbit food? Don't you ever live?" 

I blink in disbelief. Um, do I look miserable to her? 

"Well," she concedes, "it does smell pretty good . . ." 

When my folks were going out of town for a week, he asks, "So, are you going to have any wild parties?" 

"No," I reply happily. "I'm going to cook myself a little supper, watch The Big Bang Theory reruns, read a bit, then go to sleep by 9:30." 

"You have to get a life." 

"Uh, what exactly did your weekend look like?" 

"This isn't about me!"
How to "live life"; I get speeches about it all the time. Unsolicited. I don't live life because I don't drink excessively, eat out regularly, or stay up until 3 a.m.
I can't protest too much, since people think, well, that I'm protesting too much. But—

I don't think it is considered "living" to make poor eating choices while smug in the insistence that food brimming with health benefits tastes like grass. It doesn't. I am not deprived nor suffering in my pursuit of responsible menu-ness; I eat deliciously yet wholesomely (never mind cheaply) every day, and feel the better for it. 

I don't have to shlep around ten extra pounds in water weight, never mind whatever else in fat. I used to be heavier, so I know what it is like and I would prefer not to gain it back. Wheezing during the slightest exertion doesn't sound like fun to me.
As a self-diagnosed introvert, I do not befriend every lamppost. I have criteria for friendships, and quite frankly my tolerance has a limit. It is not my idea of a good time to hang out until the dead of night with people I have nothing in common with. I don't like it. I don't enjoy it. Telling me that it is the only way to "live" is a fallacy of logic.

There are billions of people roaming this planet, and guess what? Not everybody is the same. I was born with an inbred love of the middle path, devoid of extremes, as for every excess indulged there is the swinging pendulum of payback. 

Alcohol? Hangover. Deep-fried yummies? Cholesterol. Late-night partying? Exhaustion.

I live—yes, live—a life of stability and predictability. I love it. Don't cast aspersions on my life—my life. My choices are no less valid than yours. I shouldn't have to defend myself that, to me, crawling out of bed with a ringing headache due to lack of rest doesn't mean I "lived life" the night before. What about now? Is this whimpering on the way to work "living"?

Occasionally I will stray from my path and eat out with a good friend. I will blithely dance at a wedding of someone I feel close to until (gasp!) midnight. I know while I am doing it that there is a price to pay, but I am aware that in these unique and non-constant situations, it is worth it. But not all the time, every single moment of every day.
I reside with my parents, I don't go out past 8, I consume mostly fruits and vegetables, and I can't stand liquor. 

And I live life.


FrumGeek said...

Lol I can so relate! (Except I eat meat as well as vegetables, and I'll make a l'chaim or two at a Simcha if I'm not driving) I've gotten the 'no life' line pleanty of times

Anonymous said...

I second the motion. "Living life" is living the way YOU enjoy. So called "standards" for fun are really worthless.

Sun inside Rain said...

You sound like someone I'd like to be friends with :-).

Princess Lea said...

I'm not alone! It's so lovely.

Some Poems Don't Rhyme said...

Ah, it's about cultivating positive habits. Good for you! Many times it's the simplest things that are most enjoyable.

Princess Lea said...

Like a piece of whole-wheat cake on Shabbos when one hasn't had sugar in a week. Mmmm.