Lately, Daron has been like a stereotypical, seasoned farmer sitting in his favorite recliner after playing a traveling farm vet by day and dedicated farmer by night. There he sits in the golden glow of the reading lamp with a stack of farm magazines sitting on his lap, feet propped up on the foot rest. Every so often he might call out as he reads a section or two of the latest chicken trends, fencing solutions, or who knows what else. (This is where it would help the story if my name were Mabel or something. "Amber" just doesn't seem like much of a classic farmer's wife's name.) This week it was an article on the health benefits of animal fats: "Amber, listen to this!..........." His big bushy beard bobs along as he shares a list of various pros and cons and ratios and stats. (Side note: that beard. It kinda has its own identity. When we met, he was a clean shaven, trendy whipper snapper. Then his chin slowly gave way to a tidy goatee. Then a bit of trimmed facial hair that was sheared back each year like a sheep in spring. Like any addiction, however, "The Beard" skipped a year of shearing and became an unstoppable force which now resides on my husband's face and is clearly here to stay.)
But back to healthy fats and chicken fencing...I listened to the excitement in my husband's voice and had to begrudgingly agree. Facts and honest research don't lie. Just because I like my way of doing things or using my favorite brand or ingredient for cooking doesn't make the article's findings any less true. Let me say it this way:
ignorance is not bliss; it's still just ignorance.
By ignoring the data and continuing on with my entrenched habits and preferences - whether it be cooking or some other daily routine - I limit myself on my potential impact on the world around me and lie to myself that there's nothing I can do about it.
(Click on this picture to read the article recommended by "The Beard")
The way I see it, by doing simple research, I can up my game on helping this world be a better place just by 'doing better' the things I'm already doing! A simple switch from processed foods to whole foods brings health to my family. Buying fair-trade chocolate or coffee can support a struggling family I may never meet. And, even becoming educated on various store brands and how they do business is a step toward ending human trafficking the world over! Because once I know something, I can't "unknow" it and I'm faced with a choice: action or inaction. Then hopefully, by looking at my current behavior, educating myself on my impact, and choosing "a-little-bit-better" - sometimes over immediate ease - I can be part of a bigger picture. Face it. We are smack dab in the middle of New Year's resolution season. About now, most of us are regretting the vow of sugar abstinence that followed a carb-loaded holiday season. Or maybe you are already feeling the guilt-complex as a well-intentioned treadmill sits taunting you from its bulky black hole in your living room. Naturally, I do not speak from personal experience, but I have friends who share stories. So what's the point, and where's the inspiration that usually accompanies my musings? While I'm not sure of the inspiration, I guess it boils down to this: in an age of information, I sometimes find myself enjoying the blissful ignorance of not knowing. Not because the information is unavailable; rather, perhaps I secretly fear that by educating myself on a particular subject, it might demand that I move to action...and action can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Inaction seems to be a friend of good intentions. I can have the best intentions, ideas, and resolutions in the world; however, without true action, they just stay good ideas. I have been challenged lately to live intentionally. To take the first right step towards the next right thing. Whether that's getting into my kid's world and being an involved parent; taking the candy stash and dumping it into someone else's candy dish (Look! That's like helping yourself and being a blessing, right?!); or, putting on your tennis shoes to walk past the treadmill. It's all about taking the next right step toward accomplishing a goal.
So, as I head 45 minutes into town to trade out my canola oil for real butter and olive oil, I encourage you to think about what is important to you. What is it that keeps pestering your brain? Are there ways that you can incorporate "better" into your life with just a simple shift? Maybe it would be as easy as reading a reputable source instead of the first "Google search" result that pops up. Maybe it just looks like smiling at yourself in the mirror after years of negative self-talk. Of course, "The Beard" would recommend it start with a change to the omega-filled benefits of grass-fed beef....and I happen to know where you can get some.
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