What Lies Beneath

I am so stressed right now, words are failing me. I all honesty, I have reached "panic stage" about my thesis. I'm just not getting anywhere on it. I don't even know where to start working on it! In fact, I shouldn't even be blogging right now. You know why I'm blogging? That's right, avoidance! I'm currently modeling that time-honored and always-productive "head in the sand" technique.

The fact is, I woke up in a panic (about the thesis) and have been operating in a state of low-level panic attack all day. My heart is racing, I can't focus, I'm anxious. I've got that adrenaline-surge thing going on. What my body doesn't realize is that this fight-or-flight response is NOT helping me right now. Oh, if only my thesis were a large, physical demon that I could beat upon with my tiny fists! Because, let me tell you, I'm ready for THAT. Or running. I could definately run away from something large and scary right now. But running around my apartment and shadowboxing isn't what I need to be doing, and more's the pity. I'm so jittery, I can't think straight, which just makes me MORE anxious, which keeps me from working on my project, which makes the whole thing worse! AUGH!

I always knowingly lied to myself that I was not affected by the hereditary anxiety in my family. However, I do (or did) believe that I can handle my anxiety, when it rears its ugly head. Now I'm beginning to wonder. The last thing I want is to turn into a neurotic basketcase who maintains a thin veneer of normalcy by living in a constant state of denial. Believe me when I tell you I have ready access to the world's best mentor for walking such a path. When nature and nurture join forces, can I hope to stand against them, armed with nothing but a strong will (or perhaps it's a dire fear)? For the sake of my sanity, I have to believe the answer is yes.

But am I lying to myself in that? Where is the truth in all this? Perhaps there is no truth. Perhaps I'm coming back to my initial enlightenment - with a new caveat: Only I get to decide who I will be when I grow up.

Ah! It's an evolution in thought!
Enlightenment 1: I get to decide who I will be when I grow up. - Freedom
Enlightenment 2: Only I get to decide who I will be when I grow up. - Responsibility

I suppose time will tell if I manage to struggle through my anxiety about my anxiety.

Wow, that was some full disclosure, there. This post took a couple turns I wasn't quite expecting, but I guess it's good to get it all out. Now that you know how crazy I really am, here's a quote I read the other day that I really like:

"The difference between perserverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't." ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Which one am I, perserverance or obstinacy? Maybe I'm both, at times. I suppose that's fine, as long as I'm not "neither".

Is this making any sense? Sometimes is very hard for me to tell if I'm adequately translating what goes on in my head into a format that is accessible to others. Occasionally I wish I could just plug people directly into my brain. It might cause more confusion, but at least there wouldn't be any communication errors!


You Are What You Eat

Today, I went to a farm and bought eggs. I'm talking about a real, honest to goodness farm. With goats (and apparently chickens). It was a neat experience, and one I'm likely to repeat. Those eggs are gooood! The yolks are almost orange. It's amazing!

It all started with an accidental trip to a strange website. I'm not sure how I got to themeatrix.com, only that I was there. I watched both movies. I learned a lot. Then, I started asking some questions. Questions like "Where does my food come from?" and "If the animals who make my eggs and dairy aren't healthy, how healthy can my eggs and dairy be? What exactly is in my food?" For some people, another appropriate question would be "If the animal I'm currently eating wasn't healthy, why am I eating it?" Clearly, the animal you're eating is no longer healthy, but I think it's reasonable, perhaps even prudent to expect that it was healthy at some point.

The Meatrix is part of a larger site called Sustainable Table. The thing I like best about Sustainable Table is that it is NOT some tree-hugging hippie "meat is murder" site. It's not even really about animal cruelty (although that does factor in. Think about it. Cruelty=unhealthy animals=unhealthy animal products. It's not a huge leap of logic, that.) Sustainable Table is about economics, environmental awareness, and human health. The basic idea behind it is that factory farms are bad because they place unreasonable demands on the local environment (have you ever driven past a dairy?) and produce unhealthy conditions for the animals (which produces unhealthy animals, which creates a need to constantly medicate said animals to control disease - disease and medications that make their way into our food.) Also, because of the logistical problems of having, say, 1,000 cows on a couple of acres of land, it actually costs more to produce food this way.

Now, a lot of people in these circles oppose GMOs - genetically modified organisms. I think that's a bit paranoid. GMOs have great potential, in my opinion. It's not Frankenfood, it's progress as far as I'm concerned. I also don't think that drinking factory farmed milk, and eating factory farmed eggs and meat will kill a person. (Sustainable Table doesn't think that either, by the way.) However, it makes good sense to me that animals that are allowed to eat thier natural diet, and engage in natural behaviours (like, say, walking) will tend to be healthier. It also stands to reason that healthier animals means healthier meat/dairy/eggs. Healthier meat/dairy/eggs may mean a healthier me. Or maybe it just tastes better. Either way, I'm happy.

Maybe it's time for us to reconnect with our food. We scrutinize the labels on just about everything we eat, but we don't think twice about the chicken we had for dinner last night, and well, maybe we should.

(By the way, you should really watch The Meatrix movies, even if you think this whole post is a pile of BS. They're quite funny, actually. How can you say no to a trenchcoat-wearing cow named "Moopheus"?!? Or a pig called "Mr. Hamderson"?!? Classic!)