We want to be a healthy example for our families. We want to live longer and feel better. We want to avoid taking pills to get through the day. But we don't know where to start. I know because I was there. A month before my 30th birthday, I felt like I was closer to 80. My joints hurt. I had constant headaches and stomach problems. I barely had enough energy to get through the day, and stress was taking its toll. On May 7, 2009, I decided that had to change. Since then, I've spent hundreds of hours researching our bodies and how modern life affects us. I've experimented with different approaches and closely tracked the results. I've assisted friends and family with making similar changes and watched their transformations as well. I know it can be better. I've lived it, and I've seen it. And I firmly believe you can have it too.
My husband and I spent this past weekend in Portland, Oregon, at the World Domination Summit hosted by Chris Guillebeau. As you might imagine, that's led to some interesting conversations back home (especially when we admit that we went last year, and we've decided to take our teenage daughters next summer). "World Domination? Isn't that a bit strong?" Not nearly as strong as the pull to lead a dull, conformist life. To us, world domination is about overcoming the resistance to lead a remarkable life in a conventional world. My friend Scott Dinsmore explained it this way, "In a world where most people encourage complacency, we need a sanctuary where people understand why all of us interested in living meaningful lives, do what we do. I go to belong. To be inspired. To find ideas I’d never discover on my own. To find people who hold me to a higher standard." That sums up my feelings pretty well. We come from all over the world. We're from different generations and backgrounds. We're focused on different types of projects. But we all have the same sparkle in our eyes. We believe in the power of community, the spirit of adventure, and the importance of service.
Today's my 33rd birthday, and I've decided to celebrate it. I was terrified of my 30's, dreading every birthday for months ahead. My Nana had breast cancer at 32, and my Mom collapsed at 35 with what was eventually diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. I had let each of those creep inside my head. Then, a few months ago, a new realization hit me. They're both doing fantastic today, so they'd both defeated whatever health curse I was fearing. Perhaps that strength was the legacy I should focus on. This last year has been a lot like that, so I wanted to share 14 big things I've learned from my 33 years of life.
Lately, lots of folks I know have started eating Paleo. Essentially, that means eating real food such as vegetables, meat (preferably grass fed), healthy fats, and some fruit and nuts. It eliminates all grains, processed foods, and most sugar and dairy. One of the first questions they typically ask is, "what do I eat for breakfast?" I thought I'd share some of my favorites.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, my 13 year-old daughter dyed hot pink stripes in her hair. Several of her teachers weren't fond of it, and she almost got a referral to the office. That would have been her first one, but an Assistant Principal intervened. When she told me about it, she also explained that she wears a jacket every day because she doesn't want to wear "dress code shirts." In addition, she takes her cell phone to school (another violation) as I'm sure a significant number of other kids do. Two years ago, I would have been very upset. Today, I think I'm proud.
Over the weekend, the "Occupy" movement organized a protest in my city, Corpus Christi, Texas. I stumbled upon it from the stream of messages on Facebook and Twitter. After spending Saturday morning at the 3E office (ironically planning the next few positions we're going to add) alongside other entrepreneurs, I was irritated. To be honest, I'm not sure I even understand what exactly they want - or if they're just expressing general frustration. I support their right to protest. It's quite the American thing to do, as Tom Peters reminded us. And other folks made lots of great points in Facebook debates. I agree that there are problems in our financial system, and that American capitalism isn't perfect. But I don't think that's the real problem. The world has changed dramatically in the last few years. Young people are realizing that their education isn't an express ticket to success, and it hurts. We have a choice. We can throw a temper tantrum about how unfair it is that the game has changed, or we can figure out how to play by the new rules. Here's how to do just that.