Because I want my money back if it doesn’t work out!
I want to talk about the most misunderstood word in the world, appetite, one that happens to be essential to our health, happiness, and well-being.
My Mom used to say, “once on the lips, forever on the hips,” she was speaking about the consequences of appetite, something women have been traditionally groomed to deny.
In one of the largest surveys of its kind to date, nearly 30,000 women told researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine that they’d rather lose weight than attain any other goal, a figure that alone suggests just how complicated the issue of appetite can be for women.
This is the primary female striving?
The appetite to lose appetite?
In fact, Caroline Knapp says “I suspect the opposite is true: that the primary, underlying striving among many women at the start of the millennium is the appetite for appetite: a longing to feel safe and secure enough to name one’s true appetites and worthy and powerful enough to get them satisfied.”
It’s 2022 and what we need is a healthy appetite, not a new diet. It took me two weeks to figure out I’m a carnivore, not a rabbit, and like Jesus, I prefer wine to water. It took me six decades to realize my appetites are connected, deny one, you deny the other.
I’m obsessed with appetite, anxious when we’re apart, better when we’re together as if coffee and cream.
As women (men too) we have been starving ourselves for far too long, it’s time to identify our true appetites, and feed them! This is key to establishing a thriving future, one that nourishes both our physical and spiritual hunger.
That’s what I’m talking about, an appetite for life, naming the things we are passionate about, because if we love our aspirations as if the Velveteen Rabbit, they become real.
Privation is the cause of appetite, especially when we deny our potential, when we are starved for purpose and avail. Okay, and cake pops.
As the new year spreads itself over our world as if frosting on a cake pop, sprinkled with the leftover confetti from New Year’s Eve, I feel as if I have the world on a stick, and I marvel at her sweet appeal.
Am I the only one who has spent an inordinate amount of time considering the particular bite I would like to savor this year?
I want a finished manuscript, a new mentor, and help with marketing. What do you desire?
It’s been noted a time or two that I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew, leaving endless possibilities languishing on the stick if you will, as I choke down the excessive nosh I consumed in a fit of greed.
It’s not unlike the overly ambitious resolutions I’ve lost my appetite for, by mid-January, our stomachs (in this capacity) are not meant to be graveyards, they’re crucibles, from which we prosper.
I’m starting to realize the things I feast on not only need to appeal but sustain me because they form the body of my life.
I hope the metaphor is not walking around naked, lost, and alone in the margins of this essay.
My Appetites form the body of my life.
That’s what I’m talking about, an appetite for the possibilities only you can bring to the table because there’s only one you! I think there is a great longing within each of us. We long to discover the secrets and mysteries of our individual lives, to find our unique way of belonging to this world says, Bill Plotkin.
Sadly, as I age, I find myself acting more like a scaredy-cat than the lioness I am meant to be. I worry about the speed at which time is passing and I’m afraid I won’t have time to recover if I fail.
This year I’m forcing myself to let that catnip go because the truth is I’m more disappointed about the things I leave on the plate than the tasteless ones I tackle with ease.
Safety is only beneficial when you’re serving pufferfish, elderberries, or red kidney beans, everything else can be slightly undercooked, seasoned the way you want, and spicey as hell.
What I want from this year are new flavors, textures, experiences to explore. What I’ll need to accomplish this is a willingness to confront uncertainty, my own ignorance, especially the things I fear.
Fear, I’m sort of sick of this seasoning, arent’ you?
You’re not alone in your desires to get beyond the restrictions, the masks, and the airline snafus.
I don’t want to spend the entirety of 2022 in the double-wide chair, nestled in the corner of the room, covered in a fur blanket, head bent over a computer. Who am I kidding? That is exactly where I want to be…OCCASIONALLY.
What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. If I want this year to be different I have to embrace the unexpected, step away from the familiar, be open to encounters that God willing, might transfigure the banal into the brilliant.
I believe that has to do with taking on a new vision, one that will ignite my appetite for more novel, imaginative, avant-garde experiences. And this year I’m not doing it alone.
It sounds as if I’m describing a tandem biking experience, it’s because I am, but I’m also talking about a small team of people known to me as the Gecko’s who have been lifting me up, promoting my work, and feeding my appetite for the last two years. We connected at a workshop offered by Seth Godin and we’ve been meeting weekly via Zoom ever since.
We come from all over the globe, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Northern California, Southern California (a world all its own), Washington D.C., and the Midwest. We have writers, crafters, painters, contractors, film producers, podcasters, kindness organizers, and screenwriters, and although we utilize different forms of artistry, we all have an appetite for creativity.
What we discovered in each other is magic or as Tasha has labeled it “the secret sauce of the great geckos,” and it flavors everything we hope to offer the world.
This year make it your goal to find your people, form a new tribe, invite a few like-minded, or disputatious souls over for coffee, or join you on a weekly Zoom. I’m talking about people you trust, respect, individuals who can hold each other accountable, offer resources, brainstorm strategies for invigorating a hearty appetite. Because appetite is a profoundly social impulse says, Bee Wilson.
We’re not the sous chef here, we’re the head chef, the administrator, the creative force of our lives if you will. We can be selective, because we control what comes out of our kitchen, and this makes all the difference.
There’s a secret ingredient, I’ll get to it eventually, but you know how I struggle to get to the point.
I remember visiting Boston when Kelley first moved there, we spent a weekend exploring the sites, especially the restaurants and bars. Almost every establishment had a sign posted near the entry claiming to be “The Best” as in the best cannoli, best-baked beans, best lobster rolls, best clam chowder, best cream pie, the best experience.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, they were good, but the best? Why is that so important?
That’s when it hit me, I don’t have to be the best at everything I do, perfectionism is so overrated, it’s the desire to avoid failure dressed in, well, red socks. Bahaha
We have to find the courage, competence, and cunning to charge full speed into 2022, not looking over our shoulder, not comparing ourselves to others, but as if Captain Kirk, “boldly going where no woman has gone before.”
It’s why we’re here, in this space and time, doing whatever it is that is authentically you.
I’m sure of it.
Simon Parke says creativity is an act with no rivals, no opposition, no vying for position; and while applause is nice – it calms our ego – it is secondary, maybe thirdly… fifthly. You create in the way only you can, and with what only you have…and that is enough.
I love that.
We’re standing on the edge of a new year, it’s cold where I am, my beloved mountain is shrouded in thick fog, with the skeletal branches of a fruitless mulberry blowing in the wind, but I know what’s lies beyond the fog. The possibilities are endless, and although we might feel delineated by a pesky pandemic, our only limitation is our imagination.
How do we get started?
Do one thing, every day, that feeds your ambitions, desires, appetites. Take one small bite, savor it, lose yourself in the flavors, and you’ll be amazed how the tiniest forward momentum creates a vacuum. It draws the universe into its vortex, suddenly just the person you need shows up, the missing information arrives in your inbox, your older sister knocks on the door, charges into the kitchen, and says “Mangia.”
From experience, I can say it doesn’t matter if your sister, your mom, spouse, or best friend says let’s eat, that’s your invitation. It’s time to cook, slap on an apron, get a little messy. It’s okay if you fail because that is where deep learning takes place.
Parke says “we find that our courage has friends who wish to play; find ourselves hugged by the journey, in merry conversation with the adventure, which once looked rather lonely.”
The thing is you can’t fail unless you refuse to move from where you are to where you want to be.
My word this year is “CHARGE,” not as in charging Larry’s credit card (which of course we will do), but charging headfirst into 2022 and owning it.
The secret ingredient is embedded in the truth of your being, it’s incomparable, imperfectly perfect, and it happens to be just what the world needs.
I’m Living in the Gap, feeding my appetite, join me!
“It’s better to write something, anything, than to starve the monster. The monster must feed. And it will feed on your soul if not your words. Its appetite is insatiable. Write to save yourself from the monster.” Don Roff
“You must allow your free-will to roam as freely as you want and delve deep into your dreams. Never limit yourself nor live according to the appetite of someone else.” Mwanandeke KindemboRichard Powers
“The job of taste was to thin the insane torrent of human creativity down to manageable levels. But the job of appetite was never to be happy with taste.” Richard Powers