Let’s Charge 2022

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.

Booyah!

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!

Anecdotes:

“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

41 Comments

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  1. Wonderful! I love your analogies. Also, I wondered what happened to your vegan days. I tried it and am definitely a carnivore, too. While I’m sitting in my son’s living room being his caretaker, I’m mulling over my flavors and seasonings for the months ahead. I’m so impressed with your geckos.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you E, the thing about plant based diets is I feel so good when I’m following the diet but I’m not completely satisfied! So I found if I slip in a little meat, cheese, and ice cream once in a while I’m much happier! I can’t say enough good things about the Gecko’s, they are extraordinary, and I believe we would all benefit from belonging to a small group of people dedicated to lifting up and encouraging each other. I think we all benefit from being validated and seen! I look forward to following you this year and enjoying what you put out in the world! Hugs, C

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I think it was one of the Julia Cameron books who said to put together your Board of Directors to support you as the CEO. I identified a few people on my team, but let go through moving and COVID. It’s something I need to pursue. I need to have protein in the form of beef, chicken, pork or seafood to be satisfied. I love vegetables too and the plant based diet helped me be more aware of that.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. The thing is once you’ve “tasted” the savory flavors of being on a team of dedicated people, just like protein, you need this if you hope to satisfy your true “appetite.” Find some new people, I notice when I’m forced to miss our weekly call, it affects my mood and sense of well-being. They are my happy place! xxoo, C

          Liked by 3 people

  2. So inspiring for the new year, Cheryl. My personal motto for 2022 is, “Be brave enough to suck at something new.” I haven’t had the chance to explore my new hometown, due to Covid, so it’s time to go do some exploring. “Charge” into some new endeavors, and learn to love something new. Cheers to 2022!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Kathy, so good to hear from you! I love your personal motto for 2022, bravery, even in the face of imperfection! That’s outstanding. You were already so brave in making an enormous lifestyle change and new as you say it’s time to embrace “new endeavors, and learn to love something new.” Absolutely, I think you will be delighted! Sending love and hugs your way, cheers my friend, C

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  3. Nice to see Helen again. I had that vinyl album, and played it to death.

    Okay, here is THE UNSPOKEN TRUTH. (Or rarely spoken…)

    Men actually prefer women with curves, big butts, heavier legs, saggy boobs, and bellies. It is ONLY other women who tell you to be thin, and the diet industry. (Mostly run by men. Well, probably)

    For most of my adult life, I have watched women (Including my second wife) diet for no good reason, other than to be like the ‘role models’. Those role models actually look ill, and in need of a burger and fries, and two glasses of red wine. (Believe me, I speak as a man)

    During the crazy years of drugs and AIDS, a popular saying was ‘Just Say No’. I want to give that saying new life. Just say “NO” to diets, to social media ‘influencers’, (Is it ilegal to kill those harridans?) to fashion houses, to celebrities who are bulimic or anorexic. Say “No” to control of your bodies, and control of your self-image. Be what you are, and be loved and admired just for being that.

    Rant over.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Now that’s the kind of rant I’m talking about! Well done Pete! The thing is I noticed there is a link between our physical and personal appetites, when we deny our physical hunger, we often deny our appetite for ambition, setting goals, and ultimately our success. Women have been exceptionally susceptible to this type of media influence (as you say) and I believe if you don’t think you deserve to enjoy a good meal, glass of wine, it follows you’ll deny your right to enjoy the fruits of success. So in a long winded way I’m trying to encourage women to own their appetite, take up space, as you say men are not opposed to curves, let’s hope they’ll also attracted to successful women that know what they want and go out and get it! Wish more men had your opinions Pete, xxoo, C

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You have an American saying that has crossed the Atlantic, “Go for it!” I would encourage every woman to go for it, and be themselves. Time and history wil prove them right, long after I am dead and gone. x

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Lauren, you know I writie what I need to hear, and I thought maybe someone else might benefit too! I love your 2022 word “connection” it’s probably one of the most important things we can do in this life, connect with our deeper selves and each other. I’ll be stoking your fire all year Lauren, best wishes for 2022, hugs, C

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Crystal, “Mama said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this my Mama said…” I needed this encouragement today. The thing is how did you know? Regardless, thank you my friend, it’s never too late…Love and hugs, C

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you LaDonna, I don’t know why but I’m always inspired in January and upgrade my outlook on life. I’ll ask myself what am I not seeing, doing, exploring? And then I try and go there! Much love to you 💕C

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cheryl, I really embraced the middle section where you spoke about breaking the paradigm and doing something different this year. More power to you in accomplishing that goal. As for those foods, I have sustainably lost a lot of weight by using portion control. Plus, if I eat too heavy one meal, I eat less the next one. You still need to feed that sweet tooth. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Keith, thank you for embracing the part of the post that resonates with you! I get a little crazy in January, I start thinking I’m out of time, my words are all used up, and I’m tired of running around the same damn track! You know what I mean? Time for a change is what I feel in January! I totally agree with portion control, in fact that’s applicable to all things! 💕C

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cheryl, you just offered the best metaphor. It is time to stop walking around the track as the view is always the same and hit the forest trails where the view changes. Take care, my friend. Keith

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow! This means a lot, Cheryl. You are so kind. 💕Unfortunately, I haven’t set any goals for the first half of the year as I have to prepare for an exam, but I hope to take some time out to polish my writing skills by attending virtual workshops.😊

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Leigh, I don’t know why January always translates to monumental change for me, it’s as if all my fears gather together and assault me! Let’s hope all these challenges drive us in the right direction! Wishing you all the best as we tackle the new year, 💕C

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You mean I can’t lock myself in my house and eat myself to death? Ok so even though you see how unhealthy I cook (darn blog) I have been eating vegetables for the first time since last January. That’s what a New Year resolution is right? I finally do it and yesterday I hear fruits and veggies are going to be hard to find in the near future (there is a God).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This is a no judgement zone Diane, I say lock the door and load up! And by the way I love the recipes you post on you fabulous blog! What a bummer about the scarcity of vegetables and fruits. NOT! 💕C

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