Life, the Universe, and Everything

Yes, this title was borrowed from Douglas Adams title of the third in the series of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. When I am in deep thought or have a lot on my mind and am not in the mood to talk about it, my response when asked “What’s up?” is always, “Life, the universe, and everything.” It sums up things perfectly and this has how I have felt the majority of 2012. What a year and I for one am extremely happy it is almost over.

For the past five years I have thought about turning forty and was actually excited for January 2012 to happen. I couldn’t have been more wrong and did not see the emotional mind f-word that came along with it coming. It was able to sneak up on me and punch me in the gut and set my life spinning in a downward spiral. I have become one of those people who stress about everything: if I am doing enough for the blog, my career, my parenting, if I am a good enough wife, rights for all living creatures and how I have been able to screw up my life on so many levels over the years. When I was getting my hair done yesterday I was informed that I have a stress induced bald spot. In my thirties, I use to laugh at my 40 something friends for their anxiety attacks and now it’s pay back time. Anyone know of a natural remedy?

In February, with the Circle of Moms contest I was nominated for, I discovered quite a few blogs and spent some time reading them. Twelve days after her posting it, I read one of Bonzai Aphrodite’s final post and felt for her. At the same time I could feel myself becoming obsessed with my own blog and trying to live up to my own expectations, trying not to give into the fact that I work 50 + hours a week, while at the same time trying to be an active participant in my daughter’s life, making sure my husband and I stay engaged and have time for each other, starting my own company, homeschooling the little vegan and creating new recipes for the blog a couple of times a week. In the process of organizing all these elements I lost sight of the fact that I need sleep and sanity in order to accomplish anything.

As 2012 moved on there were numerous incidents that left me feeling all hope was gone. We had an unsuccessful Kickstarter, which had been hope for a new life and the possibility of a career that went hand in hand with our vegan lifestyle. Family and friends began calling me one of those crazies for my stand on animal rights along with the idea that I was “brainwashing” my child, even from those that believe in a plant-based diet for health reasons. I was basically told from someone close to me that my blog looked like crap and would never be successful due to my lack of professional looking pictures. I am reminded daily at how NOT technically savvy I am, trying to do something that is completely technical, which has become a handicap for this blog (if anyone is willing to trade classes on basic blog functions for awesome vegan meals let me know!) And then the worse thing for me, the inability to finish out the month of Vegan MOFO.

Before the 2011 MOFO even ended I had plans of what I was going to do for the next one. The idea for my theme changed monthly and I was so excited. During the course of the year my work schedule changed, leaving me with only my weekends to blog. I still hadn’t given up on my ability to do MOFO. I figured with the theme Ode to Vegan Bloggers, I couldn’t go wrong. Guess what, I was able to mess it up and unfortunately, even with my best intentions I wasn’t able to make it through the month.

Hey, but in this month of being Thankful I have to remember the great things that have happened this year that have made it possible to keep going. Who knew our vegan Girl Scout baking sale in lieu of selling cookies would have been so successful? Thanks for all those that supported, we will be doing it again this year!   We have opened a lot of eyes to Veganism and the fact that it is not as hard as one might think, the food can be delicious and that it is a healthier lifestyle when done right. We have at least a thousand new friends joining us for the Don’t Fear the Vegan ride and the numbers are growing daily! Plus we continue to spread the word and be a voice for the animals that are unable to speak for themselves!

Okay, I have spilled my guts and no matter how horrific some of the events in my life have been, if I vent I have always been able to move on. This year has not been horrible just some rough personal patches so I have filled up my little bubble and am going to blow all the bad stuff away for good! What is in store for Don’t Fear the Vegan in the future? Let me tell you.

I need to cut back to one recipe a week (which has already happened, I am just telling myself.) I will continue to post interesting things here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, about Veganism, health, animal rights and anything else I think the readers of DFV may enjoy. We (mostly hubby and the little vegan) are trying really hard to get cooking videos made to show just how easy it really is to cook our recipes. I have learned how to use my camera for food photography so the recipes on here will be visually appealing. We are going to move forward with our seitan company, at least locally for now. I am also hoping to start writing the cookbook I have always wanted to write. No time to look back…keep moving forward!!

Thanks to all of you for sharing your journeys, following along and helping us grow. I love the community that we have become and the larger vegan community we are apart of on this amazing world-wide web. Together we are going to do great things!!

XO,

Steffi

My first shot sans the camera phone. Thanks again to my sis for the photography class!

 

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13 Responses to Life, the Universe, and Everything

  1. myrtg says:

    I feel for you and admire your tenacity. Keep up the good work! The only people who fail are those who don’t try. That might be me. You have inspired me!

  2. Rebecca says:

    i’ve always enjoyed your blog! the content is better than a lot of blogs with fancy cameras and light boxes, so don’t stress!

  3. I think all of us involved in the vegan/animal advocacy area go through a rough spell like you are. I’m involved in exotic animal rescue and I can tell you that there are a lot of lows compared to the highs. But, I guess I just keep realizing the old saying “Saving one animal will not save the world… but surely, for that one animal the world will change forever” seems to apply even to our veganism efforts. You’ve already changed the world of SO many people! Take comfort in the fact that 1000 people have been moved by what you’ve done so far. The rest is gravy…..vegan gravy, of course 🙂 We all love your blog!!!!!

  4. Tammy says:

    I LOVE your blog. There will always be naysayers who want to see people fail…it’s due to their own shortcomings, easier to look at others rather than themselves. I give you much kudos for knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and still doing it. WOO-HOO! Never stop doing so. You have avid followers for a reason!

    I am going through peri-menopause and am 44….the “fear of doom” anxiety kicked in last year…soooo not fun! What helped me…I had to remove all wheat, which sadly included vital wheat gluten and it made a huge difference. BUT was still have some moodiness and only around PMS week would the anxiety still mildly try to rear it’s head. So I added Evening Primrose Oil, more soy (regular soy and tempeh…not overly processed stuff), and 5-HTP and it’s AMAZING. I occasionally have night sweats but not hot flashes so I do not take Black Cohosh…there seems to be controversial information out there on it. Hoping soy will always do the trick. Oh, and I added basic Yoga. I have Meniere’s which causes me to be off balance a lot so I have a very easy Yoga DVD for the elderly and those with disabilities or injuries, but even that truly helps calm my mind. Even if you just did the Mountain Pose and Downward Dog for 5 minutes 2 or 3x a day, I think you would feel a difference.

    Hang in there! I hope this helps! And take life more slowly…do what you can, and let it go. 🙂
    Tammy

  5. narf77 says:

    The best way to stop stress related things is to stop stressing! Why are you putting yourself through this hell? Everything that you mentioned here is a quest for some sort of perfection that is completely unattainable and that our consumeristic society has thrust down our throats in a nefarious attempt to make us feel constantly less than “normal” thus keeping us spending to try to get there. I put your wonderful blog in my rss feed reader after following vegan mofo for the very first time this year. I didn’t put many blogs here…I am very discerning…if I thought that your blog was worth it…why can’t you? I think you are listening to too many “outside” voices and not enough to that little inside voice that is telling you to slow down and smell the roses. You have to fix how you look at the world from inside and then you will be able to deal with the external stresses that life has a habit of flinging at us. I think you also need to step back and take a real look at what you are actually stressing about. When you put it alongside some of the real stressful things that people have to go through like having to walk 10 miles to carry your daily water back to your village on your head…maybe your stresses are storms in teacups? I am not trying to tell you how to live your life…I am just trying to tell you to be kind to yourself. I love this blog. I don’t care if you only post a recipe once a month! I felt a connection with a fellow human being on the other side of the world and wanted to enjoy how you write over my first early morning cup of tea before the rush of life settled in. Please go easy on yourself…don’t fall victim to the hype that our consumeristic society throws us into and definately don’t let yourself get caught up in the rush to get to the top. If we stop and take a good look at whats at the apex…its all downhill from there baby! 🙂 Cheers for a great blog.

    • Being as I allowed my self to sleep in today and am now enjoying my first cup of coffee as I read this, I have to let you know this was a great read to start my day with! Thanks for the advice and kind words!!! And thanks for following along. 🙂

      • narf77 says:

        No thanks needed on your side, I am the lucky one getting to read your blog on a regular basis :). Glad you had a good start to your day…things always seem to go well when you have a good start to your day to fall back on 🙂

  6. Pingback: Questions on Vegan Recipes For Kids Your Questions About Vegan Meals On A Budget | Questions on Vegan Recipes For Kids

  7. Pingback: 2012 Don’t Fear the Vegan Style | Don't Fear The Vegan

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