Life's Other Adventures

Pageants, Peace, and Paleo

I am a girly girl. If I could I would do Crossfit in heels, yoga in a floor length gown, and to be honest, the world just looks better through mascara covered curled lashes.

I love this time of year, not for the snow or the cold (although I do have a place in my heart for both), but mostly because of the glitz and glamour the winter provides. In my personal opinion it all starts before the holidays with the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. Two hours of beautiful bodies, wings, jewels, and stilettos. As the holidays end and I start to work off the padding of the holidays, the guilt of those perfect on screen bodies we move into Hollywood’s awards season. Golden Globes, SAG Awards, the Oscar’s! Gown after gown, hairdo after hairdo, I am in heaven. But in the middle of these both comes my personal favorite, the real world cross bread of Hollywood star’s and Lingerie models; The Miss America Pageant. The 52 women get dressed to the nines, they wear gowns and bikinis, they tap dance and sing, and then, they try with all of their might to convince us that their biggest concerns are literacy and world peace.

This past weekend in a dull moment at work I was talking to two of my coworker friends and divulged my lifelong dream of being Ms. America. I demonstrated my smile, my wave, my strut across the stage. Next, they asked to hear my speech and the topic of course was world peace. So being the jaded girl I am I of course rattled off a quick speech of the problem with world peace being people, and to be honest, I think I was on to something good. So I will expand on it all here. I thought about putting on a gown and heels to write this post by the way, but I decided against it in the end.

Here I am in my glory doing a photoshoot for an amazing photographer friend. Visit her at www.kellystremmelblog.com
Here I am in my glory doing a photoshoot for an amazing photographer friend. Visit her at http://www.kellystremmelblog.com

The Problem with Peace is People
How sad is that, right? But it is true. See, peace is defined at the lack of violent conflict, and while I think much can be attempted to remove violence, conflict will always remain. People, in our nature are selfish. It is unfortunate and true, and if you are reading this and denying your selfish nature you are worse off than I thought. We can make an effort to put others ahead of ourselves but the minute their needs get in the way of an important enough desire of our own we move past them and do what is best for us. This, as I explained in my speech, is the root of the issues with world peace. How can we try on a global level to get nations and tribes accomplish what we aren’t willing to do in our daily lives, in line at the coffee shop, or in disagreements with friends and family?

This has been the case for thousands of years. Take our caveman friends for example. See for them, they had to be selfish, it was life or death. You protect yourself or you worry about others and in protecting them you die. But today, very few issues or conflicts we face in our daily lives hold death as the undesired outcome. We manage to find conflict, and for that matter, even violent conflict over small disagreements, little arguments or mismatched priorities. Maybe if you and I stopped trying to fix global peace and instead focused on achieving peace in our personal relationships we could get a step closer to them both. Once something is a habit or practice on the small day to day level, it is easier to smoothly transition it into how your world works. The more people who do it, the more of an effect it can have.

Like exercise and even diet! Slowly, I feel less like I am forcing myself to work out and more like it is a part of my routine, like brushing my teeth twice a day or taking my at least once weekly bubble bath. My diet has felt the same way. At first, eliminating gluten seemed like a chore last spring. Although, at the time I was living on liquids so the transition was rather smooth, but as I began to eat normal food again and bread and beer and other glutenous delicacies were banned I struggled, I missed them. I would bake for others and catch myself wanting to taste the batter when I was done. Warm bread and oil at the beginning of a meal out were torture! Today however, it just seems normal that it isn’t a part of my diet. The bigger the change, the harder to maintain, I guess maybe that’s why peace is so tough. This brings me to the Paleo part of my blog post today. To be honest, you Paleo people are crazy, and I have no intention to follow your diet completely. Call me crazy but the nurse in me struggles to justify how that can possibly be healthy. And by the way, eggs are dairy and fruit has natural sugar. But, some of the principles do make sense, within reason, and with a little balance. Believe me, there is no room for me to have a dairy-free sugar-free gluten-free diet. But I will make an effort to have at least one Paleo meal a day, and maybe eventually a Paleo day a week. As I work for that change I am sure it will get easier, like any change you make.

So this is my goal for myself and challenge for you in the coming week. I am going to take a week long hiatus from conflict. I do NOT anticipate this will be easy. Those who know me well will agree I am opinionated, bossy, and stubborn. I am not Iceland by any means. But I think it is worth a shot. I will try to hear other sides of the story, see other perspectives, walk in others’ shoes. I am going to replace the priority of winning or being right with the priority of peace. Can you do it will me? I think it is fitting that today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day to remember a man who dreamed that people of different colors would play together safely, in harmony, peacefully. In some ways, the days of overt racial prejudice seem so far in the past, but at the same way, our achievement of peace is no closer. I think this will be a good challenge. It will also be a good exercise and lesson in loving the people around us, and learning a selfless nature that is so important.

Last week I made it to Crossfit twice. I still haven’t gotten the confidence to tackle a 5am workout before a 12hr shift but I know I will need to if I want to fit in three times a week on my busy week at work. This week works better for my workout schedule. Today I head to Crossfit soon then yoga tonight with a bunch of crazy PICU nurses.

Good luck in peace this week and let me know how it is going for you! Also if you have a moment today, use it to remember Dr. King. Take a moment to read some of his speeches or famous quotes, he truly was a man who knew and valued strong character, selfless action, and peace, even on the small personal level.

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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