Monday, January 18, 2010


I feel nudges a lot. I'll hear the same message, in slightly different forms, again and again. Nudging me. Telling me that it is time to take some action.

I don't believe in coincidence. There are no accidents, and so, I must honor these nudges.


For the last year, people have asked me to read The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan.  

I'm scared to do it.

I'm afraid that it will force me to radically change the way I feed my family and myself, and I'm afraid I won't be able to afford it.

I mean, we can't afford organic food. We shop at Wal-Mart, even though I know it is a soul-crushing place that treats its employees poorly. I know.

We're doing the best we can---we do the farmer's market in the kinder months. However, we don't buy milk or cheese or beef at a farmer's market.

Even if I drove an hour out of my way to buy meat at Whole Foods, I daresay much of it has been corn-fed and Lord knows what else.

Reading this book would make it impossible to hide. Although knowledge is power, I also sometimes choose to be an ostrich.

I'm scared that I might know what I need to do, and still be unable to provide it.

(I'm not reading Skinny Bitch for the same reason).

I feel like I do not do enough to help other people. I read about the things others do, and I listen to the stories of others, and I remain purposefully numb.

I deny the basic call to help.

I've felt this nudge, a persistent little ache, to do more, to help more, to be more. To give more and to take less.

I need goals and I need accountability---so here is my thought: As of this writing, I have 89 followers. What if I pledged to give eighty-nine hours of service in 2010?

Service could be helping out a friend, or volunteering or doing a job that needs to be done. 

I can do eighty-nine hours.Then, I'll blog about it here and there.

You heard it here, Internet. Anybody with me? An hour per follower?

Let me know if you feel the nudge.


Ms. Moon said...

Does working in my garden or with my chickens count?

Nancy C said...

I think so. You're feeding people, right?

Jen said...

Nancy, funny about your post, because I am currently reading Omnivore's Dilemma. Like it, but dont love it---too many facts for me. However, I would highly recommend Barbara Kingsolver's, Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. A 'soft' story about her year of food. 89 things: easy, when you realize that a simple smile toward a stranger may be the only act or kindness they receive that day.

Tom said...

I'd recommend pollan's In Defense of Food over the Omnivore's Dilema. More concrete and tangeable. He's great though. Talk to Ryan and annette about him sometime. He lives in berkley too, and they've seen him speak and loooooove him.

Bethany said...

i know just what you mean about nudges, and also about hiding, just not wanting to know.

i love your service idea (well for you).
i'll THINK about it.
Maybe if you post again about it, it will nudge me!

Frau said...

I agree with you I feel the nudges but am afraid. Service is the best reward I say go for it.

michelle said...

You write about one of my greatest struggles-knowledge vs. action

It's so hard to be aware of things and then feel as though it's impossible to do enough. And the "every little bit counts" just doesn't cut it.

Omnivore's Dilemma has probably had a greater impact on me than any other book I've read. Which is kind of crazy, but true.

Service work makes my heart happy

AudreyO said...

Check out some articles and blog on "organic on a budget" You'd be amazed at what you can do on a budget. Just one thought, buy meat when on sale and freeze it.

Read the book, you might get some ideas on additional things you can do without breaking the bank.

Here's my unasked for two're already feeling guilty that you're not doing more, so read the book, get some ideas, do a little bit more, read some blogs and articles and then you'll have done a'll have read the book, ridded yourself of some guilt and gotten some new ideas :)

Robin said...

I saw that guy on Bill Maher..excellent info and message..I have'nt read it yet..Im so behind in reading..but I agree its so unaffordable to keep up with..just a little here and there will contribute..but I guess we all need to do something wherever we can..

Travis said...

I think it's very admirable, but I won't hold you to it.

89 hours is a lot.

I mean...

That's TV time. ;)

Muliebrity said...

What if you spend 89 hours writing "A Skinny Bitches Dilemma" It's hard to be hot and giving of your time. People need to know this.

I am in the deepest depths of po-dunkville (yes, even deeper than SOMD), but have had great luck with In a few key strokes I have fresh goats milk, grass fed beef from a closed herd and several "local" co-ops. I have also met a few like minded people (and a lot of Mennonites). While I can get next to no organic food here, I can get transitional and natural foods in season (damn winter!).

Caution Flag said...

I think that's a great idea! And now I'm so glad I don't have many followers. Do we have the entire year?

Melani said...

I will have to check out the book since I have no clue as to what it is about.
We are on a tight budget, too. The little ones and I are vegetarian and the other 3 are not. While this can make for problems when trying to feed everyone the same things, I have incorporated more veggies at dinnertime and if they don't like it then they don't eat, same goes for the little ones.

I do our grocery shopping for under 100 bucks, under 90, shute yesterday it was 82.00 exactely.

ok I am rambling. but on the topic of helping others, have you considered helping at your church? Maybe babysitting on a Sunday, that can help a lot of people at one time. Or going to an old people's home and helping there. I think it is awesome to want to help, but don't spread yourself too thin. You do have a family that you help all the time. :)

Corrie Howe said...

I get nudges too. I'm glad I'm not getting nudge about the things you are getting nudged about.

I'll hold you accountable if you really want me too. ;-)

Rebecca said...

That's awesome that you'll do 89 hour for each follower. For my hour, can you go to the NICU and hold newborn babies. Be a cuddler or whatever they are called?

Once the kids get in school full time (both of them) I want to pick one day out of the week, maybe two to hold NICU babies. If they will let me.

SamiJoe said... have me thinking on the follower thing.
now i just need someone to watch my kids...but perhaps, i can work it in.
i'll let you know.
but i am here to support you, if you need it!

Cat said...

Very cool, and love the service idea. Whether I do it will depend on how the upcoming visitation and child support hearing shakes out for me, but if it works out I'm in!

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

totally agree with you on the nudges. i feel them all the time and am not always willing to follow. i'm like you, i want to be healthy, but i don't have a boatload of money to spend on shopping at whole foods constantly. it's a dilemma. i do the best i can with farmer's markets and other good foods i can find cheaper. don't give yourself a hard time! you are definitely enlightened.

noisycolorfullively said...

I love it! Give 'till you feel it. I'm with you sister!