When did I get all vanilla?

I’ve gotten flat. And I’m not just talking about my boobs, which have definitely paid the price for nursing two children.

My life is flat. Vanilla. Plain. Boring.

Recently I went to pick up a cake I’d ordered. We were celebrating my birthday, Mother’s Day with my mom, and my Dad’s birthday all of which fell within 3 days of each other. Here’s what was waiting for me at the bakery:

The most drab, boring cake I’d ever seen. Granted, I’d told the baker I wanted ‘Happy Day’ written on the cake, but I’d explained what we were celebrating, so I assumed he would add some ornamentation. Nope. I opened the cake box and I just wanted to cry.

There it was staring right back at me- my life is vanilla and boring.

I used to be a rocky road kinda gal. I was never a thrill-seeker by any stretch of the imagination, but I had my own version of excitement. After all, I spent my twenties in NYC, living the life of a single woman in a big city!

But somewhere along the way, my tastes began to shift. At first I found myself craving plain chocolate ice cream, dropping the nuts and marshmallows. And eventually I preferred the simple taste of vanilla. Plain old vanilla.

So what happened? In some ways, life slowed down. But in many other (different) ways, the pace picked up. Becoming a mom led to many of the changes. Taking care of the kids is definitely a full-time job, that I’m grateful to embrace. But I started going to bed earlier, eating healthier, working out every day. And while these were the external physical choices I was making for myself, most of the time, my attention was on everyone else and over time I started losing myself. Literally. My vanilla life led to weight loss and, yes, flat boobs.

(I do realize I’m using two metaphors here. I’m just gonna go with it!)

But maybe I'm looking at this all backwards. What if I came into this world as a vanilla sort of gal and for a short period of time I lived a rocky road lifestyle? And it’s only with age and wisdom that I’ve been able to honor the truth of my taste?

And the bigger question is when did being vanilla become boring and bad? I’m clearly holding some judgments around being vanilla. I have a history of feeling put down, dumb, stupid or boring because I’m not a thrill seeker or because I prefer a relaxing night on the couch as opposed to going out.

So before I move along too quickly, I’d like to forgive myself for judging myself as boring, flat and vanilla. And for judging boring, flat and vanilla as bad.

Because there can be a quiet excitement to being vanilla. After all, there are several varieties of vanilla- there’s French Vanilla, Vanilla Bean, and Sweet Vanilla.

And maybe this really has more to do with the fact that when my life does slow down for a moment or two, I’m feeling nostalgic for a different time. (Read: mid-life) And maybe I’m just aging into a quieter, calmer me.

So I’ll continue to enjoy my vanilla life with my new re-framed outlook. And once in a while, I’ll make an effort to add some mix-ins, just to keep it interesting. (And maybe that will help the flat boobs too.) But mostly, I’m going to acknowledge that whether vanilla, chocolate, strawberry or rainbow sherbet, my life is full of love, laughter, and happiness. And in the end, that’s really what matters.

In loving,

Sarah

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