In a recent Facebook post, I amused myself with “Contradict Your Cucumber.” But, I didn't include why it's so important ~ and why it's especially important to reassure the little green cuke. Here's why.
But, first, let's just circle back on a modest point: that is, since most social media is a family channel, I try to keep my humor to PG-13. But, temptation is, well, tempting.
So, in that Facebook (FB) post, I wrote:
Hands hovering over my keyboard, I paused. Make it a late night with girlfriends, and this could go downtown fast with HBO’s mature-audiences. But, its daylight and, as a (semi-)respectable gardening therapist, I corralled myself: "Keep it uptown, Gurrl. Be PG-13."
You tell me; I mean, my post couldn't resist the human contradiction of naughty and nice all at once. So, I added:
Salad! My nice girl prevailed, but happily not without a struggle.
Posting Kermit-green pics, I suggested we slice our liver-cleansing cucumbers into our liver-toxic gin & tonics, plus added a few other foodie ideas so you'd be kind about my party attitude. You can scroll to the very end of this mashup for the exact wording or click through to the actual Facebook post here.
Meanwhile, the real importance is to just plain contradict your everyday, ho-hum "cucumber" habits, period. And, it is important. It's so important, that your cucumber will more than likely protest your new ideas. So, when it does, here's what you can do:
Reassure Your Cucumber
- Find a relaxed place to sit with the cucumber. Maybe a breezy farmer’s market where the green fella can see other veggies and know it’s not alone.
- Then, and this is why contradicting your old ways is important, so cue in here: Gently explain that shifting away from a routine loosens up your brain’s dulled pathways, making you more creative, more alive. Sure, maybe even uncertain or fearful, but that qualifies as more alive ~ not flat lined. So, no, you’re not going to have another salad. You're just not.
- But, this doesn’t change how you feel about the cucumber's familiarity. You and the cuke go way back. So, give the little green soon-to-be pickle an extra bit of reassurance. Changing life up for ourselves might be tricky, but it feels even trickier to those around us. It’s hard for them, too; it triggers latent fears of loss and unworthiness.
Inevitably, a silent and nearly-unconscious worry crosses the mind:
Spontaneity Sparks the Spiff
So, yes definitely: Reassure your buddy that, while your simple almost-humdrum rituals of sharing salads make you feel secure in this chaotic world (& this is important), spontaneity is just as important. It spiffs life up.
Spontaneity doesn't have to be loud or Instagram worthy. It just has to be sincere; for instance, there's talking out loud about dreams or, again, there's wanting to skip the salad, so to speak. This kind of newness takes courage. A lot of courage.
Just know that, well, if you try something new, you might accidentally annoy your cucumber, your old standby salad companion (which, by the way, usually is a sign of that unconscious worry I just talked about, that you'll leave them.) So, yes, yes, yes, encourage your cucumber to, alongside you, try more spontaneity for itself, too.
Tell 'em this:
And if, after these little life lessons, your cucumber is still talking to you, and you find yourself talking to it, um, well, maybe drink one less cucumber-doused gin & tonic.
- Since cucumbers clean the liver, dice some up and keep a pitcher in the frig. No need to peel them. Plus, secretly enjoy the lemons getting jealous.
- Contradict the cucumber's liver-cleaning benefits by slicing it into your alcohol, especially a gin & tonic.
- Still on the job so no party drinks for you? Contradict hot soup. Puree your cukes into plain yogurt. Toss in minced onion, garlic, dill, whatever for a heat-wave-my-ass, quick, pretty chilled soup.”