But of late, my mindset, perspective, outlook and priorities have been going through a process of evolving as well.
I've been reading Organic Sister blog from Day 1 until current (right now I'm on April 2008) and I find that MANY of the things this gal writes about really resonate with my soul.
See, deep down I think I was meant to be a hippie, tree-hugger 'granola-y' activist kinda girl. But for whatever reason...society, fear, trying to 'fit in' or just because it is hard, I haven't really lived up to my deeper seated beliefs about how I want to and how I believe I should live...and what messages I want to pass down to my children through my own lifestyle and actions.
So far I haven't been happy with what messages I have been sending.
There is less and less every year that I agree with and support in commercialized society. Problem is, though in my mind I protest things in commercial society like the industrialized food industry, environmental abuse, political &/or governmental control (or attempt to control) over our families and children and so on...there has been little or no action on my part to set me apart from those things that I don't agree with.
I'm overweight...actually obese. I eat junk food, food riddled with 'fake' food, the stuff that is easy, cheap and horrible for me...instead of the fresh, local, natural and truly healthy stuff that my body truly needs. How does that support my internal disillusionment with the industrialized food industry?
In recent years our family was directly affected by unexpected and uninvited local governmental (and, as we learned in our naivete, political) involvement in our family. An involvement that we strongly and loudly opposed and in time were able to drive away. But it opened our eyes to the reality that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" (in this case by governmental or political groups). And some times it isn't even "good intentions" that drive political or governmental actions. After what our family went through (not trying to be cryptic, just protecting those involved in the situation), I vowed in my heart that I'd find a way to stand up for some serious injustices that we faced and that I was sure that many, many other people and families face on a regular basis. We agreed to do an interview about our experience to hopefully let others (and even those in governmental offices) learn about how our situation was mishandled and destructive. But I haven't yet given the release for that video to be used. And there is so much more I want to do.
I want to live sustainably. Naturally. As an advocate for myself and my family. As a supporter for what is right. I want my life to reflect it. I'm ready.
So does that mean I'm going to become a spokesperson, lobbyist, or a crazy woman who chains myself to a tree or takes my family to live in the deep woods away from commercialized society? Probably not. But maybe.
But I do know I want to start moving towards embracing and living out my ideals. Some things I've already started doing (and it really isn't much...yet.) are:
- Gardening. Last year I grew herbs and veggies in containers on our deck. Living in a townhome we couldn't do much more. This year I'm using the deck and two 10x20 garden plots in a community garden.
- Getting more active. Tonight I went on a walk with my two daughters and earlier on a bike ride with my youngest. Just for fun. On Mother's Day I ran a 5K.
- Eating less meat. Okay...this one is still very much in the baby beginning stages...but I have tried and found we liked several vegetarian (even vegan!) main dishes that I have served regularly for dinner. I'm looking for more...
- Being more aware of recycling. And not just rinsing out jars and breaking down boxes to put in our weekly recycling box, but repurposing things too. For example, I've been rinsing and saving yogurt containers to use with the kids crafts and things.
1 - I want to have a different food-related challenge each month. I'm thinking of this:
June - purchase NO junk food whatsoever. No pop, no fast food, no sugary, fatty, zero nutritional benefit kind of foods. Not for me, not for my husband, not for my kids. Not gonna do it.
July - Go Raw..or semi-raw? I need to look into this further, but I think I want to try a raw diet for the month of July. But between now and then? Research on how to make it feasible.
August - Go Local...all summer long I plan to use as many local resources (aka Farmers Markets) as possible to get our groceries and other household necessities from. But for August I'd like to do absolutely as much as possible local.
2 - I want to join Freecycle and up my talent for shopping at thrift stores, on Craigslist, via garage sales, etc to find what we need or desire for our household. Not only is this an environmental focus, but a financial one as well.
3 - I homeschool my kids. We plan to keep learning over the summer, though in a more 'unschooling' fashion than our more structured school year. I want to keep learning too. I have a ton of documentaries queued up in Netflix to keep me learning, and I am compiling a book list as well. I better pay off those library fines so I can start using the library again (also an environmental action!).
4 - I want to make my own natural stuff to use around the house. I used to make homemade laundry detergent but stopped eons ago? Why? Convenience I'm sure. I want to learn how to make and use natural cleaners, natural body & hair cleansers, even natural bug & weed control for my garden!
There is more, but that is a start. Call me crazy, call me fired up, call me whatever...but I'm calling me Ready. Ready to do something about the stuff I've done nothing about for way too long...with the consequences of my inaction breathing heavily down my back.