Saturday, November 20, 2010


This week is a tough one for me.

Part 1:
Wednesday was my mother's birthday, her first since she passed away. In a way I used to dread her birthday because it meant trying to go see her not on my terms. Visiting my mother wasn't easy. Nursing homes and 3 year olds are not a good mix. When Nathan was really little, it was ok because he could stay in his carrier or I'd hold him, or we could sit him on my mother's bed. But once he started moving it was much more difficult.

The drive to see her was an hour each way. If I didn't time it right, I'd sit in terrible traffic. If Nathan fell asleep, it would screw up his bed time. If he didn't, I'd endure complaining about the drive. Either way it was not the most pleasant. But I recognized how important it was to go see her, and for her to see Nathan, particularly on her birthday. But it wasn't my terms. I had to go THAT week, THAT day. And if I didn't for a good reason (one of us was sick, or she was) then I felt terrible guilt.

Talking on the phone to her was not easy either. Either she couldn't get the call because her phone wasn't working or it was on speaker and her busy-body roommate would jump in or eavesdrop (if you can call it that when a phone is on speaker). If I left a message, I never knew if she got it until the next time I talked to her, so enter the feeling of "should I be feeling guilty because she thinks I didn't call her."

But this year, I didn't have the guilt, I didn't have to plan a visit (which is good, because Nathan and I both have colds I wouldn't want her to catch and therefore I'd feel guilty). I didn't have to try to call and listen to her stupid roommate. I didn't have to try to think of something to get her and then have her tell me that it wasn't right for whatever reason. I didn't have to listen to Nathan complain because he didn't even know. I'm not sure any of this is any consolation since she's gone. And I miss her.

Part 2:
Today marks 4 years since my grandfather passed away. While he and I were talking in the months before he passed, the few years before that we were not. It's a very long story why, not worth rehashing here, but suffice to say I regret that time. I would love to say if I had it to do over I'd do it differently, but I know me and I know him and we were both too stubborn to have it any other way until I found out he had cancer. And it's not lost on me that calling him for the first time in years because I found out he was sick is really cliche and lame. But it's what happened.

I was pregnant at the time he passed, due in 8 weeks. It was evident he'd never meet his first great-grandson. This saddened me deeply and still does. I think he would love Nathan and get such a kick out of him. I also think that when Nathan was acting up, he'd tell me how fresh he is (he'd be right) and how he is just like I was. And he'd say that in a disapproving way, just like my mother did. Then I would get mad, he wouldn't know why and we'd be arguing. But I'm not sure avoiding all that is any consolation now that he's gone. And I miss him.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Follow up on 2011 goals

Two posts in one week, can it be????

I really appreciate the support on the last post. I do want to clarify what I meant by small things.

My ultimate goal is to create a home that is the most natural, green, sustainable place I can. I want what I do to be done with intention and thought, not just a quick and easy fix to a problem. Quick and easy has a time and a place, but I've held on to that long after it became apparent to me that with a little effort I could do better.

So some of the "small" things to create that household would include the following:
Eliminate all processed foods (cooking everything from scratch)
Eliminate all harmful cleansers (making all of our cleaning products)
Eliminate all plastics that touch food
Reduce consumption of resources (water, energy, car usage)
Reduce garbage (composting, less purchasing of products that create garbage)
Eliminate all harmful personal care products (lotions, soaps/shampoos, toothpaste)
Grow as much of our food as possible and obtain other food in the most sustainable way

That's what I've come up with so far. If i look at this list, it's overwhelming. So when I say one small change each month, I mean a plan of action to actively work towards each goal. If I went all out, I'd be out in a week!

As I flesh out these goals, I'm hoping to make up a schedule. Obviously I won't be planting a garden in January, but it would be great if I could plan out what I could grow and where. The super planner in me thinks maybe breaking down each monthly goal into weekly action items would be a great idea. Part of me thinks I'm just looking for an excuse to make a spreadsheet.

(Post written early in the morning, pre-caffeine, with a child yapping in the background about next Halloween's plans. And I'm not spell checking. So there.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The end of the year is coming

Well, here it is again, November. Every year I hope by November I'll be farther along in my goals or doing things differently or something. But somehow between my mom passing away in April and the move to the new house in June I lost about 6 months. I don't know what happened, but I do know I'm less than satisfied with it.

I'm an idealistic person - I get these ideas in my head of things that I think it would be nice to be or do. None of the ideas are impossible, there are tons of people out there who do all things I dream of and then some, I'm sure. But I'm also sure that they didn't decide one morning upon waking that they would make some major overhaul of everything they do and every piece of their life would magically fall into place. Somewhere along the way I got it into my head that this could happen. It won't.

I'm well aware I can't be all things to all people, but I'm slowly coming around to the notion that I can't be all things to myself either. I let a few things go - things that I thought it would be great to be seen as, but not so great to be doing. I have the utmost respect for people who do some things, it doesn't mean I have to do it to. This should not be a shocking concept. I do not know why it took me so long to figure it out for myself.

In my infinite love of planning, I'm thinking of how I can try to incorporate all of my goals in such a way that they are not overwhelming and therefore stick. I think the idea that's working (in my head at least) for me is a monthly goal. I'll pick something for January, if I'm seeing progress I'm pleased with, I'll add something new for February. One small change per month. That should be attainable, right? And there's what, about 6 weeks left in the year? That should be enough time to pick something for January, right?

But what to pick, what to pick...