In two weeks, I'll have been blogging here for ONE YEAR ... I am so proud of who I've taken the time to become in that year, so very different -- calmer, healthier -- than the desperate girl I was, searching the Internet in vain for an escape from a world I could at the time not see. I found it, but it's no longer an escape. It's a journey I'm enjoying down a different path. There are more flowers here, and lots of warm breezes. Behind some bushes here and there are people from the world I left, rolling their eyes and making sarcastic comments. I walk on, head held high, knitting bag over my shoulder, and with a sack of delicious, healthy homemade food in tow.
My life, of course, is not perfect despite having made many, many changes in the way I shop, eat, spend my free time. I still consume too much new (we won't discuss the new clothes I bought at Target tonight, curse me), I still eat nothing but carbohydrates some days minus all veggies (those are the days where a potato chip is a veg, you know), I'm still searching for the love of my life (is he still searching for me? don't give up!!), I'm still trying very hard to make close friends here.
But here's what I have done:
ditched my microwave and started making about 95 percent of what i eat from SCRATCH.
got rid of bags and bags of *stuff* i just didn't need
rid over 95 percent of all poisonous chemicals (from makeup to shampoo and body lotions to laundry and dish detergents, and cleaners) from my home
set up my apartment so it's a place that's comfortable for both me and others, as opposed to always going out somewhere
started shopping mainly at secondhand, antique, fair trade, and LOCAL shops as opposed to the big chain stores (earlier comment about Target notwithstanding, lol)
made homemade bread for the first time!
learned how to knit ... i'm now onto hats!!
discovered the joys of public radio shows
eliminated cable television from my life ... POOF!! i don't miss ya.
really cut down on christmas gifts, wrapping, etc.
never once asked for plastic at the store, and the rare times i did get it for whatever reason i immediately reused for the cats. now i use fair-trade wicker baskets from Indonesia at the grocery store, and adorable net bags i bought on etsy.
became more involved in my community, volunteering at a local farm and meeting up with Earthsave Louisville people
rededicated myself to pleasure reading (i have an intention of reading six books this year, so far i'm one and a quarter in!)
become much, much, much calmer and able to better manage my anxiety. i seriously (seriously) attribute this to knowing there are others just like me all over the world, and i am continually inspired by your beautiful blogs and dedication to the truly "normal" life. i also attribute to becoming once more dedicated to my yoga practice, and to regular flipping through calming books like Peace is Every Step, Meditations from the Mat, and the Tao de Ching. And, I think, besides the better vitamins and diet, just for the first time ever in my life truly feeling comfortable in my own skin, with where i live, and with what i'm doing for myself.
... these are just some of the things i can think of at the moment (i'm realizing homework will not be started after all tonight, yes, i'm still a horrible procrastinator!). I'm so glad to still be here, and to have met all of you whose blogs i read regularly (see links on the left of my page). Glad beyond belief. I don't even remember that woman from a year ago.
I've pasted my post below, just in case you're curious. Again, much love to myself and to all of you. This is really the best way, even if we do stumble quite a bit in the beginning ... isn't it GRAND?
My first post (March 19,2008)
I created this blog to jot my ideas for mindful, simple, old-fashioned, spiritual living. Sick to death of this rude, hurried, overworked, overscheduled, wasteful America that thrives on television and driving Hummers and resorting to violence from our language to our video games, worried very much about the future of our children, I wanted to create a place of refuge from the daily onslaught of anxiety I find myself struggling through.
I'd eventually like to say I live in a fairly green home. I am working on learning to knit and garden (at least grow a few herbs in my small apartment!). I want to live close enough to my job to walk or bike, even if the weather is inclement. I want to continue my journey into the depths of our food "industries" and keep up cooking-from-scratch experiments. I want to rid all the poisonous chemicals from my home. I want to find my life partner, who I call my "tofu man..." but most of all I just want to be GLOWING from within with the joy a simple, clutter-free life can bring.
We all have the time to cook, clean, and lead fulfilling lives. and raise wonderful children who are allowed to use their imaginations and intelligence to their utmost without being drones in front of a tv, without eating snacks loaded with high fructose corn syrup, and without being overscheduled to death. they ARE capable of doing chores without despising their parents. we need to teach them to be happy without happiness that's attached to a clothing label, or a cheap plastic toy, or a whole pile of fancily-wrapped birthday presents. we can encourage them to love serving their community. to sing, to really, truly sing!!
and this, i believe, we can do for ourselves, too. it just takes effort and commitment, utmost commitment, and extreme love for yourself and for others, whether or not it's religious.
namaste! i am so glad to be here ... when the flower of my life has just begun to unfold its petals!