Please welcome back from retirement, my first blogger love, Burbanmom. She always made me laugh. She frequently made me think. And she sometimes made me cry. The Booth is beyond excited to have Burbs stick her big toe back into the blogging world with today's guest post. - Green Bean
So... where were we? Oh yea, I was hanging up my keyboard in favor of "real-world" interaction. And I must admit, it's going just swimmingly.
I am BEYOND excited to be back in school - I already have two classes under my belt and I'm starting another class next week... The kiddos are out of school for the summer and we are having more fun than a bucket full of iguanas... Hubby and I actually had a grown-up get-away last month - the first in almost two years (ok, it did end in him in the hospital with kidney stones, but other than that little incident, it was a really nice time)... And the Environmental Committee is up and running and doing all sorts of good stuff.
All things told, this "real-world" is a nice place to live. Real nice. I'm surprised it took me so long to get back to it.
What am I talking about? I'm talking about the 18 month hiatus I took from my real-life to be a raging lunatic eco-nazi. During that year and a half, I made myself absolutely nuts - tracking every drop of water, tallying kilowatts, measuring garbage, counting "2 pees and a poo". Seriously. What sane person counts 2 pees and a poo?!? That is just not normal. To top it all off, I was spending hours upon hours blogging about my insane pursuit of environmental perfection - instead of spending quality time with my husband and kids.
So what are you saying 'Burbs? Are you saying that we shouldn't try to save the planet? Are you, at this very moment, packing up a case of bottled water and driving a Hummer up to Antarctica to hunt baby seals?
Don't be ridiculous. Baby seal hunting season doesn't open till November.
What I'm saying is that I was driving myself (and my family) nuts trying to single-handedly save the planet. I pushed all of our collective wants and needs aside in an attempt to help the environment. And do you know what I got in return? Satisfaction? well, yeah, sure... but mostly I got stressed out and frazzled. And you don't want to see this OCD, addictive, Type A personality, wreck of a work-at-home mom when she's stressed out and frazzled.
But I do want to make this clear: I'm not bashing eco-nuts. I was one. In fact, a lot of folks would say I am one. After all, I still compost. That's weird, right? I still bring my own bags. I still conserve water and electricity and gas and I still shun disposable, single-use beverages. I even went and got myself a Diva Cup. Let's face it, compared the Joneses, I'm a living life on the enviro-fringe. So why, then, am I declaring myself sane if I'm still doing many of the same things I did when I was downright certifiable?
Attitude. It's all in the attitude, my friends.
During my uber-eco phase, hubby would go in to brush his teeth and the sound of the water pouring down the drain as he brushed was like the screeching sound of a bad set of acrylics on a chalkboard. "When. Will. He. Shut. It. OFF?!?!?!?" But now? I don't even hear it.
A year ago, if the bagger at the grocery store put my ice cream in a plastic bag before placing it in my canvas bag, I would jump on him. "No plastic bags, please!!" Not only that, but I would stew over it all day and bitch about it to anyone who would listen. Now, I just accept it and move on. Hey, he was just trying to be nice and you know what, I can use that bag when I'm walking the dog.
Last year, people waiting at preschool with their motors running on beautiful 70 degree days would make me feel all stabby. Now, I just smile and wave at them as I sit outside enjoying the weather. Sometimes they join me. Sometimes they don't. Their choice, not mine.
Their choice. Not mine.
One more time for lots of added emphasis:
Their choice. Not mine.
I can't change others and it's not my job to try to do so. People will do what they do. They will make their own decisions and I have very little control over the choices they make. But that doesn't really matter. Know why? Because I'm happy with my choices.
Happy to be enjoying time with my family and not lecturing them about the corn-syrup laden snacks they're eating. Happy to be back in school and not worrying about whether I can find a used copy of the required textbook. Happy to be hanging out with friends and not twitching when they don't bring reusable mugs (or don't even own one - GASP!).
Happy to be living lightly - but not obsessively so.
I'm just happy to be happy again. Because feeling happy beats feeling stabby any day of the week.
So my advice? Do what you can to help the environment. But don't make yourself crazy. Enjoy the journey and be happy. Because if you're not happy, life is just a very depressing series of counting pees and poos.