I've decided that there's far too much negativity floating around the greenosphere right now. Believe me, my finger is pointed directly at moi, but I'm feeling it from other sides as well.
Sure we could blame it on February, that seemingly never-ending, dark and gloomy month. Or we could could blame it on Congress - could any group of people move any more slowly? Or we could crawl back under the covers and hibernate until spring (oh yes, if I could find a way to feed my family without getting out of bed, I would certainly spend the entire winter under the covers).
Or we could focus on the positive.
When I was in high school, my church leaders were always saying things like, "If you want to be happy, just smile, and then you'll start to feel happy." My response was always, "That is ridiculous." (Of course, I never said that outloud, being a very quiet and polite teenager.)
Then soon after my first son was born, I caught a virus called Bell's Palsy that basically paralyzed one side of my face, making it impossible to smile. I discovered that what my youth leaders had been saying was true - or at least the opposite was true. Not being able to smile made it hard to feel happy, and frowning all the time certainly made me feel depressed.
After a month or so, I was able to smile again, but I've never forgotten that lesson. Smile, and happiness will follow. Count your blessings, and you'll discover even more blessings. When you feel discouraged, focus on the positive.
With those thoughts in mind, I want to do a little exercise. I'd like you to take a minute to note all the changes you've made since you started on your green journey. Don't just think about it...write them down - either here in the comments, on your own blog, or on a piece of paper.
Then when you get discouraged because you've gone back to using your dryer, your public transportation is a pain in the rear, or you had an impulse buy at Target, push aside the guilt and whip out your "List of Changes."
Yes, the winter is dreary, the root vegetables endless. Yes, the long, gravelly path to sustainability is the road less traveled. But, look how much we have done!
This post is the Green Phone Booth's submission for February's APLS carnival on "winter motivation." Discover more ways to stay motivated to live sustainably during the winter at Going Green Mama on February 18.