Monday, August 30, 2010

no impact experiment: days 1 & 2

day 1: consumption
things i "need" to buy this week:
- groceries (girl's gotta eat, farmer's market thursday)
- shower soap (try dr. bronner's)
- hankies (mom donating bandannas)
- clothes for vacation (wait, see what i already have)
- notebooks for vacation (found a bunch of unused ones in my closet)
- mini alarm clock for trip (may be able to borrow one)
- trash can with lid (non-essential)
- new toiletry bag (see if old one still works)
- new tennies (they can hold on a little longer)
- train pass (girl's gotta get to work)
- parts for car (the check engine light won't turn itself off, oh wait, it did)
- gas for car (car's gotta get to mechanic)
- sand for toilet tank weight (can probably scare some up somewhere)

so not too bad. looks like i'm down to food, transport and important maintenance.

day 2: trash
i was please to see that most of my trash falls into the following categories:
- empty food cans
- q-tips
- kleenex (this will be resolved today thanks to mom-delivered hankies)
- floss
not one of them did i use for more than 10 minutes, though the food cans were on my shelves for months, which is why i buy them. i already compost food scraps and recycle paper (once it's used on both sides), so that was a big help.

i would like to find some way to seriously decrease my food-related packaging trash but have found it challenging for several reasons a) i cook only on weekends so need stuff i can store, b) i have pretty intense food allergies so bulk foods are out due to cross-contamination.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

readying for no impact

yesterday i read through the no impact week how-to manual and realized there's probably a little pre-work i could get done ahead of time to make things go a little more smoothly.

sunday: consumption
- make sign for computer that says "amazon" with a big red strike through it

monday: trash
- get reusable produce bags (done)
- make hankies from old dish towels

tuesday: transportation
- research train and shuttle schedules and prices

wednesday: food
- find local farmer's markets (done)
- research CSAs

thursday: energy
- plug computer power strip into light switch outlet for easy on/off

friday: water
- buy, borrow or otherwise acquire a five-gallon bucket to put under the tub spigot
- get my hands on an empty plastic water bottle to fill and put in toilet tank

saturday: giving back
- look into local volunteer opportunities

sunday: eco-sabbath
- share my plans to unplug with interested parties
- make sure i have matches (or lighters that work)

Monday, August 23, 2010

walking the walk

i keep writing and thinking about the life i want to live and the things i need to do before i can start living that life. the events of the last month or two have forced me to face an important truth: if you wait for your life to be just right before beginning, you very well may wind up waiting forever. i'll be writing more soon about just what that might entail, but in the interim, i have signed up for two events that should help get me re-inspired:

1. no impact experiment: i talk a lot about wanting to make a difference for the planet. what better place to start than in my own life and home. and having the support of like-minded people who are doing the same thing at the same time doesn't hurt either.

2. writing and mindfulness retreat: it's always surprising how the first habits many people lose in a crisis are those that can best help them get through. writing and mindfulness are two of the top three on my peak emotional health list.

and let me add one more quick note: there was an inspiring article in the paper last about the radical homemaking trend that's sweeping the land. especially cool: one of the featured homemakers is someone i know (okay, the wife of someone i know, but close enough).

Monday, August 16, 2010

asking for help

last week i attended a very interesting training through work called situational self leadership. it was actually a really great course with some great information about development stages and what kind of support you need from your manager during each stage. the most important thing i learned in the class was this: no matter how long you've done a job, or been in an industry, there is always going to be some new task at which you are a beginner. and as a beginner, you will need help. for me, that means two things:

- learn to recognize when you need help
- when you need help ask for it

you can't assume anyone is going to know what you need and automatically give it to you, especially if you don't know yourself. and even if they do, you may not realize you need it and may turn them away.

there is at least one new task in my job that i have been struggling to get a handle on without the information or experience i need. this has caused me a ton of undo stress and more than my share of mistakes. the good news is, i now know to ask for the help i need (even if i don't know what it is because i've never done this job before).

the question now is: where else in my life am i trying to make a change or take on something new where i could use a little help? it may be time to call in the cavalry.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

creative inspiration

i love this idea. it seems the perfect way to get the creative juices flowing. not sure i'll be able to do them every day (or post them daily if i do), but i'm going to give it a shot. its been a long time since i've done any drawing at all, so it's going to be interesting.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

further adrift

first school, now houses and jobs. the balls that i got rolling over the last few months have come to a screeching halt. this morning i woke up and wrote a long list of all of the actions i can take to try and force this forward but later, after 30 minutes on the acupuncture table i decided to scrap that list of external action items and instead focus on internal refocusing. to that end, rather than pushing forward on projects, i resolve to do the following over the next seven days:

- read (one book at a time) instead of watching streamed TV
- shop at at least one farmers market per week
- plant something (or better yet, transplant something
- go outside
- reinvigorate my daily meditation and stretching practices

sometimes when you chase something it runs, but if you sit quietly it may come lay its head on your lap or let you feed it an apple from your lunch box.