Hello! I have been selfish with my time lately, and away from here too often. Perhaps I have been living alone too long, and my communication skills have deteriorated past the point of blogging. I’m only taking one easy class this semester, my graduate school applications are all in (I’ll hear back anytime between now and early April), and work is busy, but not that busy. It’s really just the selfish-about-my-time-thing. Since I have so much of it back after the stress of last semester, I’m piddling it away on silly things for the sheer joy of having it to waste.
But, I am a month overdue on whatever challenge I was working on, and I’ll have some big life changes soon (this blog possibly won’t be partly Alexandria-related for much longer), and I do like the blogging life, and it has been a nice round two and a half years since I started this, so I have some nostalgia and plans and a few general thoughts to work through. So! Onward!
The January Challenge: Eat all my food. This was mostly a success. I learned lots, anyway, like how I should just never, ever, ever buy milk. No matter how small the carton, it’s not going to be drunk. I’ve gotten the hang of finishing large bags of greenery, and looking in my fridge and pantry to finish fresh fruit and veggies before I just have cheese and crackers for dinner. It’s been a good practice to integrate with trying to spend less on food, eat healthier, and prepare more meals for myself. Not “cook” mind you, just “prepare meals”.
I’ve documented what I learned by creating a chart of “Foods I Eat” and listing foods that I can trust myself to finish all of. This is helping me edit my grocery lists. For instance, buying avocados and peppers and apples are good, useful choices, but I shouldn’t buy potatoes or onions without a pressing reason, since I’ll probably forget to use them in time.
Forget a February challenge with the snow and such, my challenge was not going insane all alone in my apartment, and that pretty much worked except for a few days in the middle of the snowpocalypse week that were touch-and-go.
March is halfway over, and the challenge for the rest of the month is posting regularly. Regularly will be defined as posting every other day at least. This blog keeps me honest about my attempts to live more sustainably, and when I ignore it, my resolve slips.
As for the nostalgia part: I’ve been writing this blog for two and a half years, during which time I’ve moved thrice (soon to be, er, fource?), switched jobs, begun a career change, and ended a relationship. The blog is not responsible for all of that, but it helped me organize some thoughts on the career switch. Following the Eco City Alexandria project got me thinking about planning more seriously. This blog has changed the way I eat. I’ve cut meat out almost entirely (though if I am a guest I eat what’s prepared for me, since my vegetarianism is not anyone else’s problem). (And also sometimes I just want to eat a lamb.) But I can go weeks happily avoiding meat, and this was inconceivable for me just a year ago. I’m eating healthier because of it- just paying attention to what I eat causes me to consume more vegetables, which is a thing.
Typing through my environmental worries has also made me much more comfortable about setting my personal goals and boundaries. There’s still plenty I need to work on- my relationship with water, some of the trash I create, my transportation methods- but I know now what’s easy for me to change, and I’ve changed most of that. I don’t get a sense of paralyzing environmental guilt in grocery stores anymore when I see plastic packaging. I’m happy trading off warmer, longer showers in winter for turning the heat lower. I’m comfortable with my failures at gardening and composting- though I’m ready to try again, with time and hopefully help. Also charts.
This comfort with my efforts and failures also leads me into ruts, yes, but I can work out of those. By blogging more. Starting now.