taking steps


 Silver Falls State Park : February 4, 2017

Hello again.  How have you been?  It snowed this morning.  As much as I love winter, I admit I am ready to be warm again, to see more sun again.  I'm ready for days spent outside with my hands in the dirt.  I'm ready to feel a warm breeze on my arms and grass under my bare feet.  I'm ready for a change. 

I don't know about you, but I became a total news junkie in the year leading up to the election, and have been since.  I obsessively refresh the news on my phone more times a day than I can count.  I'm definitely feeling news fatigue, and this over-stimulation of news often fills me with sadness, anger, and worry.  I want to do something.  But I am not an organizer, or someone who can eloquently energize others into action, or someone who wants to get on a big stage.  So, I've been thinking a lot about what I can do, however small, to make my corner of the world a better place in ways I care aboutTo start, I've taken these small steps:

    * I'm going to start picking up trash again.  Litter has long been something I've cared about, but for some reason we never started the practice of picking it up when we moved back to Portland.  Thor and I used to do it every week in Salem together.  He recruited neighborhood kids to help, and it was so great to see them care, too.  It's been too long - it's time to resume this small yet big act of stewardship.

    * Last year I spent a total of $20 on new clothing.  Immediately regretful (the waste, the low quality, the dubious origin - have you seen True Cost?), I resolve not to spend simply to spend this year.  I'm aiming for a no-spend year on brand-new things I can buy second hand or make myself.  This won't be a huge change from last year, but I'm hoping to sew more this year.  My husband hates overconsumption and fixes things around the house instead of buying new.  He will more than likely go without if he can't fix something (but he can almost always fix things)It all takes more time, but less money, and we feel good about less waste.

    * I switched from a rather lax vegetarian diet (I ate meat or fish maybe once every several months) to a vegan diet six weeks ago.  I tried going vegan seven years ago but couldn't stick to it; this time, it seemed so much easier.  I physically feel so much better; I haven't had a stomach ache or bloating since I quit dairy.  It was also a conscientious choice to not participate, by being a consumer, in the suffering of animals.  If you think they don't suffer, watch Earthlings, The Ghosts in Our Machine, or any of the other many documentaries out their on the topic.  You won't be able to forget what you see.  I'm not saying it's the only right diet (or that all farms mistreat animals), but for me this feels right.

There's one other area I am hoping to become involved in, but I will post about that if/when it happens.  

It feels good to make a positive forward motion on things you care about.  There are bigger issues out there, but these are my steps right now.  

Hope you are well.  
by mlekoshi