I have been feeling guilty lately…no not lately. Lately is the lie. I’ve felt this guilt for some years now, about my inadequacies as a mother, my importance as a human being, and as an environmentalist. When my children were younger I put more emphasis on cooking, cleaning, making, doing, and giving. In fact, cleaning up the mess we humans have made of our environment became a focus, a mission, for me. I wasn’t obsessed or pushy about it to anyone, but it became my focus. I wanted to be a part of the solution. How could I help make a difference?
It was important to me because I wanted a cleaner, kinder, less wasteful world for my kids to live in. The idea of my children growing up in a world filled with polluted waters, more trash than trees, and harmful chemicals growing into everything they eat was scary. It still is scary, but somewhere around 4 or 5 years ago, my life took a drastic turn to juggle motherhood and suddenly juggling fatherhood and my sanity. My priorities changed quite a bit.
I began to worry more about getting food on the table and keeping the terrible evil people that exist in this world away from my children. My motherly dynamics changed to survival first and then nurturing and mother nature next. Except after survival and nurturing it felt like more often than not I didn’t have time for mother nature. I won’t go into detail to explain why my shift in mindset happened, other than to say in a divorce things get messy, and sometimes plans, no matter how carefully planned and detailed, change.
So, there I found myself at the beginning of all my turmoil, often at the grocery store debating in my head over organic milk for their health or regular hormone-injected milk I could afford. How about water? Water is cheaper and more eco-friendly. Or is it? It depends on who you ask and what part of the world wait what about that study that confirmed all the harmful chemicals in our drinking water. What? Wait? I don’t have time to figure this out.
For the longest time, I kept buying the organic milk, but everything else I bought I made sure was at least fresh instead of packaged. Until packaged became the exhausted end of the week, my feet really hurt, I will tell them this is a treat, convenience. I would make up for it on Saturday for lunch by making something with a lot of fresh vegetables.
It took me years of practice and discipline to learn to become more environmentally friendly and after the divorce, I struggled with who cares anyways and guilt for not practicing what I preach to my loved ones and blog readers. In the end telling myself, that at least I still put some recyclables into the recycle bin for Wednesday’s recyclable pickup.
I’ve slowly transitioned back to cooking more fresh at home. I still use a lot of vegetables and fruits, but the package still has a way of calling out to me when I am most tired and whispering very loudly to me, “You know you want me. You know I’m easy”. Still, I barely cook 3 times a week if that and the last time I baked was… Oh, wait I still have the compost bin in the back yard that I, unfortunately, use more like a dumpster for my green scraps than I do for fresh new healthy dirt for my, once there was a garden there, garden.
Did I mention, that I had to stir the compost bin a few months ago to get rid of bugs that infested it? I let my compost bin become that bug magnet most anti-environmentalist use as an example to rid people of the idea of the tremendous benefits of composting. But you see the bugs are my fault. Not the compost pile’s fault. Had I not been lazy and stirred the compost more often bugs would not infest the pile. Why? Because the trick to keeping bugs away is by keeping up with the compost bin.
I was also disillusioned and disappointed by the environmental scams, the confusion, the fact overload, the environmental extremist, the false green advertisement, and false green pretenses the greedy people of the world will make to dupe those of us that want to make a positive difference in this world. I guess I grew tired of that too. I grew tired of trying to figure out what was really environmentally friendly and what was false. Everywhere you read there are simple steps to going green. It’s true there are, but maintenance and commitment come easily only to the dedicated. In the mix and gist of all the confusion, I understood well enough that no matter what the best I could do I understood well, was to buy non-packaged, less preserved, fresh locally grown and made products, but then I ran into the problem of I usually couldn’t afford it.
I didn’t do any of it for mother nature. She can handle herself. If she wants to wipe us out before we wipe each other out she can do that naturally or she can just sit back and watch us do it to each other. I did it for my kids. I did it for me. I did it for the very idea that I can’t stand how wasteful and ungrateful we all are for what we have. We take from the giving tree until she has and is nothing left but a stump of a tree and then we wonder why in the end we have nothing left, why we are left alone and our lives are meaningless. We appreciate nothing and we give nothing back. And instead of fixing it we just hate on ourselves and on each other.