Friday, August 8, 2008

The Re-Arranger

I am trying to remember to write in this blog when I am not angry, so that when I look back on the years I spent blogging, I won't seem like just some livid twenty-something. But the problem is that since I was very young, journaling has been something I mostly do when I am angry, upset, annoyed, or irritated, because it's such a good outlet, and after I wrote it all down, I feel better and don't take things out on some undeserving friend (or a deserving driver texting on his cell phone on my commute home). When I go through old diaries/journals, most of my entries are from when I was mad at my mom for something or other, because who has time to write when their happy and just enjoying things? It helps me to not internalize things so much.

Even when cloaked in sarcasm and/or humor, my posts generally have an unsettled, irritated undertone. You see, I am a worrier. I come from a loooooong line of worriers. I worry about everything from my "check engine" light, to the drunk drivers I have to deal with on my commute home, to my neighbor's poor treatment of his dogs, to our planted earth and the havoc we are wreaking on it. Big and small, nothing is too minute for me to worry about it or stress out over it. My worry manifests itself in various physical ways. I grind my teeth, bit and chew on my tongue and mouth sometimes causing major sores (I have done this since I was a young child), and my worry/stress contributes to the severity of my Levator Ani spasms. My mom was such a worrier in her twenties that she began to develop stomach ulcers in college. My grandmother is the biggest worrier of us all.

I am trying to worry less and relax more. To stop thinking about all the bills and all of the people and things I can't control. Let go of those things that are out of my control. I cannot change people. I cannot make people recycle or conserve water or stop using Styrofoam or use canvas bags or compost or use glass instead of plastic. I cannot flip off every single Hummer in existence. (Though I will continue to try.) I cannot save every stray animal I see. I cannot make other people care about the things I care so deeply about.

So I will focus on the things I CAN do. And the list is long.

-consume less
-buy items that are packaged in recyclable materials
-not eat meat
-use as little plastic as possible, especially with food
-use cast iron pots and pans instead of non-stick/Teflon
-buy as little leather as possible (hopefully none)
-gather water and A/C runoff in a rain barrel for re-use
-use a push reel lawn mower
-use compostable (made from corn) cups if I need disposable cups
-buy organic produce
-not buy products that are tested on animals
-unplug my power strips when I am not using those appliances
-use an all-wind plan for my electricity
-use xeriscaping and native plants in my yard
-unplug my cellphone charger
-use rags and cut-up t-shirts instead of paper towels
-buy vehicles that do not needlessly exceed the size or capabilities that I NEED to get from A to B comfortably.
-Freecycle as many items as possible to avoid throwing them into landfills
-start a veggie garden (on the to-do list)
-opt out of catalogs and stop ordering magazines I will never have time to read
-buy CFLs
-use a programmable thermostat
-mix my own green cleaning supplies
-support local businesses
-us no-VOC interior paints
-carpool more
-choose to purchase products from socially responsible manufacturers
-line-dry my clothes in lieu of the dryer as much as possible

I can take a deep break and r-e-l-a-x

p.s. I am watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics as I write this, and someone needs to tell Matt Lauer that the hats the American team is wearing are not berets, they are newsboy caps. NOT BERETS. Ralph Lauren wouldn't design uniforms for the American team that included a traditional French hat.

currently listening to: Mates of State

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