one little thing, again one little thing
i’ve never been good at big change ultimatums. you know, from now on i will not eat chocolate. i mean, really. who is able to keep that? all it leads to is guilt. and with the community i grew up in, more guilt is definitely not going to add balance to my life. another reason i’ve never been good at big change is because i get overwhelmed so easily. for a while i was calling myself an h.s.p. (highly sensitive person, yes it is a clinical term shut up), but i decided i was being too dramatic so i stopped. so, if the project is “be financially sound” or “organize my home” i get overwhelmed. but this is for good things too. it doesn’t really matter if it is good or scary or important or enjoyable-i get freaked out and i crawl into bed with a good book. though enjoyable, this is not progress.
but what i do, that works for me, is one little thing, then again one little thing. i’m not talking about adding one More thing: i try to make them rePlacement things. i don’t have time for more things. do you? no. i didn’t think so.
i noticed today that these little things have started to add up. they are for environmental reasons, or social justice reasons, personal health reasons, beautiful life reasons….you get the idea. i’d like to know your one little things, so to get your personal observation juices going, here’s my top ten list (or, more honestly, the first ten things that come to mind):
1)for stress relief on the weekends, i knead bread. i have a recipe that requires a full 10 minutes of kneading and i do some good frustration thinking then. this works much better for me (unfortunately) than a walk. walks are distracting; too much to look at. so instead i stare at a lump of dough and knead it.
2)every time a light bulb burns out, we replace it with a compact flourescent. our electric bill has gone down noticeably and only about half of our bulbs are changed so far.
3)if it’s ten minutes away or less, i walk. i allow myself to drive if i am sick or it’s raining. because it’s one Little thing, people, not martyrdom. and ten minutes in the rain on the way to be social is clearly martyrdom.
4)i started making kombucha (fermented tea that heals what ails ya). this has all but replaced my diet coke stress cravings. when i was a kid i had a science experiment kit that i loved. kombucha is my new science experiment kit plus suzie homemaker putter in the kitchen fix, plus crazy hippie health drink, all in one. it satisfies both physical and metaphysical cravings for me, as you can see.
5)i made a use less stuff all purpose cleaner that i found on sew green, to both help our own bodies as well as my kitties and the earth. and the pocketbook. it is so stinkin good i will never buy storebought again: it’s better and oh so frugal.
6)i started inviting people over to my house for coffee or tea when they invite me to go out. we end up having much better conversation and i save money.
7)i limited my eating-out lunches at work to once a week tops. now that i consider whether going out to eat is worth it, i usually realize it is not worth the 10 bucks. i haven’t been out to eat on my own tab for about a month i think. and i don’t miss it.
8)before going to the grocery store, i look through the cupboards and the cookbooks to see what we have and what i would like to make. this means i am now saving money on the grocery bill And finding fun new recipes to try. plus it saves repeat trips since i don’t have to go back for that one ingredient i forgot.
9)rather than saying “i need to clean the house” and then lying on the couch in overwhelm, i’ve given myself “half hour cleaning” bouts. i’m just going to clean and straighten up for half an hour, i say, and then i’ll enjoy the house so much more for the rest of the day. which i do, even when i stick to just half an hour. 2 weeks ago half an hour turned into four hours. i was having fun with my new homemade cleaner!
10)instead of a giant garden, i planted 4 tomato plants and one red pepper, then some herbs and greens, all in pots on our balcony. the tomatoes are taller than the balcony roof now, and provide lots of conversation with our neighborhoods.
what’s your latest one little thing?