Muddy Musings

April 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm Leave a comment

I’ve started thinking a bit too much about the end of the world.  I know, it’s morbid.  And, yes, perhaps the postpartum hormones and sleep deprivation have something to do with it.

But, in our house, with Dad traveling more, a newborn, a needy toddler and a tired Mom, we’ve been slacking lately on our eco and Having Enough commitments. Letting the cloth napkins pile up and using paper ones, eating quesadillas more often than fresh vegetables, wanting things and buying things to fill holes that could be filled without spending money, standing in the shower way too long when I get one, letting the plastic (wraps, bags, toys) in, bit by bit, because we’re too tired to fight it.

It’s so easy to slip when we are overwhelmed and busy, to buy or eat or accept (or think) junk. Our consumer society actually counts on this.  Alex and I re-viewed the enlightening The Story of Stuff recently to remind us of this fact, and help us get back on track.

In the big scheme, I know we are doing a decent job in our lifestlye.  And I always applaud the eco activists who remind us that even they are not perfectly eco, and that we all must do what we can right now and be OK with that, and then improve one step at a time. I also always agree with the psychologists who tell people to be gentle with themselves when they are in transition, and to not “should” on and torture themselves when they aren’t doing everything as they want to be.

But, we have taken some steps back lately and I can feel the difference.  It feels cluttery, kind of dirty, it smells like chemicals and tastes like processed food.  It’s connected to my emotional state, which is not at its shiny finest as I struggle with the newness of trying to mother two children and the mixed blessing of my husband’s career moving up a notch. I am beating myself up more than usual, and I “shoulded” myself aloud today about our lack of composting, in front of some eco mom friends who promptly pounced on my “shoulding” and I felt even worse.  Because I know better.  On all fronts.

Things are a bit muddy right now — good, still, just muddy — for me.  I have my foundational perspective of all that I have, of course — I look at my family and am only thankful — but I want to have more perspective, to feel clearer again, to feel that I have more to give, and that is a sign to me that I’m a bit off my center.

So, as I sit in the dark of night nursing my child, imagining which generation will finally pay the ultimate price for our heaps of trash and energy squandering and consumer culture — will they know the end of the Earth is near, or will it just up and implode one day? will it look like the movies where things get grey and dark and desperate? will they be humans like us or some other form of humans? — I realize I’m getting a little extreme, and maybe could use some more sleep.

Still, I will know I’m feeling back to my center when my cloth napkins are back on the table and the plastic bags out of my kitchen drawer, when I have a Netflix night with my husband,  when I’m not obsessively envisioning the end of the world, and when I’m gentle with myself again.  In other words, when I’m back to enough.


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Postpartum You Show ‘Em!

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Blog Mission

To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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