Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 9 and 10 - Reduction and Regression

The garage sale was a success.  I have gone through many phases of my life where I love nothing more than going out and hunting a good garage sale to find that one special treasure, but I have never been on the giving side of this feat.  It is a very strange experience putting your personal belongings out onto a table for people to go through, handle, comment, judge and then try to purchase for mere change.  I thought a garage sale would be engaging, entertaining and a way to make new friends but instead it was hard work, boring, tedious and at times belittling.  Despite this, the end result was worth the whole experience.  Our house is cleaned out and *hopefully people found good uses for things that we no longer needed.  There were a few high points during the day when people were really excited about an item which made me feel all warm and fuzzy about letting it go, but on the whole it was an exercise in letting go. 

Our overall reduction of stuff has felt very cleansing.  Reduction is feeling somewhat addictive to me, as I look around the room right now I see a multitude of items that I feel I could easily go put out in the free bin to give away to the people still driving down our street looking for the last deals.  Letting go of things gets so much harder when you have a family, I look at something to give away and my four year old says "why would you give that away mama, it is so special to us!"  It just about melts my heart.  But then I think, shouldn't I be sad that he thinks these things are special?  Wouldn't it be so much easier if we didn't get attached to things?  Our impact on the earth is directly linked to the amount of stuff we hold on to, the waste that we create and the demand we create by purchasing all of these things. 

Well, at least for today I can say we have made an effort to reduce.  Unfortunately this weekend has also been about regression.  I gave in to convenience this morning and had Starbucks, in a disposable cup.  Ugh.  I took an extra long shower and I even used plastic spoons on the ferry and threw them away, and then went to the grocery store without my reusable bags and got plastic bags!  I went against all of my good habits that I have been working so hard to incorporate.  Why does this happen?  You would think this bout of regression could have waited at least until I was into this for a month, I can't believe it is showing up after the first week. Perhaps it is like the regressions I see in my boys right before they are about to embark on a developmental milestone.  Perhaps I am about to reach a new milestone in my ecoquest...?  Or perhaps it was Sunday and I was lazy.

From waste reduction to environmental consciousness regressions, the new focus is on redemption.  So, as a minimal act of redeeming myself I have made a small donation.  My offering is not directly going to an environmental cause, it goes out to all of those affected by the tornadoes, part of our money from our sale goes to the Red Cross today (interesting when examining letting go of things when so many have things taken away from them without choice).  Some days it is about supporting each other in order to have a healthier Earth. 

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