Being a mother is a very big job. I don’t care if you have one child, or seventeen. In almost every household I know, we keep the train on the tracks and we very often chart its destination. We wake up every day just trying to do the best we can to protect and nurture and cherish our families. To quote my favorite former boss, “some days we’re the bat and some days we’re the ball.”
Therefore I understand that a LOT of what I’ve explored on moregreenmoms is rather more than a slight inconvenience. Those who have heartily ingested the research have encountered a new level of awareness that requires added brainpower to assess, investment to address and commitment to uphold. Like we need ANYTHING else on our plates!
And believe me, if you have been a little touched by what you have learned, I will confide that it has turned my world upside down. So in order to survive drinking from a fire hose these days, I have chosen to shift my mindset from being constantly overwhelmed to becoming endlessly inspired.
Every twist of my newly “examined life” seems to offer rich fodder for further consideration, whether it is in choosing how to dispose of the Polly Pocket collection we have now outgrown, scanning a Google map of my roof to research solar panel installation or collecting our worn-out tennis shoes to send to Nike’s reuse-a-shoe campaign. The multitude of small tasks can offer a plethora of creative opportunities to enrich our daily routines. How can we reduce, reuse, recycle – and happily re-tool our entire approach?
For example, when is the last time you gave much thought to your dry cleaner? I was very loyal to my former service, which faithfully delivered to my doorstep for 12 years. But when I asked whether they might consider a greener cleaning protocol, specifically safer chemicals and less plastic, I could tell they were not at all prepared to make the shift. So I marched into a newly launched San Francisco operation called SFGreenClean, www.sfgreenclean.com, and the dialogue began.
I learned so much about the toxic chemicals associated with this ironically “dirty” industry, as well as the waste created by disposable hangers and the unhealthy plastic residue we drag into our houses each time our clothes come home that I jumped at the opportunity to make the switch. I now receive my weekly delivery from them instead and it arrives in a Prius.
The real point here is that by reaching out and engaging in these dialogues we not only enrich our knowledge, but also forge a personal connection to the products, services and people that comprise our consumer experience.
These small moments of engagement bring the humanity back to the inanity. They bash down our walls of detachment. They make it possible to tackle an endless stream of responsibility and obligation that looms like a tsunami on the horizon. They deliver gratification for those otherwise isolated and thankless tasks that have added up to melt away our years.
So on this, my first green Mother’s Day, my pledge is to check in, rather than check out. I plan to turn the computer off, bury the Blackberry and indulge in the innocence and laughter and joy that I am privileged to experience in my household when I am wise enough to let it dominate all else.
I can’t wait to tear open the cards hidden in little backpacks bearing backwards s’s, sunny skies and rainbow hearts. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a noodle necklace, lots of sloppy kisses and a precious face to share my pillow in the morning.
There is no question that if this monologue has captured you, our priorities align, somewhere…. Let our growing knowledge not force us to stumble, but rather charge us to blaze forward with the strength and power and grace that we learned from our mothers who taught us all to be the best women we can be.
The world can wait for just one day while we all drop everything to hug our children. Tomorrow will bring a new dawn for change and we will all be there to meet it!
p.s. Mom, you are the gold at the end of every rainbow I chase. You are the truth, the courage, the strength, the source of my spirit. You are my everything and I love you today and always! HMD! xoxoc