Lately, I've been trying to tackle waaay too many changes.
My husband is in grad school, I took on a new part-time job, and I accepted a volunteer leadership position with my women's group. I decided to run a marathon next year, which means lots of training/running in my free time. We chose not to put Ikaika in preschool this year because it wasn't financially realistic, but I feel like he needs more stimulation that I can give him - so I joined not one, but two playgroups. On top of all this, I harbored the not-so-secret fantasy of overhauling my lifestyle (go zero waste), my diet (go vegetarian), and my house (go minimalist).
This week my husband is home since the schools are on fall break. I've had a chance to step back, sleep in, and spend some time reflecting. My conclusion is that I am stressing myself out, wearing myself thin and giving less than my full 100 to these projects because there are just too many of them. Sure, in a perfect world I would love to be able to accomplish and achieve all these things simultaneously. And I probably could...but I'd be a bitchy mess.
The other day, Mr A went shopping for some stuff to make chili and I nearly started WWIII when he came home with celery wrapped in plastic and a $5 can of organic chili (why I need canned chili if I'm making chili -I'll never know. Why is he buying canned anything for more than $2? Why isn't he just sticking to the list I made?).
No matter how badly he screwed up my incredibly neurotic and detailed idea of what "grocery shopping" means, the argument that ensued made me realize I've been imposing my ideals onto other people in my family, which is essentially violating their freedom. My husband has been mostly supportive of my whims, but he's not going to stop eating frozen chicken wrapped in plastic anytime soon (...ever). I need to respect that.
It's hard to step back from overachiever-syndrome and take things one small step at a time. For now, I'm letting go of my lofty homemaking goals (and blogging about it - hello?! time?!). Mr A has agreed to let me pursue my dietary choices without conflict, but he's allowed to make his own food if he doesn't like what I'm cooking. We will go back to shopping regularly for groceries but I at least want to be conscientious of buying bulk and/or recyclables. I'm going to continue to minimize our possessions, shop at thrift stores, and encourage experiences over stuff. Although, I'm still hot for a Kindle.
I'm going to cut myself some slack with the playgroups. On one hand, it helps my minimizing by keeping the toys out of my house (someone else can store them, clean them, etc), but on the other hand, I don't want to be go-go-go all the time. So for the M/F group, we will only go if we are all ready and willing. The biggest change is me accepting that these things will not happen overnight. I need to focus on making one or two choices a day that move me closer towards my goals. Then, one day in the future I will wake up and realize I have the lifestyle I've been dreaming about.