Making Branches

Happy Birthday to my first born global warmer! She’s four. I can’t believe it.

February 1st, in particular, marks a milestone in my life. It’s the day I started living my life for someone else. I made a branch on the family tree. I recall walking down the hallway of the hospital, hormonal as anything that ever was hormonal, and felt an overwhelming sense of dread: What have I done?? I cannot undo this! I can’t go back. This situation, motherhood, is forever! FOREVER. The heavy and dense responsibly descended upon me like a dark cloud, and I felt like I was trapped, being suffocated, smothered by its weight. My shoulders felt like they were melting to the ground by the weight of what was hitting me. How could I possibly do right by this little person I loved more than life itself? I have never felt so inadequate and unworthy in my entire life.

Last fall, I felt a similar overwhelming stifling feeling when I began to learn more about the imminence and immediacy of global warming and climate change. I watched “Before the Flood” and felt hopeless and helpless, ignorant about what I didn’t know what I didn’t even know, and floundering to get a grasp on a plan that would give me a sense of control of the world around me.

The election of Trump only added to this feeling of discontent. The unsettling feeling of living in a country so divided, once stable and slow to change, but one that now seems to be set in a tail spin of poorly constructed and executed executive orders, with thinly veiled and poorly concealed tones of racism, elitism, bigotry, and sexism. Trump bragged about how he grabs at women, and people still voted for him. He talks about his daughters’ breast development rather than their other non-physical attributes, and people still voted for him. He lied, repeatedly, sending “fact checkers” into a flurry, and people still voted for him. He’s a con man, a liar, an abuser. He wants to send Americans down to the mines to dig for coal. And now he’s my president??

While not as hormonally charged or as intense, I have the same yearning as a first-time, post-partum mother, adjusting to the raging and plummeting hormones in her body, to be comforted that everything will be okay. That I will be worthy enough of providing opportunities for my child, to keep her safe, and warm, and loved. That they won’t only be safe from groping Donald Trumps of the world, but that they may be safe from natural disasters created as a consequence of climate change. That they may one day tuck in their branches of their family tree, with a peaceful sense of security I know I have taken for granted my entire life.

That also means that four years ago today, Hilary Clinton resigned from her post as Secretary of State under the Obama administration. I recall watching Clinton on television as I prepared for an appointment that ultimately culminated in the birth of my daughter and my motherhood later that evening. I recall watching her resignation, thinking that this move was calculated, her revving up for her bid on the presidency. In political history, February 1, 2013 probably wasn’t all that much for the history books, but it is an event that is marked down in my birth story history. I wonder how my perspective would be if the election had resulted in her election?

Making a commitment to lightening our families’ carbon footprint is my way of taking control, creating a plan, and identifying what I can change. February 1st is also significant that it wraps up the first month of this Lemonade experience/experiment. What have I done to address my goals? What progress have I made?

We went on a low-waste cabin vacation: visualizing the very small amount of trash that was left over after refusing, reducing, reusing, recycling, and rotting was on a vacation for two families was gratifying and even fun!

Scheduled routine vehicle-maintaining appointments

I programmed my thermostat.

We drastically reduced our trash output. We are down to about the equivalent of a brown grocery sack/week, including disposable diapers.

I bought a locally raised on pasture lamb that was processed locally, not wrapped in plastic. Going to do the same for a hog.

Given up beef. I’m not going to lie, I miss steak night.

Attended 1.25 city council meetings, and I actually addressed them publically, though I stuttered a bit.

Written to the “President”

Written to my congress-person

Wrestled my husband into also writing our congress-person

I’m driving less, and combined my errands. I’m not down to completing all of my errands in a day, but there were at least four days I didn’t drive and I didn’t leave the house unless I had at least two things to accomplish with each trip.

I’m becoming more aware of where palm oil lurks in our grocery store.

Initiated an energy audit for our home.

Purchased reusable batteries to replace single-use ones as they lose charge

Worked to potty train my youngest Global Warmer

Threw a zero waste birthday party for my four year old.

 

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