Monday, January 26, 2009

Confessions of a harried eco-mom

Sorry there was no post on Friday. I was on my way up to Boston for a wine expo. And I have a confession to make. No, it has nothing to do with how much wine I drank at the expo. It has to do with the days leading up to going away - trying to get everything set up so my husband and boys could get through the weekend without me.

In my perfect eco-world, I would have spent time preparing organic, healthy meals for them so all they needed to do was pop them out of the freezer and all would be ready. But, I had many deadlines last week so that didn't happen. Here's what did happen.

I had to leave at 5:45pm on Thursday to drive to my friend's house to spend the night. We were catching an early flight to Boston on Friday. When I woke up Thursday morning, I had not packed, I still had laundry to do, there was no easy food for the guys to make while I was away, and I had some writing I had to do.

I went to the store, and here is where the confession begins. I bought hot dogs, chips, chicken nuggets, frozen meatballs and various other processed, unhealthy foods. And I forgot my reusable bags. So all of that garbage went into plastic bags! I rolled my cart out of the grocery store feeling like a huge fraud, opened the back of my car and found a stack of reusable bags. 

Then came the audible swearing just as the mom with her two-year old-daughter  was appearing from in between my mini van and the one next to me. There is no doubt, she and her impressionable daughter had heard me. I got the "righteous mommy" look from this woman that I've given many a person as they let fly words that I don't want my children to hear. I gave her the "I'm so sorry" eye crinkle and shoulder shrug, but she wasn't having any of that.

Get home, finish my work, pick the boys up from school, take them to various friends' houses, come home, pack, pick the boys up from various friends' houses in the mini van even though they were only blocks away, greet my mom at the door as she comes to stay with the boys while I take off because my husband wasn't home yet, fly out the door, get about 20 minutes down the interstate when I remember, "I forgot the wine expo tickets!" Drive to the next exit, turn around drive home, grab the tickets, kiss everyone again, and start back down the interstate - now having driven a good 40 wasted minutes.

Forgive me.

You know, I'm not really into kicking myself over my eco-sins.  And  a year ago, I probably wouldn't even have thought twice about my preparations to go away. I know I can't be perfect all the time. What this reinforced in me, though, is that a lot times I make choices that are bad for the environment simply because I'm crunched for time and I'm a fairly disorganized person. I am the stereotype of a writer. My office is in shambles, there are coffee mugs all over my desk, and if you could see the disorganized thoughts that bounce around in my head all day, you'd run for cover.

Can I change? Probably. Will it be easy? No way. But I'm going to try to become just a little more organized. The bad food, the plastic bags, the 40 minutes of extra driving, just don't sit too well with me. I'm not going to dwell on it and feel bad. I'm going to try to use it to remind myself to maybe write a few things down (I know, I'm a writer, writing lists shouldn't be that hard), and start planning a little earlier for big things.

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Mountain Girl said...

Oh dear - sometimes things just will NOT go right! Post-it notes everywhere help me but still sometimes I just admit defeat! Still at least we're all trying...

GJK said...

I AM an organized list person -- and I still have days like that. :) There's always grace, hon.

Adam Shake said...

Its more about "doing it better, more often" than it is about "doing it right, every day"

Wow, I might use that! -laugh-


Robin Shreeves said...

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I've got a big pot of bean soup and homemade bread planned for dinner tonight and I feel better about things already.