Saturday, January 15, 2011

January blahs

Well, I assume that's what it is- January blahs.  I dislike winter, especially when the roads are too slippery for safe driving (and you live in a city which lacks real mass transit and instead, instead, each man, woman and child owns 2.4 automobiles.).  According to an article I just read, lots of people experience the January blahs phenomenon.  I am not alone.

Even while experiencing the blahs, I try to teach The Child that his life is a result of his (or MY) choices, and that if he doesn't like what's going on, it's time to make a different choice.   Telling a child how to live life and actually practicing what you preach are 2 different things.  Yesterday I thought I had accomplished something when I told The Child that I was currently experiencing extreme dissatisfaction with my life, yet I had the option to choose a different attitude.  I spoke the words, but I couldn't actually DO it.  Instead, I walked out of his bedroom so that he would not witness my choice to continue wallowing in blahhhhhhhhhs..........

This reminds me of my own mother.  She used to talk about self esteem - I think she perceived that mine was inadequate.  She used to assert, "I have a very high opinion of myself!"  Yet her actions belied that proclamation, as she chose to remain married under the same roof with a man who was openly cheating on her. She was miserable!

Once I became a parent, I decided that it was time to live my life in a way which lined up with my beliefs, since that's what The Child was sure to notice.  In many ways I succeed.  My house, although not located in the downtown neighborhood which I obsess over, IS located on a large park so that I can look out my window and see trees, deer and other wildlife, all well within city limits. 

I believe that personal automobiles are a ridiculous luxury destroying the planet.  My house is 6 miles from downtown and on the bus line.  I take the bus to work frequently.  I am aware of indoor toxins, so I make my own household cleaning products out of essential oils, vinegar, baking soda and Dr. Bonner's soap.  I don't own a microwave oven, much to The Child's dismay.

I reject society's competitive consumerism; I despise shopping.  Yesterday The Child and I went to Sam's Club.  We wandered dazedly around for a few minutes; I picked up a pack of AA batteries, and suddenly I said, "I can't stand this place.  Let's put the batteries back and leave."  He readily agreed.   It's even hard for me to go to the grocery store, especially since the 2 natural food stores near my house have both shut down.  My car, which I fire up as infrequently as possible, is a tiny 20-year-old Honda Civic which I hope lives forever.  For the most part, I do not believe in Western medicine and do not use the expensive medical insurance which I'm required to have. 

However, I have allowed The Child to influence me to some extent.  He was born loving technology and I'm sure it's because of his influence that I use an iPhone (no landline here!).  I must have been born with some of that same inclination because I choose to spend lots of leisure time on the computer and have fixed mine myself several times.  The Child built his first computer over a year ago.  The technology which exists inside my house seems incongruous with the home made cleaning products and the organic amaranth, perhaps, but I am comfortable embracing both. Besides, iPhone apps can be really helpful with mass transit schedules.

It seems to be time for an adjustment for my life, though.  I have been doing something which has become habitual and does NOT really fit in - I eat a lot of potato chips.  That may sound silly, but it really is out of control.  I am addicted.  I believe that the chips are highly symbolic to me, since they figured heavily in my childhood.  My parents used to actually have potato chips delivered to our house by Charles Chips!  My favorite childhood memories include spending each New Year's Eve with my grandmother, eating Charles Chips and onion dip, watching the ball drop at Times Square on TV.

Boy, do I ever wish that potato chips were healthy.  I know full well that they are NOT and I must STOP.  Why bother making nontoxic cleaning supplies if I'm going to eat potato chips, one of the most toxic "foods" known to man?  OK, so today's the day I go cold turkey. 

Right now, instead of ripping open a new bag of chips,  I'm going to whip up some of  The Child's beloved peanut butter tofu.  Yesterday I informed him that very few people would consider eating this, his favorite dish, which I invented.  (He seemed very surprised.)  I make it by dumping raw tofu into a glass (nontoxic!) pan with some organic garlic, organic peanut butter and organic soy sauce, and heat it for a couple of minutes.   It looks as bad as it sounds, yet he eats it with gusto.

Good thing I'm not married, right?  How would I have put together such an eccentric life based on my beliefs (and struggles with potato chips) if I had to compromise with a partner?  That question was not lost on The Child.  He told me yesterday that he would never want to have a life partner whom he had to live with......hmmmmm. 

Well, as long as he knows how to live in a way which is true to himself, then I suppose I need not worry.

May he possess the courage to tackle any persistent potato chips infiltrating his otherwise carefully crafted life.