In a moment, everything changes.
Sometimes it was a long time in the making. Sometimes you just knew in your heart it would happen eventually. You just didn't know when. More often than not, you chose not to believe it could actually ever come true. But it was always there, all the time. It was already decided, with or without your attempts to control.
Ack, sorry for getting all philosophical on you. But, guys, listen. Shit's gotten real here the past few weeks. Sorry for the foul language. My big sisters keep telling me I've gotta clean that up.
And I'm sorry I've fallen off the grid. But all of a sudden, nixing plastic straws and squawking about pollution seems wholly irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
Life and death matters kinda squander all the fucks I have to give about environmental issues. Hate to say it. (There goes that sailor's mouth again. Oops.)
But people are hurting. People in my family, whom I love like crazy. Grief; deep, agonizing, complicated grief is currently under way. Unfolding like a slow-motion car accident in a Quentin Tarantino movie that you just know is going to end with flipped-over cars and hell fires burning. You can't stop it, but you just know lives will be changed forever after this.
The hardest part is knowing there's nothing I can do to fix it. I'm a bit of a control freak, so this kind of situation makes me very uncomfortable. And yet, this isn't about me or my damned comfort. Not even close. But there's not even very much I can do to help those who are immediately affected. Other than to bear witness. To hold hands with those in need. To pray.
Nevertheless, I've resumed some level of normalcy. The hospital visits have wound down and the meal prep has been taken over. Lucky for me. Not so lucky for my family members who are on the front lines and still deeply suffering firsthand with all of this.
In the midst of tragedy, it's easy to forget that my kids still need a mom and my husband still needs his wife and my boss still needs a writer and my hair still needs to get washed every few days. So I'm taking care of me now, so I can take care of them. But even throughout these past few weeks, I've tried my best to live according to Reductionist morals.
Ergo, I plucked aluminum cans out of the trash at the ICU, took them home to be recycled. I slow-cooked my first batch of bone broth. Thanks to those two blessed chickens who sacrificed not just their meat but their carcasses, too, so that I may enjoy their marrow. The stuff is both delicious and nourishing, especially in such a time as this.
I also got a tick bite somewhere in there, a big old painful bullseye right on my thigh. I’m grateful it's not Lyme. I think it was a great heavenly distraction--the fever and body aches are what originally took me away from ICU-watch duty. I needed to get the hell outta there. I'm better now but am taking the antibiotics anyway. It's probably a blessing I can't drink alcohol on the stuff, or else these past coupla weeks would've looked very different for me, soaked in wine, whiskey and rage.
This sense of impossible green-ness has bled over into my home life, too. I've gotten mad--really effing mad--at my Diva Cup, for instance. The stupid thing really hasn't ever worked in the year I've used it, if I'm being honest with myself. Not the way I'd dreamed it could. I'd been saving up for a good blog post for you guys about the merits of a menstrual cup. It was going to be a long-term study. Detailed. Relevant. A glowing review with high recommendations.
But after birthing two babies close together and tearing front and back both times, my cervix maybe just isn't cut out for accepting the cup thing. Not to mention my carpal tunnel, which causes numb fingers, a.k.a. my "useless claw," makes it damned difficult to manipulate the gadget, to get the cup in and out with precision.
So I'm back to my old tried-and-true Playtex Sport Supers. With the applicator, thank-you-very-much. Ain’t that okay? I thought we ladies were done period-shaming ourselves. Putting pressure on ourselves to wear uncomfortable hunks of plastic in our vaginas that don’t fit right, all in the name of sustainability? That sounds like period-shaming if you ask me.
Leading up to this tragic accident, I started spending my 5:30 a.m. writing sessions focusing my creative outlet in a different direction. It’s really an old direction, one I haven’t given credence to in years. But in the face of all that is painfully real, I’m feeling the pull of my true inner voice. That prayer thing I talked about earlier—or meditation, or spiritual connectedness, or mindful awareness, whatever you wanna call it—really started in earnest for me back in October of 2018, and I think back then it began guiding me to write more of the essence of the real me. I haven’t shared any of that with you yet. It’s all private Word docs for now.
Sure, the health of the planet really matters a lot to me and always will. But there's not much more I can tell you guys that you don't already know about eco-living. Hell, you're teaching me things I don't know about how to go green.
So...maybe what I'm saying is that you might see some changes coming around here. I may not publish as often as I had been. And I may not always share tips on green living. Hope that's okay with you. Because there's more to me than that. A lot more. And I want to share those other aspects of my experience. There's love in there, and lust, and romance and regret and parenting and depression and drugs and anger and recovery and friendship and sisterhood and care-taking and abuse and harassment and cops and burglary and violence and symbolism and God.
And hell, I didn't earn a degree in creative nonfiction for nothing.
Okay? Are you guys cool with that? Great. Thanks. So, here’s the deal, then: When I'm not working at my day job as a copywriter, I'll be here. Getting deeper, expanding my repertoire of topics, sharing more of the real me. Because what the hell are any of us doing here anyway, if it’s not being real about who we are?
I'm Janeen; writer, mother, wife, and full-time, radical Reductionist. I share stupid-easy tips on how to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, & I'm committed to helping others live a life of simple sustainability.
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