Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Identity Crisis, Green Living, Frugality, Stress...

What a plethora of items, yes? All of the above items have been absolutely swimming through my head during the past few months, and I'm not sure where I want to store them in my mental inventory and how much I want to address each one.

I've been having an identity crisis for the past few months...honestly, probably since September of last year when I realized that I don't even look like I did when I was in college anymore (and that was only five years ago). I'm having trouble feeling like things are moving too quickly in life and I'm unable to keep up with the pace. I've worked some things out over the past few months (like accepting my hippie side and being okay that I'm not always going to be like other Christians), but I'm still trying to figure out where my dreams, goals, hopes, fears, and insecurities all meet to let me do what I want to do with my life.

I've been very concerned with Green Living for the past several months; ever since we bought our house, I've wanted to move to a more natural lifestyle and to tread more lightly on the earth....then my garden died and I was unable to produce the piles of organic produced that I'd hoped for. Then, ants invaded our house and we had to use chemicals to get them out. We are still managing to use CFL light bulbs, are reducing our shower time to conserve water, and use washable containers for our lunch rather than plastic bags. But I want to do more. I want to do more to help the Earth and our animals, whom God has put in our care. I've given up meat (had a tofu dog casserole for dinner!), which has been a fairly recent development, and I went raw for a couple of weeks. But I want to do more.....I want to learn more and to get involved more. I want to help spread the message of environmentalism to other Christians, who fail to pay attention to the fact that God entrusted creation into our care in the garden of Eden. That command didn't go away just because we screwed it up.

Because of our current life circumstances (Joey going to school), we are forced to be very frugal, and in all honesty, I would be frugal anyway. I don't trust advertisers, and I can't stand the way they try to coerce us into believing that we need all of the things that they are selling. As a result, I seem to come across as being stingy, which I hate, as Joey and I are not...we tithe to the church, give to animal help/rights organizations, tip well at restaurants. We're not misers who want to sit on all of our money.....so I've let my contemplation of and writing about frugality go so that I don't continue to perpetuate the ideal that "frugality" equals "obsessed with money."

So, with all of this floating around in my head, I'm feeling an overwhelming sense of stress....trying to figure out how this all fits together and what steps I need to take next to be the person that I'm supposed to be.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Will We Ever Have Time for TV Again?

Ok, so the title is not entirely true, as I do have the TV on right now, but the week without TV has been fantastically wonderful and very enlightening. Joey and I have spent more time reading, more time talking, playing games, studying and doing schoolwork, and for the most part, just enjoying peace. We're definitely planning to try to continue the no-tv lifestyle as much as possible. I think it's better anyway, as I don't want my kid(s) to be that influenced by advertising as much as I probably was as a child.

On the life horizon, Joey will be preaching a revival May 18 - 21. He's really nervous....honestly, I'm a bit nervous for him. He's never preached before and he told the preacher who asked him to do the revival, to which he responded, "I know. That's why I asked you." Everyone has to have a first time, I suppose. I'm excited to see the changes that are happening these days....makes me feel like something good is going to happen sometime soon.

I'm going to do more raw next week. I got some Hot and Spicy Chex Mix this weekend, which was really tasty, but didn't love me back, and now I feel nasty and my tummy hurts. I think it's time to get back to a healthy diet (I was only off of a healthy diet for a day and a half, but it had a pretty serious effect on me).

Here's to life development!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

TV Diet, Day Two

I know, I didn't post anything for Day One, but I felt that it wouldn't serve much purpose to post during the first few hours of living without television, so I decided to wait until tonight. Yesterday, we did watch two of Joey's classes for his Hermeneutics class, and I did some blogging on my MySpace blog, but once his classes were done, we turned off the tube. At first, it was a relatively quiet evening, as I poked around the Internet looking for articles to read about sustainable living and voluntary simplicity (which is my routine search these days as I am constantly trying to refine mine and Joey's life). Joey read some of his class reading to prepare for his quiz this week. However, after thirty minutes of that, he brought up the point that we're usually pretty distant to each other on a normal night when the TV's on....I'll get into what I'm doing on the net and he'll get into a show and we never talk. That convicted me, so I immediately shut the laptop and commenced to staring at him and watching his every move, which he found to be immensely funny, but it at least got a conversation going. We ended up talking until Nine, at which point we got ready for bed, but honestly, I barely noticed that the TV wasn't on and I felt as though I had connected with my husband.

Tonight, we went to Wingate University after work so that Joey could do some research for a paper that he has due next month. I took the time to start (or "restart" actually) my class that I'm taking for work. I was able to get most of the way through the first chapter by the time he finished his research. We picked up some bread sticks from Pizza Hut and enjoyed a nice dinner together and now Joey is reading some more for his class.

Things I have noticed in the past two days of no TV:
  • I have talked to Joey much more
  • We've been more goofy and in a better mood for the most part
  • My vocabulary and writing skills are already improving
  • I was more relaxed today at work and was able to get more tasks done

One of the bigger challenges thus far has been how to handle going to sleep. I have to have the TV on when I go to sleep....not so much for the programming, but more for the electric hum that it emits (because I always fell asleep with it on as a kid...I'm a freak, I know). We decided that we would turn it on, but would leave it on the "Line" channel...the one that's just a blue screen, so that we're not actually watching anything. I do find that the news in the morning is still helpful...it's good to get the weather and traffic before we leave for work, and there's a segment called "Cooking at Home" that I enjoy a lot.

So, there you have it....Day One and Day Two in a nutshell. I definitely recommend this for anyone who happens upon my blog. As my husband would say, "this gives you more options, not less, so it's a good thing." Expand your mind, people!