I’m great at guilt-tripping myself. If guilt-tripping yourself was a competitive sport I could well be a professional player on national level. Which isn’t a good thing, by the way. It sucks.
Sadly the whole litter problem isn’t an exception to this massively unfortunate talent of mine. I am always not good enough. There is always something where I’m willing to sacrifice an option with less single-use plastic for my own comfort and afterwards I’ll beat myself up for it, first for not choosing the plastic free option, then for allowing myself this luxury, then for being angry at myself for allowing myself this luxury. It actually follows me through the day then because I’m really really bad at letting things go that I’ve done wrong (or think that I have done wrong).
Strangely in a world of “treat yo’self” and general indulgence it’s surprisingly easy to feel in the wrong for material choices. For some it’s veganism, for other it’s trends, for me it’s sustainability, plastic avoidance and general eco-friendliness that I am trying to achieve but feel like I horribly fail with.
I just can’t keep a capsule wardrobe. I’ve tried but I am too vain to be content with so little choice.
I keep buying my favourite vegetarian jelly dinos even though they are packaged in plastic and are sugary and therefore also unhealthy.
I was too lazy/tired/hurty to go to the supermarket further away and bought plastic-packaged yoghurt out of convenience.
I’m still not as good as [insert sustainability/zero waste blogger here].
I know that most of this is utter bullshit. So what if I can’t keep a capsule wardrobe (more on that soon, the post is already in the making), most of my clothes are thrifted anyway. So I allow myself to slip up for my favourite treat once in a while. That’s okay. So I didn’t go the extra ten minutes to the other supermarket. Who cares.
The thing is, even typing this feels horrible. I have this stupid, unhealthy urge to save the world all by myself, to eradicate single-use plastic (and banality, while we’re at it) as a one-woman superhero team.
The thing is, that’s absolutely unrealistic.
We live in an age where we can’t really go without plastic if we still want to stay connected to the world around us. My phone, my tablet, my laptop, my means of communication are all made of plastic. My rain coat is made of some kind of non-natural fiber. I take a plastic bottle with me to work because glass would be so much heavier, and I also use it when I go swimming because I’m afraid of a glass bottle slipping from my hands, covering the floor in shards (and I’m not even sure if glass bottles are allowed inside our local indoor pool). I can’t get feta cheese without plastic and it’s literally not possible to get non-plastic packaged toilet paper here in Germany (there used to be a brand in the 90s that packaged in paper, I remember that from my childhood). And I kind of refuse to switch to reusable toilet cloths because even my eco-friendliness has its bounds.
The thing is that I try. And I have to learn that trying and being happy about my personal progress is better than trying and beating me up about not being perfect.
The thing is that there are so many tiny triumphs to be celebrated that if I actually celebrated them I wouldn’t even have time to beat myself up.
The thing is that I should just do that.
So here are my tiny triumphs from the last few weeks:
Seeing Rusty switch from bottled water to a refillable glass bottle for work.
Learning that yes, I still have single use plastic but it’s mere 150g in one week!
Finding a milk packaging made of 40% chalk which makes for less dead dinosaur-based packaging than your usual milk crate.
Re-using the waxed paper from our farmer’s market cheese.
Getting through my menstrual cycles without any “female hygiene” (just call it menstruation, ffs!) product waste.
Avoiding the offered plastic-and-paper bags at the supermarket’s baked goods isle once more by just stuffing the bread into my normal, washable canvas bag.
Collecting litter in the park during a walk after a grumpy cashier at the supermarket purposely overheard my “I don’t need a bag, thank you” for my one bagel-without-anything-on-it. With said bag.
Sure, nothing among those things count as world-shattering. But they still count, and they still make me happy. I’ll have to concentrate on that instead of making me relive my slip-ups again and again and again. I’m currently at my Mum’s and I’m going to make produce bags for her trips to the supermarket because she doesn’t have the time to but I do. And that’s another triumph.
I’m fed up with beating myself up for not being the perfect zero-waste blogger or a shining example of sustainability. I’m doing my best and that’s a pretty good thing to do. And I hope you don’t feel bad, either.
What tiny triumphs have you had lately, sustainability-wise or other? I want to read about them in the comments!
Let’s count our blessings, not our curses!
Pictures are a teaser from my latest urbexing trip. More to come!
It never is.
Long story short, I had a major depressive phase that lasted longer and was a deeper hole I fell into than I expected in the first place.
I rarely talk about my mental issues here on the blog so if you don’t know me off the web the whole me-and-a-depression thing might be a somewhat new thought for you. Anyway, I managed to keep going these past weeks. I went to work, I finished commissions, I hung out with friends – well, Scoundrel and Rusty, to whom both I’m really grateful for being there for me during the last month.
There was just no energy left for blogging (Or vlogging. Or just keeping up with subscribed channels, reading other blogs or maintaining the Changeling forum…) after I somehow maintained my daily life.
I had to turn down an invitation I’d really looked forward to rather last-minute because of all of this, having to cancel my bus tickets the same day they were booked for thanks to the lack of any emotion that felt valid. I felt like something you’d dragged out of the sewer. I didn’t do anything outside my home except for work and to immerse myself in Rusty’s bathtub (because I have fantastic friends who let me borrow their bathtubs) while he was out for the night.
I neglected all means of communication save for those messages that I had to answer or write, like to my boss or for organisational LARP stuff. Chronicles of Mythodea had me out of my slump for a few days and full of joy and adrenaline but afterwards the black hole and the emotional equivalent of watching white wall paint dry came back with full force.
Eventually one of my favourite YouTubers announced a break from the platform. Finally I realised that I was taking a break myself because I needed it before I could produce content again, and by that I mean content that wouldn’t feel forced of half-hearted.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever been absent for this long from this blog – through all previous troubles I’ve just kept on writing and taking pictures and posting and eventually the depression would fade again, as it always does.
I’ve been described as a ray of sunshine more than once, and that’s what I want to be. Depression dims my shine from time to time and then I’ve got to recharge. And that’s what I did.
Thanks for your patience while the clouds passed by.
I’m a fucking ray of sunshine, and I’m back, stronger and warmer and merrier than before.
It feels good to shine again.
I did this last year and am doing it again. I started fresh, trying not to be influenced by last year’s answers.
If I were
a month, i would be: September
a day of the week, i would be: Friday
a time of day, i would be: around 11:30 in the morning
a planet, i would be: Earth
a sea animal, i would be: a Harbour Seal
a direction, i would be: North-West
a piece of furniture, i would be: a cosy canopied built-in bed
a sin, i would be: Wrath
a liquid, i would be: sheep’s milk
a stone, i would be: Clear Crystal or Amber
a tree, i would be: a twisted oak on peaty ground
a bird, i would be: a crow or fat little sparrow
a tool, i would be: an Opinel knife
a flower/plant, i would be: moss
a kind of weather, i would be: a storm and the subsequent clear sky
a mythical creature, i would be: fae
a musical instrument, i would be: a bodhran or accordeon
an animal, i would be: a badger, an otter or a mouse
a colour, i would be: rusty red
a vegetable, i would be: oyster mushrooms
a sound, i would be: snow on dry, dead leaves and crackling bonfires
an element, i would be: Earth, and a bit of Fire
a car, i would be: a Morris Minor 1000 Traveller
a song, i would be: Ye Banks and Braes by The Real McKenzies
a movie, i would be directed by: Wes Anderson or Bryan Fuller
a book, i would be written by: Matt Ruff, Joan Aiken or Kevin Crossley-Holland
a food, i would be: Cinnamon Apple Rolls
a place, i would be: a mossy clearing near a sandy path through heather to the rocky coast
a material, i would be: raw unwashed wool straight from the sheep
a taste, i would be: mulled wine, drank in a castle kitchen
a scent, i would be: forest soil with a hint of turf
a religion, i would be: still Gaelic Polytheism
a word, i would be: luthier
an object, i would be: a teapot
a body part, i would be: hands
a facial expression, i would be: endless wonder
a subject in school, i would be: a do-what-makes-you-happy-as-long-as-it-is-creative art class
a cartoon character, i would be: Merida
a shape, i would be: a rhombus
a number, i would be: 19
I love to see how and where I’ve changed compared to last year. There are some things that are the same and some that are different, and most are just a little bit tweaked but still stay in the same… range. They feel similar. It feels good to see that some things have settled in my character but that I still grow and evolve, because that’s what life is all about in my book.
Would you have answered these questions differently this year, compared to last?
Feel free to fill in the list, too, I’d love to see your answers!