On giving myself a break

Hmm, the trouble with relaxing is it makes you realise how tired you are… and then it’s very difficult not to relax more!

Last weekend I went on a little family holiday to Waiheke Island.  It was my first real holiday in over 2 years!  Consequently, I now realise it was far too short because even though I had an amazingly relaxing, enjoyable time, I’ve come back home feeling exhausted and it’s taken another few days at home for me to finish unwinding and start to feel energised again.

I’ve had a little break from blogging because even though I have lots of things I want to say, I can’t get the right words out – sort of like stage fright – so I’ve decided not to force it.

However, since my last post a couple of weeks’ ago, I’ve had an amazing opportunity as ‘Mrs Goodness’.  I was invited to do a little presentation to the Year 9’s at Waikato Diocesan here in Hamilton, as an opener to their Term 4 project in sustainability.  The teachers have organised a project for the girls which seems to be quite self-directed as well as cross-curricular, meaning they will be working on the one project in Science, Social Studies and English. Cool, eh?  After introducing myself as one who washes her hair with flour and brushes her teeth with soap, I talked mostly about the problem of plastic waste, which as you know, I’m quite passionate about.  I was so relieved to receive a positive, interested response from the girls and their teachers, who seem to have perceived me as “extreme” but thankfully, not freakish, haha.  The funny thing is, I don’t consider myself to be “extreme” at all, but I guess that’s because I’m comparing myself to people around the world who are able to minimise their annual waste to fit within a little glass jar. I’m not even close to that, and I’m not pressuring myself to achieve a result like that, but I’m also not pretending to myself that it’s impossible or unreasonable for me to strive for a zero-waste lifestyle even though I can’t commit to it as completely as others do.

What I’ve noticed time and again since putting Mrs Goodness’ ideas out there, is that people are so encouraged by hearing or reading that I got to this (apparently extreme-ly sustainable) way of living by making really tiny, easy, almost inconsequential efforts over a period of years.  And when I started I was really unwell and miserable!  In hindsight, the length of time it took for me to make good changes is insignificant, because what I’m achieving and doing right now is all that matters, really.

In a modern world of instant gratification, it seems we are really undermining our own ability to be happy and do good, by expecting instant results from ourselves, and then burdening ourselves with unbearable guilt for what we are not able to deliver immediately and perfectly.  I do it too, all the time.  But as Mrs Goodness, I really want to spread the word that being good shouldn’t be hard, or stressful, or exhausting! – if you just build into it a healthy dose of PATIENCE, and forgiveness.  We all just need to slow down, and concentrate on what we’re doing, rather than how fast we’re doing it.

And on that note, I’m going to sit in the sunshine for a moment and admire my beautiful garden that is full of spring blooms …and weeds!… and be thankful for all of it, weeds included. 🙂


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