Opening my eyes to change

It’s funny how I ended that last post with, “be the change you wish to see in the world, but also, be the change you wish to see in you… ” With winter fully in effect here in Leadville, I feel new changes coming along with the new winter wind.  Last night my husband and I watched the most amazing documentary. Racing Extinction on the discovery channel, and it literally spoke to us. It was about the vast amount of animals that already have and are on the brink of becoming extinct… All too fast and right before our eyes.  It made a comment about the people who are sitting with their backs to reality and with their eyes half shut, simply saying, “well, we’re fucked” and not doing a damn thing while we are walking this earth.  ….I hate to admit it, but that is us. Was us, until now… Honestly I generally take the ostrich approach when it comes to watching the news and following all of the grave things happening to our earth and our people, and our animals.  I put my head in the sand and pretend no one can see me, as I don’t see them… I don’t like to know about all of the awful things that happen in the world when I feel I cannot help make a change.   The news is sad, and I usually am left feeling helpless and slightly depressed.  What has our world come to?

One man on the show, I think he was a National Geographic photographer, but I’m not 100% sure…. Anyway, he mentioned that Its almost like we are in the time of dinosaurs before extinction but are closing our eyes to the vast number of animals going extinct in such short amounts of time… Literally right before our eyes. If we opened our eyes and hearts to new ways of living than we might be able to do something before its our bones of humanity that are the fossils found in the next age of earth… One day when cockroaches rule the world and we humans have completely depleted our time here on Earth.

That being said… Drum roll please… Starting Jan 1, 2016 we’ve decided to give it a go. Open our eyes and no longer live as a detriment to the world in which we live.  We are going to completely change our lifestyle, our eating habits, and become 100% vegan.  I’m not making a promise for my entire lifetime, but rather introducing this way of life into mine for 30 days at the least.  Hey, it’s a start. We all know that the quality of all mass produced foods is less than desirable and actually quite sickening when you allow yourself to open your eyes to it.  Sure that crispy chicken sandwich from Wendy’s sure does taste delicious, but that’s because it’s filled with hormones and chemicals to ensure it will taste exactly the same every time.  They claim it’s all natural, but the mass amount of chickens being slaughtered so inhumanely…. It makes me sad.  (I don’t mean to call out Wendy’s, but as a spicy crispy chicken lover it’s one of the first things in my diet I am saying “sayonara” to.

I graduated from Bridgewater College in Virginia.  A beautiful small private school in the Blue Ridge Mountains, unfortunately for all of the BC students it was down the road a bit from a Purdue chicken plant.  I can still smell the putrid fumes  from the plant, I still remember seeing the truckloads of chickens on the highway, so packed full that sometimes you would see a stray chicken, literally on the side of the road that was left off, or pushed out of the truck.  Why did the chicken cross the road? To get as far away from that damn chicken plant as fast as possible! Haha..

Per @thelushscoop (an Australian based vegan culture and lifestyle magazine) the meat and dairy industry are one of the number one contributors to climate change.  “And studies have shown that the water needed to produce a single hamburger is equivalent to showering for two entire months” the lush scoop.  YIKES! I cannot continue to learn these things and then life my life blindly.  I want to be present, be aware so that I can teach my son how to live fully and with his eyes wide open.  So here we go, a new adventure, a new way of life.  A task which may seem so small to some but is completely daunting to me… But we live and we learn and I feel I owe it to myself to give it a go. I’m going to be documenting this journey as I go and I am excited to see and feel everything this change might bring to our lives.. And I’m excited to share this journey with you and others.  This is our Earth that we are lucky enough to roam and live, it’s depleting right before our eyes.  I believe we can make changes to ourselves and the world we live in.  This is my way, what is yours? What are you doing to help ensure that our future generations will have a solid way of life, and a beautiful Earth to explore? We have to start now. It’s not going to be easy, that’s why I’m opening up and sharing this journey with you.  It’s going to keep me accountable and continue this journey… Here we go!

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Hello Winter, I’ve been waiting for you

There is something to be said about the feeling you get with the first snowfall.  Poor winter gets the most grief. As understandably so.. I mean, beyond the obvious bitter cold, dangerous traveling conditions, snow which inevitably also means ‘manual labor’ to a large array of seasonal winter dwellers.  It was understood by me that we, as a human society have a right to live basically anywhere we want.  If you want to be somewhere than I believe you just have to make it happen.  I know it’s so much easier said than done, but maybe I’m a naive believer.  Err, scratch that I don’t want to sound like im a belieber. Gross. That’s a whole other post for a later day…

But I always wonder why everyone gripes about the impending winter.  Especially since we all are Coloradians, native or not.  Winter is a huge part of our life and I feel it doesn’t get the respect it should… I’ve always wanted to ask the people that gripe about the upcoming winter, why do you live here? And then I wonder, am I naive? I haven’t spent 20 years of my life dealing with backbreaking snowstorms… But I’ve made a decision to try.

For me, I love the feeling of hibernating inside a warm house, drinking ginger and honey tea made on our wood burning stove, just watching the inches accumulate on the deck.  I love watching my dogs running wildly through the snow, catching snowballs and snowflakes.  I love how the snow outlines each naked branch with light, puffy, white as it could be snow.  I love how every snowflake is unique. I loved the look on my sons face when we looked outside and he tried to figure out this new scene of our familiar lawn.  The curiosity, the wonderment, you could literally see him thinking.

I have truly made an attempt to be wholly present in each season, each month, each day.  I am an anticipatory person and was always looking and waiting for the next season, never being fully immersed into the season… This year, having Atom, I wanted to savor every last memory of each season, so I was able to not look forward too much, I wanted to be in and remember every moment.  Although he has made life busier, being a mama to my son has allowed me to slow down.  I applaud every working mama out there! You have a drive within you that I don’t think I have.  To be able to get up and be a mama and also manage work is crazy talk.. Talk about powerful! As a stay at home mama, I have huge respect for our working mamas out there.  I feel as though I have hard enough time finding enough time for everything that needs to be done. Motherhood alone is a full time job, but mostly I believe it’s about finding your chi and balance. But its hard to find balance in a sleep deprived life…

Atom has been a hungry little caterpillar since the day he was born.  I had to supplement small amounts of formula through a small pump for 3 days after he was born because I was not producing enough for him.  There was a small tube that ran into the side of his cheek beside my breast.  So he never even knew and still latched perfectly.  I didn’t want to do this but little man was always hungry.  He weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces so he was a tiny little nugget, so we decided it was better for him to get a full feeding than none at all.  I discontinued the S pump a mere 1 week after being home and began exclusively breastfeeding. Such a struggle, but we did it.  Now at 6 months my little catapillar can go 4 hours until he wants to eat again.. Which means, I’m still getting up twice a night for feedings.  It’s been half a year and I still havent slept for more than 4 hours consecutively.

**Time warp to present time and we are finally sleeping through the night, which has drastically changed my outlook on life, I might add.  This was one of the most difficult feats I’ve overcome as a first time mama, being who you need to be for your little one, with very little sleep.  But we did it, he will be 8 months old next week and I’ve been able to enjoy the last month and a half where bed time is truly bed time.  We put him down at 7, it takes 20 minutes for him to become fully asleep, and then Michael and I get to enjoy mama and papa time.  I will say though, now that he sleeps through the night and I get 10, sometimes 12 hours of me time (whether I am sleeping or not)  I miss that little nugget and cannot wait for him to wake in the morning 🙂 …funny how things go.**

I’m sure one day, I’m going to have my day when I am no longer able to enjoy winter… Or will I? But if that time ever comes, I will make sure to try and change my surroundings so I can be peacefully present within each day.  Just know that you are powerful, “be the change you wish to see in the world” but also be the change you wish to see in you.