"...I hold the power to try to change it" - wise words, Kellie.
Now that I'm a parent, saddled with the extra responsibility of raising a child, I'm starting to become much more aware of the choices we make and how our actions are shaping our child. In particular, I've been thinking a lot about our current lifestyle habits and the example we are setting for Lalie and any subsequent children we may be blessed with in the future. It's quite alarming to know that our daughter is forming habits and establishing values based on what she observes every day. And although a large majority of what she observes is good, there's definitely a few areas that could do with a good overhaul.
Despite reality being quite the contrary, we tend to fancy ourselves as rather left of center when it comes to food, health and lifestyle. We're completely romanced by the idea of eating organic whole foods, living sustainably and so on and so forth... but the truth of the matter is - we shop at major supermarkets, drink softdrink, eat more processed food than we'd like, don't recycle as much as we should, leave lights and appliances on for no good reason - the list goes on and on. And yet we so often talk of moving to Tasmania and buying a plot of land, building a modest home and supporting ourselves by growing and rearing our own.
Honestly, though? We're kidding ourselves.
We certainly have an idea of the type of people we'd like to be - the life we want to live. But we're not there yet. Not even close. And moving to some idyllic rural setting with a couple of cows and a veggie patch isn't going to miraculously transform us into those people. There are so many habits to turn around, cycles to break, new values to be established and nurtured. And it all needs to start happening here and now - right where we're planted.
It's time for change. It's time to bring more positivity into our life. I want to feel good about the food we're eating and the way we're living. I want to try to break bad habits before they're passed on to our children. I don't want to set double standards in the home - it's not fair to expect more from Lalie than I do from myself. I simply want to lead by example.
So, these are some of the changes we are going to try and implement over the next year and beyond:
- Start composting.
- Buy organic and/or local produce wherever we can (by cutting out rubbish food we can allow more in the budget for quality food).
- Cut down on our waste (it's appalling how much food I throw out each week because I've been too lazy to work it into a meal plan).
- Reduce processed foods.
- Put more thought into meal plans and preparation.
- Establish a substantial herb garden.
- Reduce energy usage in the home.
Short term goals (1 year +):
- Introduce chickens to our suburban backyard.
- Plant fruit trees.
- Establish a seasonal vegetable garden.
Long term goals (5 years +):
- Install solar panels.
- Install a rainwater tank.
It doesn't seem like much, but it's a start. We're not about to go on some extreme departure from who we are. This needs to be an achievable transition, not a plan that simply overwhelms us. I think these goals are certainly enough to make a noticeable difference to the way we feel about our life, our health and our family's future.