21 December 2010

a bit of a change...

i ran to the bathroom and when i came back, that is how i found eleri. she was giggling and laughing, pointing at me and then at herself. she was so proud that she had managed to wedge herself on her toy basket. little kids are crazy.

now on to reverb-ing for the day. this is the prompt for today: Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) i intentionally did not post on this yesterday because i was not sure how to answer the question. i am still not entirely sure that i have an answer. this year i have had to deal with quite a bit. as a wife, mother and friend there were situations and circumstances that i could not avoid; things had to be dealt with. aside from writing a book and making a quilt, there wasnt a lot this year that i successfully avoided. there were things i wanted to run away from and not deal with, but that was simply not an option. so to enable myself to write a reverb post for today, i have tweaked the question slightly. today's prompt for kristina now reads:

Avoidance. Coming from what you learned in 2010, what should you/do you want to keep up in 2011 when you move that you are scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise assuming that you might not/will not be able to.

this is a question i feel that i can answer. i have high hopes riding on 2011; that it will be a fantastically more peaceful and settled year than 2010. unfortunately with those hopes come quite a bit of fear/anxiety/nervousness/uncertainty. i have mentioned on numerous occasions the benefits of living in europe. i have written multiple posts about the ways i have changed in my heart, lifestyle, attitude and perspective after living here nearly 4 years. some changes i will be happy to let go of, embracing a more 'american' way of life. but some changes i cherish and want to do everything i can to hold on to. those are the changes i am fearful about losing.

there are lots of 'things' that i want to bring over with me; many attitudes, ideas and perspectives that i am terrified of losing. in the interest of you readers, and the time it would take to write it all out, i will limit my answer to the main two. they are as follows:

green living: sustainability, recycling, reusing, carbon footprint...all words that i not only hear on a daily basis, but words that have come to life to me over the past few years. i remember the summer of 2002 i worked with my dear friend tara in Kings Canyon National Park. towards the end of our summer, there was talk of building a road through the back country at 10,000 feet. we were appalled! a road in my back country. the amount of forestry and natural beauty it would destroy- unimaginable. we both said we would come back and chain ourselves to trees if they tried to build a road. that was the closest i had ever come to being a 'tree hugging crazy liberal environmentalist' as those back home would say.

thankfully they have yet to start construction on the road, so no chaining myself to trees just yet. but the principle of maintaining natural beauty (read: the earth) for future generations is the same. if we destroy our environment today through overuse, misuse, carelessness and selfishness what will be left for our children? and our children's children? this is a hot topic in europe (not sure about the states?) but it is a real issue to me.

rhys and i are very adamant about 'green living'. we do our best to do what we can. we recycle, but not just your typical bottles, cans and paper. everything is looked at as what can be recycled. wrapping paper scraps, fruit punnets, envelopes, shredded paper, plastic wrap off dvd's/cd's, etc... we wash and reuse zip lock bags, we use washable dishcloths instead of paper towels. we turn off appliances at the plug when not in use, we watch the heating (no a/c in the UK) we walk when possible. or use public transport. we compost bannana peels, left over food etc..., we never get plastic bags from grocery stores, bringing in our own instead. grow veggies in the back garden. get a large portion of eler's toys from the 'toy recycle' instead of buying brand new. we do our best to stay away from plastic toys with chemicals instead going for wooden or cloth (not all of them. she does have plastic toys) we buy fair trade as much as we can and try not to buy food containers that are not recyclable. we hang our clothes/towels/sheets out to dry so as not to use the dryer (takes a while to dry in the winter though!) and will seriously look into solar panels when we own our own home. we are trying to watch our 'carbon footprint' so to speak and want to do as much as we can to be good stewards of the earth/environment God has given us. just as we are called to be good stewards of money etc... we feel we are to be wise in how we approach our environment as well. (again, read Planetwise by Dave Bookless)

but i am nervous that i wont be strong enough to keep up the changes in america. i am afraid that i will give in to the old kristina ways. it is easier to use a dryer for everything. it is quicker to drive everywhere. if no recycling trucks come to our house, will i be dedicated to go the centers to recycle myself? what about fair trade? nearly everything in the UK supermarkets is locally grown and/or fair trade certified. even big walmart like supermarkets. is it like that in america? i dont know. but i am worried that i will too easily fall back into my old, comfortable habits and the greener lifestyle we have acquired over here will be quickly lost. it worries me.

pub culture: the bar scene in america can not be compared to the pub culture in the UK. they are different. culturally people do not address drinking the same way, therefore it follows that the pub/bar atmosphere is different. a pub in the UK is not all about drinking, it is about living life. no, i do not plan on opening up a 'pub' in arkansas and trying to make british culture. but what i want to do is to bring elements of pub life to my home and friends in the US. the aspects of community/friendship at a pub are incredible. getting together for a relaxing drink and chat. sports fans coming together to cheer on their team. friends dancing around, laughing together. sober moments of communal sadness at a disaster or death. people go to the pub for nearly everything. i want to keep some of those elements up, but perhaps in my home.

i want my house to be open to anybody and everybody. friends, friends of friends, children. food, drinks, games, laughter...whatever the situation calls for, i want my home to be like a british pub. (really? did i just compare my house to a bar?) the point is, the openness and community that exists in the pub culture, i would like to embrace in terms of hospitality in my house.

i am afraid that wont happen. i am afraid that the 'community' aspect will be segregated. a community group at church would be different from the rugby team rhys plays for and that would be different again to people we meet through other means...and so on. i want to integrate them all. welcome anyone and everyone (just like the pub) and bring people together. possible? i dont know. it will take tremendous effort on my part to invest in people and to work to get everyone together. if i am serious about my house and being hospitable, then i need to be willing to invest the time and effort into making that happen. but i am scared to lose the pub culture. i want some elements to still exist in the states. we shall see.

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