Losing My Religion

“That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight … losing my religion.”  Great R.E.M. jam, right?  It’s totally how I feel today.

Friends of faith, calm down!  I’m not being literal, or rather – I’m not talking about my spiritual religion, Christianity.  My love of Jesus is as intact as ever.  It’s actually thriving I’d say: going through this huge move with so much uncertainty and loose ends, Duggs and I have been very laid back.  I’ve really been able to just hand the reigns over to God and trust that we’ll be fine, it’ll all work out in His time, and that He has my back.  He always does, so why worry now?

love this!

Of course, we’re doing all we can to work hard and set ourselves up for success – but fretting over things out of our control?  Not happening.  We’ve had faith and it’s been very comforting.

What I’m referring to is my religion of eco-friendliness.

Practicing my beliefs through the way I run a home, the purchases I make, the products I choose to surround myself with, put into the environment and my body… I’ve lost that “religion” big time.

I’ve been SO BAD.

Drive-throughs, food dye, nitrates, preservatives… you name it, I’ve been eating it this past month+. I’ve had more take out and delivery than you’d even think humanly possible.  My first week in New York I ate at Dunkin Donuts literally every single day.  (There aren’t any DDs in Hawaii, and I was dying for jelly donuts and pumpernickel bagels like woah).

be still my beating heart

It gets worse…  Much worse.

Hi. My name is Rose, and I’ve shopped at Walmart recently.

(Hi Rose).

Yeah, I need a Walmart Anonymous meeting or something to help me cope.

i’ve been here, and i’ve spent money. oy.

I’m downright ASHAMED that I’ve supported the giant corporation that I’ve been a sworn enemy of for years.  I mean, I belong to an anti-Walmart watchdog group that keeps tabs on all of the pollution-causing antics, third world sweatshop supporting practices and employee rights-squashing shenanigans that the big blue box condones (and usually tries to hide with price roll back smoke and mirrors).

what do all these products have in common? check the brand. sigh.

It still gets WORSE.

I’ve used paper towels.  Lots of them.

the devil’s mess vessel

(I’m basically in tears at this point.  Who am I? Where has the real Rose gone?).

I’ve drank coffee made in a Keurig.  Oh how I swore I never would.  But I did. In multiple homes on multiple occasions… and I liked it.  It’s delicious.  I even bought more K-cups to refill the ones I willfully consumed.

the set-up here at nick’s. it’s sinfully wasteful… and yet sinfully delicious.

look out landfills, mama’s thirsty!

And if we’re getting really honest – which we are, I’m confessing to quite a lot of eco-sins here – I’ve also used some chemically crazy cleaning agents.  A little bleach here, a little neon colored scented spray there.  SIGH.

oh the shame. i should have to turn in my friendship bracelets and bandanna. am i even a hippie anymore?

I mean, I have excuses – sure.  I’ve been a guest in the homes of others.  I’m trying to be polite and keep things simple.  I’m living out of suitcases (essentially), and for a while we were technically homeless.  Going with the flow, not making waves, and so on… but you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I know I’m being hard on myself.  But there’s a certain level of conscientious living that I’ve strived for and I feel like I’ve just totally ignored all of my earthly beliefs lately.

Really though, there is some adjustment period to be expected.  I didn’t pack rags with us like I had intended to (I was so ill the day the movers came to our house in Hawaii, so many of my plans for what was to get packed/shipped and what was to come with us for immediate access went totally out the window – I’m lucky to have underwear and socks with me, it was that crazy, I was that ill).

So I’ve been bad and I know it. 

Duggs and I went more than a year with only buying a single roll of paper towels for our home (for doggie pee when we were dog sitting and other such “emergencies”).  We use cloth napkins, rags, and towels.

I had actually kicked my coffee habit to the curb and was drinking tea, usually only one caffeinated tea a day – the others decaf, herbal, etc.  And even if/when we made coffee, it was with a regular pot.  Many of my (dear beloved) pals have gone Keurig, and while the idea of making one cup at a time seems convenient and nice, the waste just seems inexcusable.  All that packaging! Ugh.  (And I know there’s the “my K-cup” thingy that’s reusable, but still… who uses those? It’s way more fun and easy to just buy the regular disposable K-cups).

And Walmart? Ha! I haven’t been in a walmart in years.  Actually, Duggs and I made ONE purchase there the entire time I lived in Hawaii.  And before that, I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d been in one.

I like to practice what I preach.   I sure try to anyways.  We all slip up, yes.  I know I’m not perfect, but I try and that’s been something I define myself by, a source of pride.

As an American I know I have power in my vote, sure.  But we all have a power that seems to carry even more impact: consumer power.  Where we spend our hard earned money speaks volumes.  By not buying products I consider wasteful or harmful, by not shopping at stores whose practices I’m not down with – I vote with my money.

I’m proud of the strides I’ve made in recent years. It seems like every year since ’07, my resolution has been “to be greener,” and every year I’ve made imporvements.

Buying and eating better food to not support farming practices I don’t agree with (factory farming is downright evil) and to be kinder to my body is one that I’ve worked on for years.  The amount of waste reduction in our home has been impressive.  Using less and less “disposable” items and more reusable stuffs – it’s better for the earth and it’s better for our pocketbooks.

Do you know how pricey paper towels and paper napkins are?  That junk adds up! Back in Hawaii, I cut up one old towel and made like 15 rags.  They work better than paper towels and you just wash ’em and voila, good to go.  Cloth napkins are nice too, they’re softer on your skin and again, save money, waste less, so on.  Making our own cleaning products is WAY better for the environment and much, much cheaper.  Those fancy products add up; but white distilled vinegar?  Blessedly affordable.

oh wdv, our love affair will never ever end!

My crunchy habits do save us money, which is great.

But more than that, I’ve been able to live a lifestyle I’m proud of, one that allows me to live out my beliefs.  

So without those habits I feel like I’m being untrue to my heart.  I’ve had that R.E.M. song stuck in my head for days, and I don’t think it’s coincidence.  My eco-religion is a little lost right now.

I’m not all evil these days, though.  I’m slowly getting back into my green hippie groove.   The jostle of moving and being on the road, going from place to place was unstable.  But now that we’re here at Nick’s and settled in, I’ve been getting back into a greener routine.  I know it won’t be long before I’m up to my old hippie tricks and living at a level that’s reasonable and good.

It’s just the lapse that happened during the in-between for which I feel guilty.

I had to confess, get it off my chest.  But that’s it, I’m wiping the slate clean and moving on.  While I’m not pleased with some of the wasteful ways I’ve taken up lately, and the whole Wamart thing (*shudders*) … I’m not going to beat myself up too much.  What’s the point?

I’ve recognized the problem, and that’s always the first step.  So now, it’s about moving on and regaining my crunchy cred.  I’ll post soon (tomorrow maybe?) about the greenie ways I’m getting back and the hippie practices I’ve never lost sight of.  There are so many little, easy ways to keep an eco-friendly home, save money and be nice to ourselves and our animals (chemicals kill, yo).

And at some point I should post about all the crunchy hippie habits of mine that save money.  You’d be amazed at how my gentle ways also go so easy on the wallet.  But that’ll be a long post, and I’ll need to think of all the things I do – I don’t want to leave anything out.

For today though, the confession feels nice.  It’s off my chest – so thanks for letting me do that.

As always, thanks for reading!  xoxo, hhr

Image Sources for the ones that aren’t mine:
Trust God image (it’s actually a teeshirt you can order, rad!)
Dunkin Donuts pic
Walmart storefront pic


9 responses

  1. Rose… it’s OK. really. I promise.
    Now, go read Jn 20.23a. Or, read it right here. 8^)
    “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven…”
    I forgive you. Seriously. If there’s anything to forgive in there, I forgive you. Forgive yourself and move on, girl.

    Life happens. There are absolutes, but there are a lot fewer than we tend to think, and using paper towels or not doesn’t have to be an absolute. You can’t control being sick. You can’t control the mold in your last home. Sometimes we have to make accommodations to circumstances. That doesn’t mean I can murder someone or cheat on my wife just because it was convenient, but …

    Mt 12/11: ‘He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?’ This was God, telling people that there were circumstances under which their interpretation of his law was way off base. “Hey, it’s OK. Really. I promise.”

    So, be at peace. Be Rose. You’re so freaking awesome at it. Do what you can, and be content. You rock. You and your hubby are awesome and loved.

    I say all this as a guy who loathes WalMart and avoids them at nearly all cost on moral grounds, but who spent several hundred dollars at one on his niece’s wedding in a small town in NC. And regretted it for about 2 seconds. There really wasn’t any reasonable alternative. Life happens.

    Forget religion. It’s death. Relationship is where it’s at, and you rekindled some of those on the journey to where you are. That’s a Good Thing.

    [All verses NIV, copyright something or other, used under “fair use” clause. All fair and legal. Seriously.]

    • Good verses – thanks Miles!

      And thanks for the encouragement and the kind words.

      I totally agree with you about religion being the pits. Getting all up in the system and the legalism of it is just… not the point. It is all about the relationship, and when it comes to the one I have with God, it does feel so good and rekindled right now.

      I know there are SO MANY things outside of my control – that’s what this post was about. And while I do feel crappy for using paper towels and shopping at Walmart (ugh), it is what it is – I said in the post I’m not beating myself up over it, it’s nothing to lose sleep over.

      But now that the turbulence of moving has stopped and I’m where I’m supposed to be and I’m happily getting settled, I think it’s okay to step back and take stock of what’s working and what’s not. And for me, I like using rags and shopping at the local grocer or a store I morally feel better about.

      So that’s all it is. I’ve deviated from my normal habits, but given all of the change going on – it’s unavoidable at best! Don’t think I’m too upset… I wrote this post to make the point about noticing and like I said, wiping the slate clean now and then moving forward. I hope it doesn’t come across like I’m wringing my hands and I’m all distraught. It’s not like that!

      Thanks for reading and for always loving =)

  2. I LOVE this post! I’ve lost some religion lately, too, and it feels SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!
    BTW, will you go back to tie-dying shirts? No hurry or pressure, please. But when you do, will you let us know? Thanks!!!!

    • thanks so much sharon!! losing some religion feels pretty nice, huh?

      as for the tie dye, i’ll let y’all know. i shipped all of my tie dye supplies with our household goods, so that’ll take at least eight+ weeks to get here, plus whatever length we keep it all in storage. as soon as i’m back in business, i’ll make sure to tell you!

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  5. I loved this post! I’ve tried to go green slowly, but I have a long ways to go. I’ve been rewashing ziplock bags for years and hardly every buy any. lol
    I too gave up coffee and had one caffeinated tea a day and herbal, but I’m back to coffee (half & half)…sigh. Coffee is hard to give up.
    And I also believe Christianity is all about relationships with God and others…not rituals,e etc.
    Have a great day and thanks for the post (even though I’m reading it over a month late. 🙂

    • There’s no timeline, posts don’t expire =)

      Coffee is hard to get rid of, luckily I have cut WAY back to just a cup a day, though. And, somehow starting to drink coffee again helped me to kick my soda habit (which was intense). I feel like I’ve made some great “green” strides since posting this – so that’s a happy update to share.

      I’m just happy you found my blog and decided to give it a read!

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