Thursday, June 26, 2008

Equilibrium


I've written quite a bit about living a more simple life. I revel in the farmers' market, its seasonal surprises, the friends whom I see only once a week, the just picked berries that disappear on the ride home. I embrace the solitude of line drying clothes, methodically bending and clipping while birds sing in the trees and my cat wends around my feet. Peace can be located on my front steps as bees burrow in the borage and yellow and orange butterflies chase each other amongst the poppies, cosmos and Queen Anne's lace. All of those things center me, make my life feel real and meaningful. Even when I am tired or too busy, I, like Eco 'Burban Mom, cannot let them go. Living any other way feels out of sync.

I've also posted often about building community and a social green movement. Sometimes, that means gathering physically, either with new found friends or rediscovering greener interests with old ones. Just this week, I attended a class on chicken keeping with a long time friend and struck up new friendships at events hosted by my son's new school. Tonight, I will host a jam making session for my book club and, tomorrow, visit a nursery with a close friend. Building community is also virtual. I became friends with Arduous while setting up A Crunchy Tribute and then bonded with Katrina, Donna and Shannon while collaborating on The Blogging Bookworm. I got to know many of you through email exchanges on the Forage for Borage giveaway. Even virtual relationships, though, can become physical - as when I met Arduous and CindyW for brunch. Through my burgeoning relationships - both in blog land and in real life - I've gained perspective, found support and a sense of belonging.

On several occasions, I've urged bloggers to become political, get active and be heard. Putting my money (or time) where my mouth was, I joined my city's green task force. I'm writing their newsletter (due this weekend!) and brainstorming about growing the group through social and volunteer events. Volunteering for the greater green brings a sense of fulfillment, of accomplishment.

And, last on this list but most importantly, I am a mother to my two boys. Indeed, they are the reason I feel so strongly about living lighter, developing a network, using our voices, building critical mass. It is for my boys that I haul grey water, write letters, mend torn clothes, and turn the lights off. As summer edges in, school will be out, vacations, the park and the backyard wading pool beckon. Time with them, watching clouds shift overhead, trying new popsicle flavors, reading books, is fodder for a lifetime of memories.

Each segment of my life is happily blooming, stretching and growing like pumpkin seedlings warmed by the hot July sun. Yet, the stems crowd each other, the roots compete for water. There are too many seedlings planted in the same hill growing at the same rate. Pruning needs to be done and guiding too. Perhaps a seedling can be transplanted to another hill, where nothing yet grows. Perhaps, if shaded, some of the plants will not grow quite so fast.

As I sit before this computer with farmers' market produce and dirty dishes sprawled across the counters behind me and only one short hour before the boys are home from their last week of school, I realize that, like the pumpkin mound, I have too much going on. Too much growing at once.

I have much to write about but little time right now in which to write. To me, this blog is a matter of not just expression, but self-creation and self-knowledge. It is not something I will let go of. But, please bear with me over the next few weeks as I regain my balance, rearrange activities, ask for help. There will be times here and there where I don't post for a couple days. That doesn't mean I'm gone. I'm embracing equilibrium. I will be around both here and at The Blogging Bookworm every day. I will also be back two or three times a week with the answer to "Are You Chicken?", delving into "The Rugged Environmentalist", enumerating concrete ways to build a social green network, "Energizing Ears", my weekly One Local Summer posts, and much more.


21 comments:

Debbie said...

The fact that you realize that you might have too much on your plate and you are searching for balance and equilibrium shows how insightful and mindful you are. These moments with your children are precious moments - and go by SO fast. I have given myself permission to blog when I can and when I want to ~ after all it is not my job. It will be such a treat for all of your loyal readers to check your blog and find that you have left one of your thoughtful, motivational messages. Enjoy the summer!

eco 'burban mom said...

You know I understand just how you feel. Take the time to prioritize, enjoy summer with your kids and try to retire the green super-girl cape for a few days. Whew, and try not to make any cookies. It's too hot!!

I will have you know that what you write is important and does inspire people. Because of you, I emailed the one, lone township official that emailed me back about my recycling concerns. I asked her if she would be interesting in setting up a green task force for our community as a way to bridge the gap between citizens and political office on this issue. Thanks GB!

Though, I wish I could be part of your jam making session. I have 12 quarts of strawberries lurking around now and no idea on what I should do with them!

Bobbi's Book Nook said...

You have definitely been an inspiration to me. I have just discovered your blog and I have been your posts. You are a great writer as well as motivational! I wish I could join your jam making book club - that sounds like so much fun and I love canning jams and jellies.

Remember to make time for your family, but your family must be so proud of you. You are setting a wonderful example for your childrn.

Joyce said...

Bravo! I'm sure you'll write things from time to time, but you shouldn't feel any pressure to do so, especially when you have a chance to enjoy time with your little boys. They will have fond memories of doing things with mommy, and you will not have regrets later. Just have great time gardening and "jamming", reading and playing.

The Purloined Letter said...

We may miss your voice sometimes, but we definitely support you in the quest for balance. (And doesn't jam always make us recognize the truth of our paths?)

Verde said...

Take the time you need for yourself. I won't delete you off my blogroll ;-) for it.

Bugs an Brooms said...

Good for you! I have been trying to figure out how you manage - blogging, kids, life. I can barely get one or two posts up each week and have been really hard on myself about it. But then I look into the shining eyes of my daughter smelling and picking flowers on one of our walks and I realize I wouldn't want to be anywhere else - blogging or otherwise. You have a gift of putting beautiful words together and we will all be here when you have something to share!! Have a great time!

eco 'burban mom said...

Here is the link to that Prius experience at our green street fair that I was telling you about. It might be something for your fair to consider, it seems like Toyota is willing to take it just about anywhere!

http://highwaytothefuture.com/#/home/

Susan B said...

I only found your blog recently but it has rapidly become one of my favorites. And I'm rather happy to see so many of my favorite bloggers saying they need to balance their life and step back from daily blogging. That's a good thing. So -- not that you need my permission -- go forth and center. My boss will be happy that you're taking a break :)

Melinda said...

As you know, I completely understand and have been going through the same thing. I'm extremely heartened that people are still waiting patiently to read my words when I do write. Some have gone, but others have found me and my words during our time of adjustment.

It takes time to do everything we want to do, and it's ok to work out an equilibrium between everything we're doing. Nay, it's extremely important! We must inspire and collaborate with others here, but we must also work within our local communities to make them stronger, more adaptable, and more sustainable. It is only when we do that that we have the inspiration and the experience to share with others.

arduous said...

Girl, it's summer! Take a break, hang with the kiddies, go for walks, relax! Post a couple times a week, or take a whole week off. But just don't leave us for good!! Or I will cry.

Green Bean said...

Debbie: You are too sweet. I really appreciate your thoughts and have to say that having a blog has only made me more mindful. That's why I'll never give it up! But I will take some days off to enjoy the boys while they still need me. Thank you!

EcoBurbs: I am so excited that you are looking into doing a green task force. What a difference you can make! So long as we maintain balance, I am convinced that we can make huge changes in this world. As to the jam making, it was actually last night (wrote the post yesterday). You would have fit in perfectly. It was a total blast and I can't wait to repeat it.

Bobbi: Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you stick around. I'm not leaving - just giving myself permission to not post every day.

Joyce: You've always served as an example to me, Joyce, of balance. Great point about having no regrets later on.

Purloined: Yes, indeed, jam brings light to all things!

Verde: Aren't you sweet! ;-)

Bugs: Thank you so much. I appreciate the understanding and support. I will be back - I need to write. Crunchy Chicken once said it was therapy for her. For me, it is not so much therapy as it is developing a sense of self, learning who I am and what I stand for. I couldn't give that up.

Eco Burbs: Perfect!! Thank you.

Susan: Thank you for the permission! ;-) Actually, I appreciate the sentiment that it nice to hear other people say they need balance. I think, in the world of blogs, people can seem different, less human than in real life. It is nice to know that we all need breaks, self sustenance.

Melinda: Precisely! You explain exactly what it is about walking in both lines - blog and community. Thank you for putting it so nicely. You have done a good job of finding balance and were one of the people I thought of when I wrote this post. Thank you for that.

Arduous: Leave you for good!??! As if, yo! Now that I've met you in person, you'll never get rid of me. ;-)

Heather @ SGF said...

Be the tree, girl! Be the tree! Ok I'm going to have to explain this one. I have a friend that is forever stressed out. I once told her that when she is suffering from anxiety, to imagine she's a tree. Sometimes the wind is rough, and sometimes it's gentle. Just go with the flow and bend as you need to bend. She said the image has really helped.

Now when I see her and she looks frazzled, I just say, "Be the tree" and she smiles and you can physically see her relax. So anyway - Be the tree :)

eco 'burban mom said...

GB - Darn it! Last night (whilst you were making jam) I was elbow deep in 12 quarts of strawberries wishing I knew how to make jam! I flash froze gallons and gallons of the little buggers hoping for smoothies all winter long!

And, yes, I am sure we can do it all with a little balance. I just have to stop trying to balance on a high wire! Ooops, off to baseball!! :o)

Donna said...

Hey, bonding buddy! So many of us have gone through so many fundamental changes in how we live that I think we're all trying to figure out how to find equilibrium. Blogging is part of it, too. I'm amazed at how many of the blogs I read began in spring of 2007, just like mine.

You're a real inspiration, so take the pressure off yourself! You'll probably end up doing almost as much, but without pressure it will all feel easier. :)

Jennifer said...

I hope you enjoy finding the equilibrium! Enjoy your summer... I'll look forward to your insights as they come.

Green Bean said...

Heather: Thank you. I am the tree!

EcoBurbs: Dang, girl! Wish you lived closer. Here's a tip for you though. Go buy a pack of low sugar pectin at the supermarket. Open it up and follow the directions glued to the interior of the packet. Making jam is no mystery. Many of the moms commented last night on what a simple process it was. If you can take 4 boys strawberry picking, you can make and can jam in your sleep.

Donna: You are so right! Just giving myself permission to post less if I'm not inspired or don't have time takes the pressure off. I've been suddenly inspired and writing like a mad woman. I will also say that taking a step back and knowing that I'm off balance - writing about it here - has brought clarity as to how I need to proceed. :) Thanks bonding buddy!

Jennifer: Thank you!

Crunchy Chicken said...

Hmmm. I think I tried that once. Enjoy your time off...

Green Bean said...

Oh yeah, Crunchy. I'm totally following in your footsteps. I've got a post scheduled for tomorrow. ;-) Feels good to get all that stuff of one's chest though, huh?

Susannah said...

GB, I am always on the path towards balance myself. Life has become hectic hectic hectic - even in rural Vermont. Enjoy your summer, take a nap in the hammock, play in the garden (thanks for the borage seeds!!), swim with the kids and have a great time. I think I'll have fun perusing the archives :) as well as reading the new posts.

Theresa said...

You have to have some space in between things or nothingmakesanysensenanymore :)

Create as much space as you need! You will be setting a good example about which we all need reminders from time to time.

I like to blog like I like to meditate - I have to want to do it or there's no point!

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