Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Staring at Change in the Mirror

I step into my shower, kicking aside rubber snakes, monster trucks, various boats and a plastic shark. I share my bathroom with boys, the youngest of which still loves baths with lots of toys. It's early, my day starts before the sun peeks through the clouds and I am tired.

As I look around I don't notice the tile and grout that no longer gleams bright white. Oh, it's clean alright, but just not bright white anymore. A long time ago I gave up the harsh cleansers that stripped the grout and tile of the well water stains and marks. The new, plant based cleansers get things squeaky clean, without choking my lungs and stinging my eyes while I clean. The trade off? Grout that tells the tale of living lakeside with well water. Funny thing is that a year ago I would be grouchy and annoyed thinking through my shower how I needed more of the chemicals from Target that would get rid of the grunge and give my shower the bright white seal of approval.

Today? I don't see it. I know my shower is clean and that's good enough for me. My mother may not agree and offer to clean my shower the next time she drops by, but she will abandon that idea after searching underneath sinks and in closets for certain brand name cleansers that don't reside there any longer. I'm sure there is a natural concoction that could cure this ill, maybe lemon or baking soda, but if it's clean?!?! I made my peace with the shower.

Now, my shower is peaceful and I contemplate writing this post. And, I am also excited to try something new. A shampoo bar that might just be good enough to get me to ditch plastic bottled Aveda shampoo. There? That's the second thing I notice this morning. I am excited about change! A year ago? Afraid, dreading the day when the last paper towel ran out or the last bottled tea was gone from the fridge, I was afraid of change.

I have made so many changes in my daily routine, the unknown has become exciting and sometimes challenging. Trying new foods, meeting new people and finding new alternatives I never considered before are an ever growing part of each day. Some changes have been challenging and akin to breaking bad habits. Others have been surprisingly easy, almost offering me freedom from a life tethered to retail stores and my minivan.

What challenges or changes were the easiest for you to make? What were the hardest? Do you even recognize a change when you see it in the foggy early morning mirror anymore? Change comes in many forms. A lavender and geranium shampoo bar. A reusable nylon shopping tote. Milk in glass bottles. Six refillable SIGGs lined up on a kitchen counter. They no longer look like change to me, they just look like my life.


JAM said...

Where do you find the shampoo bars? I was trying to find the JR Liggett one which was highly reviewed somewhere and Whole Foods, which has a huge section of beauty and bath products didn't have a single shampoo bar in the joint. That's pretty much my source for nutty crunchy stuff so I don't know where else to look!

Heather @ SGF said...

Jam - our local soap lady also make shampoo bars. Do you have anyone that makes soap in your area? You might also be able to find them at the health/natural food store.

Eco Burban Mom - I LOVE your new header! How do you guys make such cool headers? I still can't figure out what I want on mine....

Anyway, change, I think is still hard for me. Every time I think "I could never do that" but the more changes I make, the less resistance I get from myself. It's still scary, just less so.

Joyce said...

It's funny, but I was just thinking about writing a post about these little, gradual shifts we all are making. Yesterday I was shopping at the grocery and Walgreens, and I found myself constantly making little decisions about packaging, etc. Maybe that's what I'll write about today.

Bobbi said...

I use vinegar (white or cider) to clean the hard water stains in my toilet, shower and sink. It works great for perking up dull tile and grout lines.

I, too, like your new header!

Wendy said...

The DivaCup was probably the hardest change to adapt to. I know it'll be TMI, but I was never a tampon user, and so making the switch from pads to the DivaCup ... it was odd. But the result is that I actually feel "cleaner."

I'm excited about the changes, too, now. I was scared, at first ... a little. I wasn't afraid of the change per se, but the not having ... and that's not exactly right, either. I was afraid of having things collapse and of not being able to provide food and shelter for my children. My hope is, that by making all of these changes we've been making, if/when the world-as-we-know-it changes in a BIG way, I will be prepared.

If I'm not ... I hope the fact that we've made so many changes already will help us better adapt ;).

eco 'burban mom said...

jam - I too get my shampoo bar from a local soap maker, but she ships anywhere and was recently featured in some magazines - Boh Bon is the name - just google it and you will get her site. I highly recommend the shampoo bar, it is SO affordable and really does a nice job on my hair. My hair is very thin, so soap without residue is a challenge!

heather - I can never figure out what I want on my header either. First I went with a basic graphic, then I went to my personal photos, now I went to this one, which I think I will keep. Simply google for free blogger headers - there are tons you can take for free, then customize!

joyce - isn't it funny how all of your daily activites sort of shift to thinking green first? I make decisions so differently now.

bobbi - thank you, I will try vinegar in the toilet too, the lake well water is just so hard to deal with!

wendy - I agree, first it's the "not having" paper towels, bottled drinks etc. that freaked me out, then when I realized it was easier without, making other changes came so much easier. Now I get excited to try new things!

Chile said...

What a lovely observation of the change you've gone through. The changes themselves are not as hard for me as being out-of-sync with everyone around me. We're hard-wired to want acceptance and being different jeopardizes that. Change requires a tough skin, I think.

Melissa said...

my easiest changes...good question! washing clothes in cold water - super easy. Also, giving up bottled water was really easy. Yes, I have to remember to bring my Sigg now, but I also DON'T have to worry anymore about making sure we don't run out, or lugging it up the stairs when I get home. And keeping the worm bin - it isn't less work per se, but they're really fun to look at and poke around in their bin, so it's a change I haven't minded at all!

Joan said...

I love my SIGG. I
a picture of it in my blog. Changing from individual bottles to the Sigg was easy. More difficult has been cutting back on the a/c and getting use to the Audrey shampoo since it doesn't lather.

Stephanie said...

Changes become easier over time, huh? Then I had better figure out one thing to change first, and then hope things keep going from there.

(My hardest change so far is line-drying all the clothes. For some reason I'm the designated line-dryer, and when I don't want to do it, no one does. I fear when I go back to college and the clothes line will never get used... but when I'm there all my clothes will be line-dried.)

eco 'burban mom said...

Chile - I agree. Many of the changes I have made have been within our household. I still find it somewhat uncomfortable at parties, social functions when someone brings up "green". Once I open my mouth, everyone looks at me like "ooooh, she's the tree hugger". Maybe I am looking to fit in our have some kind of social acceptance. Damn, why is everything just like high school?

Melissa - I have yet to foray into worm bin territory, so I would say yay for you! That's a big change right there!!

Joan - look into finding a local soapmaker who might have a specific shampoo bar for your hair type. I haven't been having a lather problem and the scent is so invigorating!

Stephanie - keep chipping away at them! You will find your good habits might just start to rub off! I thought some of the changes (paper towels particularly) would be difficult for my husband, but after a time, he started realizing it wasn't so bad. And, I am still working on adjusting my family to rack dried clothing. It takes time to appreciate the "crunchy" feeling!

Green Resolutions said...

I found you via GB's bushel basket. What a lovely post. I'm still fairly new and I have more resolutions than changes. But I look forward to next year when I can think back on all my changes.