Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Magic Numbers

I always have "magic" numbers rolling around in my brain... A 5 minute shower, the 17 minutes it takes to drive to the office, 65 Christmas cards to send out, 12 treats for my preschooler "star of the week", 2.5 pounds of meatloaf to prepare, 4 parent teacher conferences to attend, 1 clarinet recital and so on.

These magic numbers aren't always met. I'm often late to work, I stand in the shower too long on cold winter mornings, I still haven't sent out my Christmas cards and as for the upcoming parent teacher conferences? Let's just say I have a sticky note on the steering wheel of my van so I don't forget...

However there are a few magic numbers that I don't even think about anymore. I used to count how many paper towels I used in a day, trying to shrink my usage. Today I realized I bought a six pack of paper towels back in the hot and humid summer months and haven't bought a new package since.

I used to count juice boxes, bottled juices and cans, making sure I had enough for all my boys. Today, as long as I see each boy's SIGG, easily identifiable by the unique designs they each chose, sitting in the fridge, there is no need to count. I can make more tea, more lemonade or just fill them with tap water.

Each trip to the store used to make me count plastic bags I took because I forgot a tote bag in the van or just plain forgot to tell the clerk to use my own bag. I got into the routine, carrying bags in every store, even the mall, and haven't taken a plastic bag in so long... well, I just can't count how long.

The moral of story? I might not hit all my magic numbers that I intend to when I start out my day, but taking some time to stop and count the ones I have hit time and time again is rewarding. And, it will make me feel a little better about something I'm sure to forget tomorrow. Now, how many treats do I need for the preschool this week? Lemme count...

8 comments:

Jena said...

Congrats on getting to that point with the plastic bags! I bought myself the Baggu bags because I thought it would be easier to remember, but I still forget them most of the time. I do ask for paper bags by now they are overflowing their space under the sink. I hope I get better at using them like you have!

Green Bean said...

Ahh, this post made me smile. Somehow, things become habit and you don't need to count them anymore.

Lisa Sharp said...

Congrats! It's great when you start to forget what it was like to live wastefully. :)

Chile said...

You've developed some darn good habits there. Won't be long until you don't have to count minutes in the shower. Good luck with the snow days, though... ;-)

Green Resolutions said...

Wonderful post. I love this. And can't wait to look back and realize how many habits I've greened.

Lori said...

great inspiration on persisting until you've made something a habit!

GeorgyGirl said...

I applaud you! Recently I started growing my own vegetables on my fifth floor balcony and blogging about it - the response has been very encouraging from other urbanites concerned with mass food production and spiralling costs.

All those yogurt pots and plastic bags and bottles are my germinators, so I rummage through other people's recycling bins like a fiend! LOL When I count, I count how many things I can reuse and it makes me feel a little less frustrated with the amount of packaging that is automatically foisted on me by the supermarkets.

Not to mention that home-grown has better flavour and quality without all the nasty pesticides. Yum.

Joost Hoogstrate said...

Hi, guess we all have our own magic numbers but never thought about it before. That’s a good revelation. We in http://climatarians.org think once we get used to a new habit, we start doing things without making a conscious effort. Bad habits too remain with us for the very same reason. Hope we learn more new ones.

Keep adding more of them
Joost Hoogstrate