Month: April 2018

Thoughts on this past Fashion Revolution week

Credit goes to Sarah Lazarovic who very kindly allows you to download this from her website and print it off yourself.

Even before I knew it was Fashion Revolution week I had been trying to have discussions with my oldest daughters about smart shopping. Like, maybe we don’t need a half dozen shirts with unicorns on them from Justice (that are already falling apart before they get home) just because you love unicorns? But if I am feeling overwhelmed by it all I can only imagine how they must be feeling when the only time I talk about it is when I finally loose my s**t about the amount of stuff in our house (which is pretty much daily).

So I’m trying to be smarter about it all. I’m trying to figure out ways to have more open conversations about what mass consumerism is doing to our planet but in order to do that I need to be more educated about it myself. Currently I am waiting for the documentary The True Cost to come in from the library. I’m hoping it comes in this week so we can continue our discussion about fashion which, of course, will continue into a discussion about where all of our stuff comes from.

Fashion Revolution week this year (April 23-29) marked the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster that killed 1,134 people, and not much has really been done about working conditions. Did you know there are approximately 7,000 factories in Bangladesh? I read in a news article that 3,000 of those factories are endangering the lives of their low-paid garment workers. I think this is something even children need to know about. Maybe not enough to give them nightmares, but enough so that they know there is another person making their clothing and that we have more sustainable options.

I’m hoping that this week the girls and I will also make some skirts for the summer. They each picked out a fabric from my stash that has been lingering unused for years. I’m hoping that if they have a hand in making something themselves it will mean more to them and they will see how much effort is put into making clothes.

Fashion Revolution week also started the day after Earth Day and the girls had all kinds of Earth Day events they participated in at school. One day was “no garbage lunch day” where they weren’t supposed to bring a lunch where there was no packaging to throw out. Another day was “no plastic” day – which I found rather difficult since I was trying to send them to school without disposable items. Since then, however, I have been trying to stay on top of making snacks they can bring to school that aren’t packaged. I find the packaged snacks that are also vegan pretty limiting because a lot of them contain nuts and they can’t take nuts to school. So I’ve been making a lot of muffins and putting them in plastic reusable containers. It’s all so very overwhelming but I’m really trying.

Every day is Earth Day except it really isn’t for most of us

Oh my goodness my home is overwhelming me these days. It doesn’t help that every one has been sick and we keep getting sick (currently Oonagh and I are sniffling and blowing and coughing away). And you know how it is, when momma is sick nothing EVER gets picked up off the floor. (WHY?)

Here is the real truth: we have too much stuff. You too probably have too much stuff but I can’t deal with your stuff when I can’t even deal with my stuff. Last night I set some intentions for the week which is something I really like the idea of but usually just wake up Monday mornings in a new state of overwhelm and spend too much time on my phone and drinking tea.

BUT NOT THIS WEEK!

This week I’m going to try and get over this oppressive (not cancer) illness and do things. Now that Spring is finally here I feel the pull to get some Spring purging done and I’m starting with the girls rooms because they are pack rats and have so much stuff. We are trying to teach them that eleventy billion Shopkins are not going to make them happy but they seem to think we are oppressing them with our anti-consumerist views. There is so much talk in the news these days about plastic and fast fashion (that is a whole blog post in itself) and the multitude of ways that we are destroying our planet but the ever present message is buy more buy more buy more. And the girls are obsessed with tiny plastic things. So in school and in the news they learn that the oil industry is evil (even though it pays the bills in this house and there is no cleaner, conscientious oil industry than the Canadian oil industry – but that is also a whole other conversation) and that every time mommy starts the car a polar bear dies (I was actually told this by one of them a number of years ago) but that owning 20 Beanie Boos shipped over from China is OKAY.

Except yesterday afternoon Oonagh spent hours outside running bare foot in her pyjamas and was so ridiculously happy that she didn’t once fight with anyone nor play with any toys and then went to bed happy and exhausted because SPRING IS HERE!

So far today I have cleaned up half of Fionnuala’s desk and I have one hour before the girls come home for lunch to take out the garbage and recycling so they don’t see all that I am throwing out. Does anyone else do this? Some people say that you should let children make their own decisions about what they are going to keep but every single piece of paper cannot be a treasure. Nor can every single cheap Valentine’s card from the past three years.

I’ll keep you updated on how things go this week. One of my other intentions is to just sit down and write for thirty minutes whether it is good writing or not. I gotta get out of this sick funk somehow.

In mourning or Pity Party, Table for One

I’m a mess guys.

February was spent exercising which was great except that when I am fully dedicated to exercising I seem to be unable to do anything else. Like write. Or blog. Or function as a person with more than one interest.

And then everyone got sick and it all got shot to hell. And then I got sick and now I am on week three of recovery and I still have a nose full of cold sores but at least my voice is back.

But I can’t seem to get motivated to do anything these days. I feel like I wander around doing nothing from the moment my girls leave the house until they come back for lunch – and then again in the afternoon. At least while I was exercising I got that done before wandering around the house doing nothing for the rest of the day.

I’ve tried to start meditating again and today I started a 7 Day meditation dedicated to anxiety and I couldn’t tell you a single word of it as soon as it ended.

My plans for going outside every day this year were abandoned early in the year because – let’s be honest – I hate the cold. It may be the 6th of April but my girls had to have indoor recess today. Do you know what the criteria is for indoor recess? -20 degrees celsius! MINUS TWENTY.

Mostly I just want to sit around and read crap, eat crap, and cry.

I have come to the realization that I am in mourning. Mourning for my breasts which I still have but probably won’t by the end of the summer (definitely not having them removed before going to Ireland). My emotions for this oscillate between being happy that I never have to wear a bra again and terror over surgery and what having a mastectomy means in terms of recovery. Also, I’m not looking forward to having hideous scars even if I can wear sun dresses bra-less for the first time in 20 years. As a 40-plus woman who is on the other side of child bearing (the downward slope of child bearing, because everything is now sloping downwards) it is hard enough to like my body without all the shit that comes with cancer treatment (like the painful face rash I was sporting for a month).

I try not to think about the – possible – upcoming mastectomy, except I have this large tumour in my boob that I can feel at all times reminding me constantly that there is a war going on in my body. Oh, you want to sleep do you? Sorry, we are just going to shoot sharp pains into your burning breast all night.

So yeah, I’m a mess and have been hiding away because I hate being all wah-wah-woe-is-me.

How are you guys doing? (And I mean that sincerely, I want to know how everyone is doing – good and bad. Don’t feel you can’t mention good things or bad things just because I’ve been throwing myself a month-long pity party.)