So this week has been a dichotomy of happy personal occasions (working on that post!) colored by precariousness in the peripheral world.
At lunch over yellow lentil, onion and cilantro dosas, my girlfriend and I discussed our concerns as our babies rested unknowingly in their strollers. We had just seen “Wind River”, a solemn film.
On the heels of a heavy movie, we agreed, it was a sad week.
We were emotionally torn by the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the destitution wrought by the recent hurricanes. The former, an insensible and unexplainable tragedy. The latter, a tie to climate change, my friend and I concurred in between sips of mango lassi. We talked about what we could do, what was being done, and what was lacking.
Natural disasters were becoming more disastrous and less natural.
We could all individually do more to decrease our carbon footprint, we concluded, as we parted ways with cooing babies in tow.
On the phone the next day, my mom randomly asked if I was scared about the electrical grid going down, because she has friends preparing for the scenario. I try not to think about it, I told her. I was shuttling quickly through the grocery in search of tomatillos for poblano pepper and black bean enchiladas while racing the baby bee feeding clock.
On the phone with my sister later, I fed baby bee, and we cackled that if Armageddon happened, we’d be toast.
“I’m blind as a bat, can’t run, and have no guns,” my sister laughed. Why worry about such silly things?!
Then, at a little before 5 am, Dr. P and I found ourselves lying stubbornly awake. He was looking as his fantasy football on his phone. I was staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep after the last baby bee feed.
My mind was racing, and I confessed to him something that sounds wacky when said out loud: I want to make a difference in the fight against climate change, and I am anxious because I’m not doing anything significant to repair the world.
I told him I write because I want to help people be healthier, and because the connection between food, health, and our changing environment.
I said I know reading about catastrophes or potential global disasters can really put someone off their lunch. It’s not the reason we read blogs! And therefore I often don’t write about what I really want to write about.
And I told him I didn’t think my writing impacted anything anyway.
I looked over and Sean was Googling something. “What are you looking at?” I whispered as to not wake baby bee.
“Looking up ways you can heal the universe,” he said. “I didn’t come up with anything.” He smiled. I knew he was telling me to not worry. To go back to sleep.
Silly to worry about the electrical grid going down? Or about mass shootings? Probably. I can’t do anything to stop that, and we must live our lives.
Silly to worry about climate change? Not if it propels us forward. Because we can do something. And must.
When I was 5, my mom told me I came to her distraught because I wasn’t contributing to the family income. “I’m useless because I can’t help,” I told her.
This is the feeling I had while lying there, staring at the ceiling. As a grown up though, I can see the ridiculousness.
So I’ve decided to stop thinking about healing the entire universe. I’ll take the pressure off and try to spread just a reasonable amount of love each day, tidbits of knowledge when I can. If I inform one person of something that helps them along their path, it’s worth it!
After all, the little things change the world more than any one big thing.
Here are some things that make me feel hopeful:
- We can control our food waste.
- We can control our menus. Limiting animal products is huge.
- We can control our weight. Staying lean is an important step toward individual impact as consuming excess food increases demand on earth’s resources.
- We can improve our health as unnecessary illness depletes resources, and healthy people affect more positive change.
- We can focus on what we have and not what we want and thereby can limit our consumerism. I love this blog about minimalism.
- We can buy local which decreases food miles and resources used.
I’ll write more about each in turn. Now, here’s my tidbit of love for the day- a delicious, guilt-free pear peanut butter protein smoothie to help us thrive in this mad. mad world. Bon appetit!