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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Very Personal Reflection

There have been a lot of transformations going on in our household. I'm not sure where this blog fits into them. You could say I've been neglectful of the blog. My published posts are infrequent at best. But I feel I'm at a place of transition and I'm not sure what role I want a blog to play quite yet. Here's a recap:


HEALTH:
Initially, this blog was started to document our challenges as we experimented with a Paleo diet. But we're closing in on 8 months of Paleo...clearly we fully embrace it with no chance of reverting. It's just such a lovely, vibrant way of nourishment.

BUT, we have some Paleo evolving to do. We're not perfect. Lately I've been researching raw foods and figuring out ways how we can merge Paleo and raw a bit better. I really think raw is overlooked as super kooky and crunchy - at least that's how I used to look at it. But as I've fully immersed myself in Paleo, I'm learning even Paleo - as phenomenal as it is - has flaws. Though these flaws are based out of sound thinking. I'm sure this makes no sense to you, but I see some more evolution into even better nutrition for this family and incorporating more raw will play an important part of it.

Also in this health category is our use of mainstream personal hygiene products. Inspired by a little health scare, I've ditched everything mainstream from anti-perspirant to soap over the last few weeks. If I'm focusing so much on what we put in our bodies, I'd be foolish to not pay attention to toxins we put on our bodies. I've been very conscious about that with my babies and kids, but not so much for the grown-ups. And since the hygiene industry is not regulated, this topic may be of even greater concern than food.

FITNESS:
Another evolution I see us going through in 2012: getting stronger. And by us I mostly mean me. I don't have weight to lose, but I am not strong. It's time to change that.  I have been tinkering with doing the CrossFit challenge (Paleo and CrossFit are incredibly intertwined). I hate gyms and am I'm extremely attracted to CrossFit's shunning of pounding the treadmill/stair climber/every other machine for hours on end. The CrossFit theory says these are pointless forms of activity. Like Paleo, CrossFit looks to our world pre-modernization for inspiration on how to stay fit. Our ancestors didn't have to "hit the gym" everyday to stay fit. They just lived. They played. They walked. They jumped. They lifted heavy things sometimes. They were outside. To quote "Wheatbelly" - my favorite non-fiction book of the moment - our grandmothers didn't begrudgingly get on the elliptical everyday maintain their trim figures. They vacuumed their stairs (oh, and ate clean food.)

So I'm going to focus on play more. Thankfully I've got a lot of kids that like to do just that. Hiking, jumping, biking, swimming, dancing like a fool with the kids after dinner....and of course paddle boarding once our lakes lose their ice. I'm also going to restart my Pilates obsession that fizzled after baby #3. I used to really enjoy it and found I gained tremendous core strength from it. I also found it was a great way to focus mentally.

GREENNESS:
Another evolution - taking care of our environment. The Earth gives us everything. We abuse her in return. So our focus will be on: Consuming less. Consuming thoughtfully. Reusing and recycling more. Buying in bulk with my own containers. Reducing our trash output. These are all my goals. Vegetable gardening used to be a part time hobby for me. If it grew, great. If not, oh well. But I'm going to elevate it into more of a priority and become better educated about native plants, soil, and our impact. I'm taking a few classes this Spring and hope to learn more.

We've also been working hard on eliminating the plastic exposure and disposable products in our lives. We've made some great improvements, but there is certainly a lot room to grow on this one. (I'm a paper-towel-a-holic.)

My greenness evolution also means curbing shopping. I've got a family of 6 on 1 income...for me, shopping has always been done thoughtfully with coupons in hand (I actually own and operate a coupon binder.) But I want to evolve even more. That means those Target trips for shoelaces and chapstick that turn into $80 free-for-alls are a thing of the past. If you get down to it, we need very little in this world. Sure pretty things bring us pleasure and shopping is so much fun. But lately it's been getting me depressed and feeling guilty. And if I think about it, I find my most treasured possessions are items I've picked up at thrift stores, yard sales, or that have been lovingly handed down or handmade by friends and family. So curbing the shopping and consuming is a big one for me as part of my evolution. Filling that need for "new" things by reusing and recreating (with Pinterest inspiration!) will be a priority. Spending time with my family doing these activities....even better!

SPIRITUALITY:
Finally, our last family and personal evolution is of a spiritual nature. Jon and I were both raised in churches - I even went to a Catholic high school. But for us, it's not about declaring a defined religion and reciting repeated prayers. It's about finding spirituality within and practicing it in life with mindful reflection, compassion, forgiveness, generosity, and kindness. We are very attracted to the principles of Buddism and feel like that it compliments the core of most Western religions nicely. Like most of the world's religions, at the core, they're the same. We want to focus on this core and be better people, partners, and parents. We aim to get there through meditation, reflection, and focusing on the simple goodness in life.



So where does Crispy Living fit in? Not sure. Do you know I've got 22 posts written that I've never posted? True story. 22. A lot of the time, I find that just writing things out satisfying. Actually publishing the posts doesn't seem like a necessity. Plus, there is the time trade-off. While I'd love to have a beautiful looking and functioning blog full of unique ideas and insights, that would require oodles of time. I don't know how these seemingly perfect moms do it all. Reading their blogs makes me feel inadequate at times. For me, to get to that stage I'd have to trade in some serious time with my kids and I'm not super willing to do that right now.  I could work on this during the evenings, but that is husband and personal time sacrificed. I've got to investigate where that balance is...if it exists for me at all at the moment.

So there you have it. Not sure what the next step is out here on the world wide web. Maybe I'll get inspired to post more about our evolution and perhaps provide some information or inspiration for others. Then again, maybe this post is my last one for a good long while. I'm going to do a very un-Kim like thing and relax my personal high standards on this topic. Whatever it is, it is. :) :)

Thanks for taking the time to read. I really do appreciate it.
Be well. Be happy. Eat clean!
Kim