Thursday, February 21, 2008

Deanna: Finding my Groove

From Deanna Akre Matzen, Earth Ministry's Operations Manager

I finally feel like I'm getting into a groove. I'm going to bed early and getting up early enough to actually have a leisurely morning before heading out for the bus. And it's not like this week has been uncomplicated. The two days I worked in the office this week, I had to be somewhere besides home right after work. A schedule like that invariable drove me to my car. But I put my mind to it and came up with creative transportation solutions that involved a little more bussing than usual and coordinating schedules with my husband to utilize the car he leaves at a park-n-ride when he busses to work. I probably could have bussed a little more or walked a little further, but I still saved a lot more carbon than I would have before Lent. And, ultimately, there was one less car on the road.

My secret to success? Well, I think giving up driving to work coupled with the other Lenten practice my husband and I chose to do together are dovetailing nicely and causing a ripple effect. My husband and I decided, for the second year in a row, to turn the TV off during dinner for Lent (I know, sad but true). I find that if we don't turn it on when we're sitting down for the first time at home, we don't turn it on at all. And then we find other things to do with our time like talk, run errands, read, and clean, all of which seem to distract less from feeling tired than TV does and then we go to bed early, starting the day off right.

The ripple effect of this Lenten practice has also extended into other areas of life. I spent a lot of time this past weekend thinking about boundaries and discipline. I decided to spend a little time each day cleaning up around the house, especially putting everything away after I've finished a project. I have a tendency towards clutter, which ultimately hits a climax and throws me into an exhausting cleaning frenzy. This way, cleaning is spread out over a long period of time and overall I feel more relaxed about my home environment and I'm happier. And with the TV off, I have time to pick up the leftovers of my little projects.

All of this leaves me feeling like I've found a new and sustainable groove. Overall, I'm more content and getting more sleep at night. Who knew Lent could be so life changing?

Carbon Saved: 51.5 pounds

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