Last week was a tough one, friends. My mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and has since had her thyroid removed. She is going to be okay. In fact, she's mostly okay now. As okay as you can be once you hear the word cancer.
She shouldn't even need chemo or radiation therapy. Hopefully a radioactive iodine pill will do the trick, but as I'm sure you can imagine we've all been dealing with the shock. Especially my mom. So this weekend I went home to see her and my dad.
My sister was thankfully in town for the surgery, but I hated how in the dark I felt since I couldn't be there mid-week.
The land of not-knowing is a scary place to be. It sends your imagination into a whirlwind. So it was nice to see my mom in person this weekend to get a sense that things are going to be fine and to lend a helping hand.
When things are tough, it always seems best to just enjoy each other's company. We had our usual conversations about politics, love-life, and my personal/professional life.
Something that came up quite a bit was my movement towards minimalism, simplicity, health and sustainability because it's the newest and most significant changes I've been making in my life as of late.
However, I realized something this past weekend and I want to make something clear for you, my readers, as well as the loved ones who take the time to read and listen to me.
The changes and decisions I make in my life are not meant to be a judgement against your own.
Please know that I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I believe that the best we can do in each of our lives is to try to be informed and implement slow changes that match our values and goals.
For example, I've decided I do not want to use hairspray any more for a number of reasons:
- I want to do my best to stop contributing hazardous VOCs to my environment.
- I want to reduce my household waste.
- And I want to limit the amount of chemicals I introduce to my body.
Does anyone else feel like they inhale too much hairspray each time they primp? Maybe it doesn't bother you. Maybe you have bigger fish to fry. I understand that and don't judge you for it.
I realize that I can come off as preachy when I talk about not wanting to buy too many plastic toys when I have a child someday, or when I talk about doing my best to eat a whole food diet, or how I'm working hard to reduce my wardrobe, or when I ramble on and on about the new natural products I've switched to that I'm really excited about.
Do I think these are all really great changes that will have a positive impact on my life and reduce my negative impact on the environment?
Does it mean I think you're a terrible person because those exact changes aren't something you're interested in?
I'm not spewing out all these facts about myself because I want you to to feel poorly. I am talking about it all because it excites me.
And maybe I would like to try and excite you, as well!
I think the best way to find balance in your life is to educate yourself on the issues that matter to you and to then slowly incorporate positive changes into your daily life.
I've been working at this for over a year now. I wanted to see improvements in my life, so I started. And that's all you can do.
Relax and take the pressure off of yourself. But don't also sit there blindly going on with the habits that you know are bad or that bother you.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. We all have different experiences and perceptions.
Don't expect that you can over night become a yoga-practicing, whole food eating, plastic avoiding, zen goddess. Those expectations are too high. Too scary.
These things take time and energy.
I've written about self-compassion before and still wholeheartedly believe it is necessary.
What positive changes are you striving to make in your life? Do you struggle to find a balance? Please share in the comments below.