We’ve been quiet. Really for some time now. What we want you to know is that our voice and presence, although absent in recent weeks, months, and maybe even years, has not been lost. It has looked differently for us and we have not been able to commit to the same sort of consistency with Creating Sustainable Roots you may have come to know in our opening acts of 2016-17. We can assure you that creating the posts and content that defines us has not ceased… it just has not translated to pen and paper, keyboard and screen. The conversations surrounding our core values and our Family Mission Statement still pervade our home and the avenues of relationships, skills, and adventures we have chosen to invest ourselves in.
Many of us live in the I Can Always Do More reality. Well, this past Monday evening, Joelle and I heard a speaker that may have come the closest I have seen to pulling herself out of this reality by simply maximizing her sustainable efforts every moment of every day. Even though I’m sure she would say she can still do more! The speaker; Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home.
The event took place at the Shedd Aquarium, who we were very enthusiastic to find is taking sustainability, and teaching others about sustainability, very seriously right here in Chicago. They partnered with Zero Waste Chicago, which is the local chapter of the movement Bea’s book and efforts have triggered worldwide.
This post is the second of 3 emails we were asked to write for the Wellness Warriors Lifestyle Boot Camp offered by Dr. Jamie Thomure of DuPage Family Wellness. Dr. Jamie first launched a Nutrition Boot Camp in 2017 which Joelle and I have both participated in and seen the benefits! The Wellness Warriors Lifestyle Boot Camp was recently launched to go beyond nutrition into everyday healthy lifestyle choices. We highly recommend checking out these Boot Camp’s along with the many other services being offered at DuPage Family Wellness!
Wellness Warriors Part 2: Time Management
I heard an alarming statistic recently. I’m not going to tell you what it is just yet. You’ll have to read to the end. But it has to do with time! The thing about time is, we all have it, and therefore are responsible to manage it. Every waking moment, or non-waking, can be used productively, efficiently, and moving you toward your goals. Or, it can do the exact opposite. Each day, each moment, you choose. So, how do you choose wisely?
This post is the first of 3 emails we were asked to write for the Wellness Warriors Lifestyle Boot Camp offered by Dr. Jamie Thomure of DuPage Family Wellness. Dr. Jamie first launched a Nutrition Boot Camp in 2017 which Joelle and I have both participated in and seen the benefits! The Wellness Warriors Lifestyle Boot Camp was recently launched to go beyond nutrition into everyday healthy lifestyle choices. We highly recommend checking out these Boot Camp’s along with the many other services being offered at DuPage Family Wellness!
I’ve been fighting it all day – the feeling that I need to be out there shopping today. Black Friday. To boot, I’ve hardly even scoured the ads, so not only am I not there in the thick of it, I don’t even know the potential deals I am missing out on. Can anyone relate to feeling that today is just too big a day to miss out on?
Composting has gained a lot of ground in recent years. Here in the West Suburbs of Chicago, Joelle recently attended a free composting seminar and we’ve even heard of community composting initiatives. In it’s infancy of stardom, composting still comes in well behind more popular gardening trends like fertilizer, whether organic or chemical. Few use compost and fewer yet have an idea of what it is or how it is made. Until a couple years ago, I would be the lowest up the totem pole in that category!
Joelle recently asked me what the difference was between fertilizer and compost. Never having given much thought to the matter, I pondered for a moment and a familiar analogy came to mind. I likened fertilizer to that of a supplement. Often times we take vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. to supplement our regular diet. Fertilizer, likewise, is a supplement to the health and vitality of the soil. Compost, on the other hand I likened to a complete, well balanced, fully fortified and nutritious meal. Compost, from my experience, offers the full support system for any living plant to grow in and thrive.
A Heritage That Must Endure
Over the past month of two, we have logged quite a few hours either in our own garden or volunteering on local farms. My experience has been this; that there is almost nothing more pure and noble than working the soil and being connected to it. Whether it’s the sweet smell of freshly churned compost, holding a tiny seedling in my hand that’s about to be planted and take root, pulling weeds to focus energy on productive plants, plucking a fresh worm to feed to our chickens, or just standing back and looking at how much life is sustained by such a simple process, there is little I have found more delight in than gardening, farming, or anything in between.
Family Mission Statement – Part 8: Play
Play is valued little in our culture. Let me explain. It is difficult to refute that life has changed more in the past 150 years than it did cumulatively in the previous thousands. The simple, pastoral, self sufficient life has given way to a fast paced, highly educated, and others dependent life. Obviously, technology is a factor, but much before that, industrialization changed the terrain of how people eat, sleep, work, learn, and play.
For adults, a mindset of work before play has set in with an industrialized economy. My fear is that we’ve transferred this mindset to children at a premature age and more aggressively than we think. I would also make the case that adults should be reluctant to give up the art of play in their own lives and even practice it regularly. Let’s begin by looking at children.
Family Mission Statement – Part 7: Work
Who doesn’t love hearing the exciting and creative job titles kids come up with when asked what they want to be when they grow up? Firefighter, car mechanic, astronaut, missionary, doctor, marine biologist, viceroy of the open seas!… Ok, maybe not that last one – but we are taught to dream big and the sky’s the limit. However, at some point, for many but not all of us, reality sets in and our selections are narrowed to a much more practical list of career options offered by our university, trade school, etc: Accountant, chemist, engineer, business, education, history, math, and so on.
The thought that has amazed us lately is realizing how segmented career pursuits can be from the rest of life. The dream as children to pursue our passions gets replaced along the way by the expectation to enter a proper and pragmatic profession. Whereas our goals, values, dreams, and passions apply to the rest of our lives, it seems almost normal that our career ought to take a different path. This is what I mean by segmented. Our lives head one direction while our work heads us in another.
Family Mission Statement – Part 6: Intentional
Parenthood especially, has caused me to rethink how I value time. “They won’t be young forever.” “Blink and they’ll be in college!” All things I’ve heard from practiced parents. Time can look very different depending on the stage of life you’re in but one of the things we’ve been challenged with for a while now is being intentional with the time you have – So much so, that it became the next part of our Family Mission Statement.
Imagine two lives. One being the planner who is always focused, driven, ahead of schedule, prudent, goal oriented, and has days, weeks, and months set on the calendar. Now, think of the partier who is always unpredictable, extremely social, unplanned, usually not on time, carefree, adventurous, relaxed, and seems to lack a general sense of direction. Take those two lives, throw them in your stock pot, stir them around, and you have what we would aim for as the perfect stew of intentional living.