In looking back over my little blog that I started 15 months ago, I am reminded of quite a few victories. That’s not why I was looking over old posts; in fact, I cannot remember why I was reviewing it. It probably had something to with a big picture grand plan which I promptly forgot. Instead, I kept thinking, “Oh yea, hey that project is working out” or “Hey, that’s gotten better!” It’s like looking back over your past journal entries and realizing you’ve made some progress. So I thought I’d share some updates today.
The Great Sofa Search, part 3. Love, love, love my sofas. They are beautiful and functional and make me feel like a grown up after years of patching up the old ones because I couldn’t risk new ones. I was worried that the latex interior would have me developing latex allergies but my concerns (for once) have been ungrounded. I cannot smell the latex nor am I being exposed to any degree that would sensitize me. Yay!
Tilted Mom Serves and Protects. One of my first posts was on purging my kitchen of plastic food containers and such. The results of that project are still working well and I still feel a bit smug whenever I see a large stack of leftovers in their little matching Pyrex containers in my refrigerator. At the time, I thought I had over purchased, but having enough containers to be clean, be dirty, and be in use means I have not cheated and gone searching for Ziplocs. My kids still love their Planet Box lunch boxes and use them every day.
The Bathroom Sign. Last spring, I blogged about one particularly bad (though not uncommon) week of exposure and pointed out how I could have avoided at least one aspect of it. I needed a warning sign in my guest bathroom. So, I made one! I drew it to match the Story People print that is also framed in the bathroom so it all ties together. Matching bathroom art – another step towards an adult house.
Garden. I am trying my garden again this year. A few weeks ago (remember the FL growing season is reversed) I got two beds planted, with manure enriched soil. I am working to get my trees trimmed down, so more sun will reach my boxes before I plant any more seeds. But my little sugar snaps and cucumbers already look more promising than they did last year.
Road Trip Freedom. Our pop up camper has now seen us through two great summer vacations, the latest one was just a few months ago. It is like a little two wheeled box of freedom just waiting in my driveway. Thanks Livin Lite and the lovely family who took care of it for 3 years before us!
The Orange Chair, aka Lingering Denial. The chair has outgassed quite a bit and so I can actually sit in it for a while now. It’s my Sunday morning, have a cup of tea, in the sun, spot. One cup of tea is about how long I last before I get worried I am getting a headache from the fabric treatment on the chair and it’s also how long my kids will let me sit alone quietly. So that works out.
The Home Renovation. I can be in the new utility room now, filled with stuff, thanks to construction material choices that outgassed quickly. In fact, the new room became safe for me quicker than the rest of the house got the renovation dust cleaned out of it. So big note to self on that. Controlling the air flow is just as important as material choices!
Tilted Mom Tries to Change her Intent. This has been a very long convoluted struggle with inconsistent progress. It began with these questions I posed to myself over a year ago “What if, instead of getting around my health problems, I start with them? What if my life is centered around great nutrition, improving my family’s health, and sharing the journey however I can (like blogging)? With the right intent, can I make a largely domestic life enough? If I start with my health as a focus rather than as a limit, can it transform my life into something larger?” About ten months after I wrote those words it started to feel vaguely feasible. While I may not ever be able to love domestic work, I have really come to cherish the connections that writing has brought. The energy, physical and mental, that I do not spend on trying to get around my health problems has meant that I have more energy to put into living with them.
Then my new protocol from my nutritionist kicked in and my chemical sensitivities dropped dramatically. Mind you, the chemical sensitivities have not been truly challenged in a mainstream way because my life is set up to avoid exposures. Additionally, this sort of health improvement has happened to me before and so I know not to overdo it and relapse. But this is a surreal turn of events. Just as I was achieving some sort of acceptance with the life-long limitations of chemical sensitivity, they receded. The is the first I have really talked about it. I have only whispered it to a few family members. Literally, whispered. And then I took a few baby steps. I just started tutoring a few grade school students in math at my community center. Shhhh. That’s working outside the home. I know, I buried the lead. It’s my equivalent of blog whispering. I will try to take it slow and keep you posted!