I remember when I first saw Super-Size Me feeling a pang of empathy for Morgan Spurlock's vegan chef girlfriend. It's not that I didn't feel kind of bad for Morgan as well, but hey, he chose the challenge, right? No one forced him to eat McDonald's for a month on end. (Besides which, I have to admit, that to me, McDonald's tastes like nostalgia on a bun, so I didn't necessarily think it was the world's most horrifying challenge.)
But I think in some respects it's harder to be the significant other/friend/parent etc of someone taking on some crazy challenge, than it is to actually take on a challenge yourself. For one, if you take on a challenge, you are making the choice to do so. If you're related to someone taking on a challenge, you don't get a choice. For another, most challenges seem more intimidating from the outside. It's not easy to see a loved one struggle through something.
I am keenly aware that it is not the easiest thing in the world to be my friend these days. I try as much as I can to not let my challenges affect other people, but you know, that's kinda impossible. I will go to the mall with friends, but I'm not going to buy anything at the mall which can make it less fun for my friends. Relying on public transit means doing a lot of walking in the city, which is hard on my mom's nerves. And when I'm sick, or it's late at night, it means hitting up Honda or Mr. Honda for a ride.
They say that it is in hard times that you can tell what kind of friends you have. I already knew that I had the most amazing friends in the world. When my father passed away a few years ago, I had a number friends drop everything to come be with me. Several of them were on the other coast. It didn't matter. They didn't know my father that well, but they knew me and loved me.
After that, I felt a little bit like I had used up my cache of love and friendship. That I had relied too heavily on my friends for support, and that I should leave them alone a little and not ask for help.
I now realize that there's no such thing as "using up" love. Living a lower impact life is not always easy, but it is infinitely easier because I have all of my friends and family rooting for me and supporting me daily. Miss V calls me to go to the farmer's market instead of the mall. The King emails me with public transit advice. My mom talks me through recipes I'm trying out. And Honda deals with her best friend's insanity with good humor and nothing less than total support, even when she has to hear me whine about how I'm hot, and she wishes that I would just quit whining and turn on my a/c. (She even bought me a Klean Kanteen because she is awesome and also because she is a stickler for good hydration.)
So, on Earth Day, I want to honor, not the Earth, because that would be easy and I'm arduous. Instead I want to honor Honda. And my mom. And Miss V, The King, Womryl, Annie, ScienceMama, Awesomest Co-worker, my sister and everyone else who has been supporting me through my nuttiness. I know, you wish I would just clean that spill with paper towels. But you go along with my eco-insanity with only a little eye-rolling at times. That's love.
3 weeks ago