About a year ago, one of my favorite beans wrote a post entitled, "You Can Never Go Back." Because I am a shameless stealer, I am totally ganking her post title. Sorry, GB. Next time, trademark your post titles. Ha ha!
There are times, when I feel like I am slipping. The transition between continents, the move from a routine of working at an office five days a week to that of a being a student with no clear routine has been ... rough.
I am doing well on some counts. I walk to school every day. I haven't been in a car in at least a month. I live in a tiny room. I have minor electricity needs. I go to the natural food store and buy my massive cartons of tea, all organic, fair trade, and without plastic shrink wrap.
BUT. I am consumed by my failures. The many times I end up grabbing a sandwich, or a doughnut, or even worse a Dr. Pepper or a Kit Kat bar from the vending machine.
I am overwhelmed. I am unprepared. I am still adjusting.
Sometimes I worry. I'm getting lazy. What if I get too lazy? What if I eat Kit Kat bar too many? Is there a tipping point for a personal environmentalist? A point where we say, "Eh, eff it. It's too hard. Let's just go back to the way things used to be?" Or is it more subtle? Is it, that one day, we wake up and realize that we're living the life we used to live three years ago?
But then yesterday, I was at a shoe store. And the shoe store was selling several pairs of cute shoes for a mere £5. £5! That's only $7.50 with the new AWESOME exchange rate. True, none of the shoes were particularly sensible, but dude £5!
But ... I couldn't do it. True, the cost to me personally at the moment might only be £5, but I knew that the shoes really cost much more than £5. And so, it didn't matter that right now I would only have to pay £5. Maybe if the shoes were a necessity, if they were sensible, I would have considered it. But for cute but impractical Mary Jane's? No way.
And that's when I realized that it's true. You can never go back. That maybe I do slip up more than I'd like to. But I can't slip up unaware. I can't buy a plastic wrapped sandwich entirely guilt free. And that's a good thing. Because while we are all going to make mistakes, or get lazy, it is ultimately, our awareness that keeps us going. It is our awareness that prevents us from going back to the way things were.
So I'll keep plugging away. And some days, I know, I will fail. But I will continue to take things one day at a time. And every day, every single day, I will stay mindful. I will stay conscious.
2 months ago