Tuesday, August 28, 2012

summer review

Okay, so June was the media fast & my life hasn't been the same since!  Hence 3 months with no blog...
I allowed my children 2 hours "screen time" per day.  As June was the first month of summer break, I thought the cutbacks might ruin my life.  I anticipated much groaning throughout the long summer days with limited access to electronic pleasures.  Surprisingly, there was little resistance, and fun was had by all!  Jack & I watched NO television, and spent the least amount of time possible on the computer to get our work done.  I played less on my phone, though I do admit to a couple of Facebook posts, and maybe a round or two of Words with Friends.  We had a lot of fun playing games, going for walks, swimming, and just hanging out together.  And, yes, the 2 hour rule stuck - we're still doing it!  I was worried summer break might be the worst time ever for Media month, but it was really awesome!  This month gave focus to what really matters: time with my family, doing things I enjoy instead of sitting on the couch, time with God - reading, worshiping, talking.

July was Waste month.  basically a fast on consumption - trying to make the smallest carbon footprint possible, and making the most of everything we already have, and our time.  I was pretty much a recycling freak already, so this month just gave me an extra boost to try and create less trash in general - recyclable and non-recyclable.  I became more aware of buying things in large containers instead of several smaller ones, or individual servings.  I have a ton of reusable food storage instead of baggies or buying individual servings, and I just portion out everything into those, wash & reuse.  Let me tell you, this family of 9 creates NO MORE than 2 kitchen-sized trash bags of trash per week!   That is also thanks to food month, in which I started buying almost all fresh foods & produce, which generally come with far less packaging than processed junk food.  And our recycle bin overfloweth.  I am seriously considering asking some neighbors if I could add our stuff to their recycle bins as I currently have a large trashcan full of recyclables in the garage in addition to the city bin.  My next goal is to also reduce the amount of recyclable waste - to really use less.  I wish I could say that I started a garden & a compost pile - both things I aspire to do someday.  July is not exactly the best month for starting a garden here in Texas.  I also have a black thumb, not a green one.  I wouldn't know what to do with my compost once it was made.  I guess I should've researched that, but I was really loving not being on the computer even though media month was over.  I also tried to use what we had instead of buying new stuff.  Little things like eating things before they expire, using that can of corn that's been lurking in the corner of the pantry, reusing last years' backpacks if possible, reusable grocery bags instead of plastic...I always try to do that stuff anyway, but there was still room for improvement (and still is).  I love this beautiful world God created & gave us charge over.  This month really gave focus to taking care of what He has given, and not wasting and destroying His creation.

This brings me to August - Spending month.  I was supposed to spend money in only 7 places.  Gas, groceries, home supplies, clothes, etc.  I honestly don't know what happened.  Lack of focus, summer break craziness, just not thinking it was important, i don't know.  This month can be summed up in two words - Epic Fail.  It's possible, and highly probable, that I spent money in MORE places this month than in a typical month.  Maybe we'll try again after next month, which is the final month of the 7 fasts.

Next month is Stress. Pausing 7 times a day for prayer.  Bringing focus back to what really matters.  I'm super excited & really have to learn to use my alarm on my phone! September is shaping up to be an incredibly busy month for me; I'm really gonna need this!

So here's a brief summary if you skimmed the rest of this blog post:
Media month - SUCCESS!
Waste month - Great job!
Spending month - utter failure
Stress month - looks hopeful

I have many other thoughts stirring in my head, so hopefully I'll be posting again soon :)