I've been reflecting lately. It has been over three years since my "moment" in three year old Sunday school, and it never ceases to amaze me that changes in life seem so hard until you come out the other side and have a chance to look back on the experience. In the moment, it always feels bigger than the Empire State Building on steroids, and looking back, its just barely a blip in time.
I remember digging our recycling bins out of the garage and thinking why am I adding ANOTHER plate to what seems like the four million that I already have spinning in mid air that could fall with a faint gust of wind? I'm not going to lie, the first couple of weeks were tough (sounds funny saying that now, considering that it's just second nature these days). We had no idea what was recyclable, what wasn't or how to sort it. Then, there was the serious inconvenience of having to walk ten more steps to the garage to throw something in the recycling bin instead of the trash can. Seriously, I complained about that!!!
Recycling looked like a drop in the bucket compared to the clothesline ordeal. I am still pinch myself every once in a while to make sure I am still for real when it comes to this subject. I do have to admit though, a neighbor of ours recently gave us her old dryer. The line drying subject came up in casual conversation and she genuinely felt "bad" for us even after I tried consoling her numerous times with the fact that we CHOSE (imagine that) to line dry. The dryer sat in the garage for months until a lovely streak of gloomy, rainy weather hit so bad that even hanging the clothes in the house took three days to dry. With a mountain of dirty laundry and no clean diapers, I caved. The dryer made its way into the house and has been used only a few times in emergency cases. The lesson...sometimes, it's ok.
Speaking of diapers, this is the change that amazes me the most. If someone would have told me that I would have made it a year and a half with cloth diapers, I would have laughed so hard my face hurt for days!! I will never forget the insane feeling I had when I bought the first set of diaper covers, washed them, and hung them on the line to dry. I felt like a cavewoman in 21st century garb!! The buying process was an experience in itself. They don't sell those things in stores!!! I had to find a company online that had a local distributor (some other crazy mom who was WAY more insane than me when it came to being "natural"). I will say I learned a lot from her (more than I needed to know), but what really inspired me was her "store". She had a whole corner of her family room converted into a a display area for her wares. There were rows and rows of bright, colorful diaper covers. Some with designs and some just plain, but all soft, fuzzy and BRIGHT....it tapped in my artsy side and I was hooked like a fish on a minnow!!! You can even buy them online with cute designs embroidered onto them all for less than the cost of a box of diapers!! To this day, I have spent under $180 on diapers, and might (my frugal side says "no", but my need to do less laundry says "yes") need to buy another cover or two before potty training in the a few more months. I am not going to lie, as easy as it really has been (I'm serious!!), I'm looking forward to (I can't believe I'm saying this) potty training :)
There are so many other changes--the gardening, the cars, the couponing, the list goes on...and I wouldn't change a single experience. What I have learned is that there is a freedom in living a simpler life. Some things do take more of my time, but they always take less of my money and cause me to spend more time home. Even though we still have to work, the stress from the pressure of making more and wanting more is lessened. Not saying that we don't still have those moments of wanting more, but we quickly remember how much easier it is with less. With more time (not really time because I'm still busy, but more like brain space less occupied by stress) to just breathe, it's easier to see God's provision and realize that no matter how much we work or do , God is still in control of the outcome.