If you hadn't noticed, I was less than consistent with this weekly feature last month. At least twice, I was just too overwhelmed to write a coherent post.
Some of this comes from dealing with things at home, particularly as Trillian and I forge ahead with our plans to move near the grandparents. And while we are going about it methodically and getting things lined up nicely, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the enormity of the undertaking.
A subset of that is trying to get myself together enough to put in an application for the one job in that area that is actually related to my field and that I would be able to get while still working on my PhD. On top of teaching and working on my comps.
But some of that overwhelmed feeling was also coming from the reading I do for this series. In particular, No Impact Man linked to a site that is encouraging people to try and reduce their environmental footprint by 90%. OK, maybe not quite that drastic. The goal is to consume only 10% of the average consumption in the US (and, the assumption is, Canada would be about the same). So if you've made efforts to reduce already, you wouldn't have another 90% to go.
Now, to be fair, the people who created this project are not saying it's all or nothing and are encouraging people to commit to as much as they can--and gradually at that. But their 90% is based on a generous rounding of the 94% reduction that has been figured as how much we need to reduce to get US consumption down to a reasonable and fair level.
And I started to fall back into my old pattern of panicking. I'm not doing enough! I can never do enough! I'll never be able to meet those sorts of goals.
Then I decided it was time to back off for a little bit. To recognize that I'm dealing with some big stuff in my life and need to put that first right now. I'm not backing off of the things I've already started, and there are a few more little things I'm incorporating into my life. But it's unrealistic to think I can take on other big things right now. And so I remind myself of another post from No Impact Man last month: Be kind to the planet by being kind to yourself. It won't solve all the planet's ills, but I expect it will help me last long enough to do a little more.