I wrote about sustainability a few months ago, and it has been a theme that has haunted a lot of my thoughts at the end of 2017. Even after writing that post saying that my lifestyle at that moment wasn’t sustainable, I haven’t made much effort in changing it. I still worked long hours unnecessarily. I still impulsed shopped. I still had weeks where I ate out more than I cooked at home. I still had weeks (more like, months) where I didn’t go to the gym. And I know that sometimes, life happens and when you get sick or there’s an impending deadline at work, your daily routine gets thrown off. But here’s the thing, I don’t really have a daily routine to begin with, at least not one that I enjoy. And another thing was…I only called out sick once in 2017 and there weren’t that many crazy deadlines to be met.
My day-to-day consists of waking up sometime between 5:45 and 6:45 a.m. depending on my mood or level of exhaustion; drinking coffee and eating breakfast on my commute to work (LA traffic makes that a cinch!); working until somewhere between 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.; eating dinner (sometimes cooked, sometimes fast food); and ending by falling asleep to Friends on Netflix somewhere between 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. depending on my anxiety levels. Sometimes, if I’m motivated, I’ll make it to the gym or I’ll meal prep if I get off work early enough and have enough energy. But it seems as if every week feels different, and not in an exciting, spontaneous way. It seems as if every week, I fall deeper and deeper into a rut. It seems as if each day gets longer and I’m only just trying to survive through the week to get to the weekends. It seems as if I’m constantly daydreaming to escape my life, but once Brandon and I do manage to get away, all we end up doing is sleeping in; watching TV because we don’t have one; and watching the sunset in some place beautiful. Now I will forever be grateful for the trips we take and I will never, ever take them for granted. However, I want these trips to mean more, and for us to do more. I want these trips to be more than a temporary escape from reality. In fact…I don’t want to feel the need to escape my life anymore.
My friend sent me this article a little while ago, and it has been on my mind ever since (Seriously though, you need to read it. I’ll wait.). It changed my view of what self-care is entirely. Initially, I thought self-care was letting myself eat fries after a long day at work. That it was impulse shopping because I work hard for my money. That it was getting out of LA for a few days. Wrong-o! What I actually need to do is say “no” more at work. I need to go to the gym a few times a week, and not just when I’m on break. I need to eat healthier as part of my lifestyle. I need to set some financial goals for the future, and be wiser with my money. I need to stop impulse shopping and making retail therapy a habit. I need to get out of my comfort zone and be okay with being vulnerable. I need to deal with my anxiety. I need to let go of certain expectations, especially those involving other people. I need to blog more because I actually do enjoy it. I need to really, truly, actually, take care of myself.
I need to do all the things that I know are good for me, but I avoid doing or have trouble commit to doing. Things like bullet journaling; capsule wardrobing; meditating; reading; eating healthier; working out; etc. My friend got me a guided journal for 2018, and I wholeheartedly intend to work through it this year. I’m going to set intentions every month and track them. At the end of 2017, I started writing gratitudes in my journal and I realized how much more calm, mindful, and grateful (duh) I became, and so I am hoping that working through Maggie Enterrios’ Nature Observer: A Guided Journal will help me build a more sustainable lifestyle this year.
I guess before I get going on this journey, I need to define what sustainability is to me. When I first think of sustainability, I think of it in the eco-friendly, help the environment, less waste sort of way. But then, when I think about it some more in terms of lifestyle, I think that it means a life that can be maintained for a long time. When I google “sustainable lifestyle definition,” I found that it is: “taking no more than the environment can supply and renew…It is meeting one’s needs in the present without compromising the needs of future generations.”
For me, it will be a lifestyle that will allow me to take no more energy of my own that I can supply and renew. It will be meeting my needs in the present without compromising my needs of my future self. It will be a lifestyle that will reduce my anxiety by making more mindful, intentional choices. And while yes, I am still interested in eventually having that sustainable-good-for-the-enviornment-wardrobe and in not feeling guilty for how full my trash can is with plastic; I think I need to focus on taking care of me first before I can take care of the world around me. I’m not big on resolutions, mostly because I never accomplish them, but I am big on intentions being the first step to change.
So here’s to 2018, another year of intentionality. A year of sustainability. Cheers friends!