Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family Portrait

So who are we? And why does it matter? Those are the questions I'll answer today.

We are a married couple in our early thirties, and we have one child who is still a toddler. We both work. We make just enough to pay all of our bills, pay for daycare, and have a little left over to play, but not enough to travel or call ourselves anything but "hanging on to the middle class by a thread."

We both come from similar backgrounds...traditional, fairly conservative, still-married parents.

We live in a small, Pacific Northwest town that is far enough away from Seattle to make shopping there less than economical (that will matter later in this blog).

In short, we are a fairly typical American family. I think it's important to say that, since we are just like a lot of people who say they should be living differently, but then don't...because it's too expensive, because it's inconvenient, because it's hard to find alternative products...etc. We all have lots of excuses.

But, we are not a typical American family in other ways. We are willing to change. And we've been doing it for years. In fact, we joke about it all the time, that with each little step we take...we are that much closer to becoming "hippies". Now, of course, we have our own concept of what that means and definitely do not intend to offend. As we are such traditional folk, the idea of becoming "earth-friendly", "eco-conscious", or anything like that seemed first.

So, here we are. The typical/atypical, young, working, American family. We love our country, we complain about it a lot, we work, we consume, we support the troops, we eat meat, we have dogs and cats, we appreciate the earth. I say this, because, as I begin this blog, I want people to know that average people can do this, and that you don't have to give up being who you are to make changes for the better.

You don't have to be 20 and in college to change the world. You don't have to know the right people. You don't have to live any place special. You don't have to be a liberal or have any particular job. And I plan to keep this in mind as I make each small change...all of us should be able to do these things. In fact, many of you probably have already begun. Which is why I would welcome comments and hope for suggestions, advice related to the post, and valuable resource links.

But don't rush me! Please. If there are 20 other "small steps" I might take in relation to the one I've taken that day...hold back. The whole idea of this blog is "one small step". It's kind of like dieting, which, in my opinion, is bad. We become unhealthy or overweight over a long period of time. To change everything overnight is "plan suicide". The diet will never work. make small changes over a long period of time...that's more likely to stick.

So that's how I'm doing this. One change per day...related to anything that might make my family's pets' community (etc.)...better, happier, healthier, simpler.

You may not agree with every change I make. That's okay. Sound off, but don't be negative. Be helpful. Be critical. Be intelligent. Or be silent.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

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