Thursday, June 14, 2007

unsustainable

I started the Seven Things Project partly in an effort to move towards more sustainability - both economic and environmental - in my personal life, and to be a part of a communal conversation towards that end. Funny then, isn't it, that I cannot seem to sustain either the project itself or the blog that helped me launch it.

I am so grateful for you who read this blog, and for you who comment, and especially for you who are struggling along with me towards similar goals, and most especially towards those of you who have given me such gracious encouragement and support. I feel bad about my almost total failure to respond individually to comments (I'll blame blogger a little bit, for making it difficult). And I feel even worse about my inconsistency with posting. I actually do post all the time - in my head. Getting them typed up and online has been an entirely different story.

At the same time, I realize it's a little ridiculous to live with guilt over a blog. And I also realize it probably gets tiresome to read apologies and excuses.

Still, I feel guilty. And still, I am sorry.

I am an Idea Person. I have big ideas, sometimes good ideas - and I'm pretty sure that the Seven Things Project was - and is - a good idea. It's just when it comes to consistent follow-through, well, suffice it to say that I struggle.

Which could be why my house feels just as full as stuff as it did when I started this project nearly a year ago. The baby diapers I intended to post on eBay? Still here. The antique table I wanted to sell so we could buy something more useful? Still have it. The three recliners that I thought I'd give away? Still here. The new-with-tags Bebe dress, Bebe top, and Ann Taylor formal skirt that were all ill-conceived purchases five and six years ago and should've been returned within 30 days? Got it, got it, got it.

Perhaps I have made a dent, it's hard to tell. I know I have more mindfulness - especially about the stuff I am considering buying. It has been four months now since I bought myself a new piece of clothing (other than shoes and undergarments), and I've signed on for another six months. For me, that's a pretty big deal (but don't ask me how much fabric I've bought in that same amount of time). I have made some small eco-friendly commitments and recommitments that I haven't blogged about, that seem to have come as a result of the focus this project has given me. And, as much as I fail - in getting rid of stuff, in stopping myself from acquiring more stuff, and in blogging about all of it - I am still determined to keep trying to do better. And it's possible I already am, at least a little bit.

Does this sound like a farewell post? It's not, actually. It's just my current musings, and a bit of an apology for not posting any Saturday Sevens in awhile (I suppose I can't really count my last one, since it was ZERO). This project was intended to end on July 7 of this year. I guess this phase of this project will end, but this blog will keep going - though maybe without the weekly pressure of a deadline (I probably already have enough of that kind of pressure in my life right now - also, what was I thinking, making the deadline be a Saturday, when that is nearly always a full and sometimes stressful day because of my work?). I am still considering what incarnation this project will take next.

At any rate, I'm sticking around, and I'm grateful for those of you who might keep on reading. Even when I have no progress to show. Even when I am awful at responding to comments. And even when I am sporadic in my posting. Thanks in advance for understanding. You're all marvelous.

7 Comments:

Blogger no-blog-rachel said...

I was very happy to read toward the end of your post that you're not leaving us. Your shedding of possessions inspires me!

7:39 PM  
Blogger lyca said...

I, too, am terrible with follow through. Great ideas abound in my head, but actually making them work is a complete and total _other story_. Meh. You know, I've found some really intereting blogs about sustainability and cycling, etc. Let me know if you want me to share them with you. They could give you the inspiration you need.

5:18 AM  
Blogger donnac368 said...

For me, it's not about responding. It's about knowing this blog is here as a daily reminder. Thanks.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Pamela said...

Well, I've stuck with the project and I have about 7 weeks left. I think I'll make it.
Just let me say that you are absolutely not a failure at this project. Look what you've done with it already!! And look how many people you got moving on the same project!!
I think it's been a wonderful thing for a lot of people.
You inspire me.
So one day you maybe will get rid of the things you listed. That doesn't mean you have to do it all today or that you failed in any way because I truly believe you definitely have not failed. At all in any way!!
You work on your seven things project at your own rate and one day you will find it easier to find new homes for your extra's.
hang in there and quit feeling guilty!!!
I know I will continue to read your blog. :)

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have totally inspried me to unclutter ~ thankyou :)

9:35 PM  
Blogger that girl said...

I linked to your blog from another and just LOVE your idea! I,too, hold sentimental attachments to things...I would love to start even though you are almost finished with your project...I, too, have two children (ele. school aged) and the house seems so cluttered! I am called a pack rat by family and friends but always think, I may need that someday. I love your idea and want to thank you for inspiring me to start to do the same.

5:40 PM  
Blogger jpknits said...

Funny thing is, you see, I only traipsed across your project this June. In a number-fog, I actually misread your dates and thought you were starting up the project.

And yesterday, with thoughts of discard-goals, I sorted through an entire box of paper. Found the important bits I needed, which helped justify the time spent sifting. Most of it has now been recycled, the rest nicely filed away or action taken.

Big ideas are gifts that can keep giving. We'll just be on different timetables.

3:39 PM  

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