My son was born six years ago and since his birth I have been a single parent with several challenges and very little support. Finding myself in this situation and at this age posed a reevaluation of significant long held beliefs regarding every aspect of my being.
It became very apparent that my children were watching every move I made and were emanating it in their interaction with the world. Beginning to understand the importance of community, rural and environmental sustainability I began to understand that the family plays an enormously important role.
I am lucky. I am a pretty social person and there are a lot of people in my life I would consider friends. I have received a lot of good support and good advice over the years pertaining to the home I should co-create with my kids. A few of those I would like to share in this brief post:
1. “Conscious decision making. Think about it and implement it. Conscious decision making.”
2. “Families the most important thing. You take care of your family. You make them a priority and you let those kids know every day how much you love them.”
3. “Figure out how to grow your own food and be in service to your family and to your neighbors. Help one another out. You teach those kids how to take care of themselves and contribute and that’s the best thing you can do. It will come together, trust me on that one.”
4. “Kate, you focus on improving yourself, building a good home for those youngsters and figure out the people that really truly care about you and you focus on that and the rest will fall into place. Everything else can just ^*!!@ right off. You got me? ”
This is what I held onto in dark times and which I now dole out to others who are struggling to identify and build a life. All of these can be extended to sustainability. Looking at the products we use in everyday life and talking to my kids about it. Taking the time to plan on taking them for walks and on short trips. Initiating conversations about what we have seen and asking for their opinion. Having them research different recipes and getting them involved in food preparation are all activities that contribute to sustainability on a more broad spectrum.