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A Birthday Wish, and Looking Ahead Together…

First order of business for the day: 

A Big Fat HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husbo! 

Yup, it’s my man’s big day! Unfortunately, we’ve had some expenses recently (perhaps you heard me mention on FB or Twitter that my ceiling began to cave in during our recent monsoon?), and we’re looking to buy a new house in the coming year, so finances are a bit strained at the moment. Big ‘spensive gifts are not in the cards this year, but a few hours for him to play in the woods on his own, a bottle of wine and all the sushi we can eat should make for a pretty happy day! (In recent years, birthdays for us really have become more about the events of the day and less about gifts, really.) 

It’s hard to wrap my brain around the idea that I met my husband 20 years ago. He was my first real boyfriend, my first real love. He knew me when I permed my hair and wore blue eyeshadow! 8O When he dumped me (Yes, HE dumped ME. <<gasp!>> Can you imagine? ;) ) I thought my world would end. Oh, the drama and devastation my teenage self went through! I now know that it was the best thing that ever could have happened, because we both had the chance to learn and grow into ourselves, but I sure didn’t know that at the time. And I never would have believed that we would reunite so many years later…

During the 20 years that we were apart, we didn’t speak, didn’t even cross paths through friends. So imagine how floored I was to find out, once we did meet again, that we had grown to be so similar. We share so many priorities, and fundamental ideals. Sure, we are different in many ways, but he understands who I am, and puts up with my whirlwind self, and he just “gets” me like no one else ever has. He’s smart, and funny, and perceptive, and the best father. Sure, he may not be the best housekeeper, and he watches horrible television sometimes, but I really couldn’t ask for more. 

As we look ahead, the goals we’ve set forth seem a little daunting. I’m a good one for setting goals so high that they wig me out and overwhelm me, but that’s why my husband is so important in my life: he’s the calming force, the great balancer. He’s laid back and calm, and I am glad to see a little of that chill factor developing in my son. 

As I mentioned, one of our biggest goals (besides building our family) is moving into a new house. Our house now is inefficient, in need of lots of repair, and very small. It was also his when we met. Buying a new home together feels like a great opportunity for a fresh new start in a home that will house our children as they grow. It also feels like a huge chance to incorporate our goals of being healthier and more eco-friendly in our everyday living, and teach our kid(s?) as we go.

I was leafing through a copy of Natural Home magazine today, and came upon an article about people living in tiny little houses. It seems that our goal isn’t so unique…it’s actually quite trendy. People are going to extremes, paring down to houses of 1000 sq feet or less. It’s an interesting concept to me, and I’ve seen it in several publications lately. Many are getting hip to the concept of simple and efficient living, and it seems like the right way to go (maybe not quite so small, but we’re headed in that general direction.)

We love the thought that moving forward doesn’t have to mean “bigger” and “more.” Having less and doing without things can be a choice, not an indication that you haven’t succeeded. And it’s the kind of future we want, but the problem is that it seems so beyond us because it’s all so far away…on TV or in a documentary about other people. It’s always somewhere other than here.  Where do you start in looking for a ‘greener’ house? Do you buy an older one and make all the renovations needed to upgrade it? Do you build it that way? Where do you find a green builder? With all the new green technology developing at such a rapid rate, is it even possible to keep up, or is a new home behind the times before it’s even finished? We sure don’t want to get all finished only to find that there was a better way.

Solar, wind, geo-thermal, water collection systems, non-toxic, sustainable materials…how do you know what, why, how and where to get started? And how EXPENSIVE is all this? Is this stuff just for the elite who can afford it, or can the average folks, like us, join the green party, too?

But is all this new “Green Technology” even this answer? Sometimes I feel like those of us who feel the need to be more eco-aware are just being duped into thinking we need to add things to make our houses greener, when we really need to be taking things away. Am I being greenwashed by all the shows on Planet Green and the piles of green living magazines my husband buys? Magazine articles and TV shows on Green Home Makeovers might be fun to watch, but with all this talk of “simple living” shouldn’t it be easier, not more confusing, to structure your home to fit your ideals? 

I don’t really know the answer, but I’m glad I have someone to help me figure it all out, and do it all with me. 

Happy birthday, love!

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