Intentional living in the home is a hot topic right now.
With my life word for 2020 being “intentional”, it is only natural that I share a bit about our journey towards intentional living in the home, and what this means.
Webster defines intentional as something done on purpose, a deliberate action. For me, when God gave me “intentional” as my 2020 word, I had to dig deep into scripture and prayer to see how it applied to my life. I will share more next time on the personal aspect of the journey I’ve had with striving to live intentionally. But today, I want to share a bit about intentional living in our home.
Intentional living in the home means having a plan of action.
Being prepared and focused so that when life takes a different or difficult turn, you can stay the course. It’s means when life throws you a curve-ball, you can adjust and still thrive as opposed to letting a scenario overwhelm and consume you. We as families, communities, a nation and the world are seeing this in a big way right now with COVID-19.
Who would have guessed when I grabbed onto this word in January of this year, that a few months later I would find myself and everyone I know and love, in a pandemic lock-down? Who would have guessed that any of us would be in this situation?
While I understand and recognize many are suffering and struggling right now, I have found it easier to cope with the unanticipated due to the intentional changes we had started implementing in our day-to-day living.
Examples of intentional living
· Toilet Paper: In November 2019, I started researching other options for the toilet paper we purchased at our local store. My concerns were not only the trees used to make the toilet paper, but the plastic that the product came wrapped in. Reducing plastic has been a huge focus in our home in the past eight months. I finally settled on Who Give A Crap paper. They have eco-friendly bamboo or recycled paper, and it comes in a cardboard box delivered right to my door. They also give 50% of the proceeds from their sales to help under-developed countries implement changes for better toilet facilities and options. With step one complete, I recently moved on to adding cloth wipes for urine. I had an enormous stack of old, outdated, torn, and stained wash cloths that I cut into rectangles and sewed around the edges.
The stack sits on the back of the toilet with a small lined trash bag beside the toilet for the dirties. Every few days, I just throw them in the wash. We have reduced our toilet paper consumption by 90% with these two actions. Now with the Pandemic in full swing, we have not had to worry about toilet paper shortages. We’re good to go… so to speak. My upcoming goal is to install a bidet, but that might be on next year’s challenge list.
· Paper towels: I used the same stack of old towels along with some surplus fabric and made cloth paper towels. Again, this has reduced our paper towel usage by 90%.
· Bread: I started making our own weekly bread last fall. My original driving factor was that I couldn’t find any bread locally–even at the bakery–to purchase without a plastic bag. But the added benefit of baking it myself, resulted in a healthier bread that I could adjust to fit our dietary needs by adding chia seed and flax to my whole wheat, oatmeal bread. And who doesn’t love the smell of bread baking? Healthier. Costs less. Tastes yummy!
· Meal planning / Home cooking: I have always been a meal planner but have now stepped it up. This time, I added to my planning a closer look at how products we purchased came packaged, trying to avoid plastics. This led me to making many of my own staples. For example, pizza sauce; there wasn’t any in the store without a plastic bottle. Now I make my own huge batch in the crock pot and then store it in the freezer along with home-made pizza dough balls. Not only are we eating healthier, but we have saved money… and reduce our plastic impact in our land-fills.
· Plastic wrap/zip-lock bags: I have replaced 90% of these with reusable bowl covers, silicon zip locks and bees-wraps. We’re not perfect at it yet, but are always striving to improve in this area. Less waste. Less thrown in the garbage. Less money spent on these expensive single-use items.
The List Goes on
We’ve also implemented solid bar shampoo use and started planting tiny gardens in pots on our little back patio. Planting a garden also included micro-greens in our window and sprouts growing on the kitchen counter. Micro-greens and sprouts are simple to grow, high in vitamins and are great on salads, and other dishes.
We still have a lot to learn and change to embrace in a more intentional living in our home, but we’ve come a long way in the past seven months.
the positive side of intentional living
The positive side of all these changes is that WE are in charge of our daily lives, not the store or the supply chain. This reduces stress when life is super stressful outside the front door. We can’t control medical disasters, political strife or economic struggles and job loses, but we can survive. By living intentionally, we are okay, and can now focus on helping others in need. That’s what being part of a community is truly all about.
There might be many people reading this saying,
“That’s ridiculous! Connie doesn’t understand my life. I am struggling to keep my head above water as it is with kids, jobs, etc.”
Yes, I understand more than you think. I’ve been there. We had times in our life when we were so poor I couldn’t afford a pair of 50 cent shoes for our little baby boy. I’ve had seasons of my life where I’m up an hour before everyone and in bed two hours later, just to get everything done. Been there–done that!
My advice if you are feeling called to capture some intentional living for yourself is this:
· Take it one step at a time. Pick one thing–one area–that you CAN change and focus on that. Don’t tackle it all at once. But, every step or change can make a difference in your life, your family’s life and ultimately the world in which we live.
· Don’t beat yourself up about it. It’s okay to fail. You might try something, and it doesn’t end up working. Just evaluate, revise and move on. If you order something new, always look for sample sizes until you see if it will work for you.
· Be informed. Do your research. Yes, it seems like making your own laundry detergent is a wonderful idea to reduce plastic and save money. But, if all the ingredients come in huge plastic jugs–where is the benefit? FYI; we switched to Dropps laundry soap and Blueland for our cleaning products. Great products with less waste.
We have just one life to live while here on this planet. And we have only one planet on which to live. If everyone embraced even one aspect of intentional living in the home, think of the impact that would have. We could – together – literally change the world.
If you have questions about this journey, leave me a comment.
Be happy. Be healthy. – Connie
#intentionallife #liveintentionally #embracechange #liveonpurpose