I am always quick to join a trend. Actually, I will join things that aren’t even trends. If something seems like it has any chance of becoming a trend, I am there. This has enriched my life many times. Other times, it is just plain exhausting.
One of the first bandwagons I ever joined was back in the year 2000, while living with my best friend from high school in my very first apartment. She, along with another friend, decided to try her hand at on-line dating. At the time, it was not yet a trend. Instead, it was something you never admitted, to anyone, ever. That other friend and I both met our husbands on-line. Our code name for it was “in a bar.” Interestingly, my roommate actually did meet her husband in a bar. And the on-line dating was her idea to begin with. Anyway, following that trend-to-be brought me my husband, my two stepsons, a huge extended family, some wonderful friends, a home of my own in a town that I don’t particularly love, a great dog, and many, many happy times. It was a great bandwagon to jump on!
A potential bandwagon that is on my mind quite often right now is the one that involves having children. Both of the friends from that first bandwagon? They are both pregnant right now. One is due with her first any day now, and the other is having her second in July. I am not pregnant. I am not making any strides toward getting pregnant. I don’t know that I really want to get pregnant right now. However, this is a topic that occupies a lot of my thought. I know I want children, someday. However, I am going to be 32 years old next month, so someday doesn’t seem as long as it once was. I am happy to take care of other people’s babies all night and come home to a day of sleep with my dog. But once in a while, when cuddling a little one close while I feed him at night, I wonder what it would be like to have one of my own. It hasn’t helped that, recently, the statement “everyone I know is pregnant” is hardly an understatement. There are those two friends from high school, another friend from high school, three of the girls I work with, a cousin, several other acquaintances…I am surrounded! Add to that the people who have recently had babies (two other coworkers, another cousin, two good friends, several other acquaintances, my brother-in-law’s wife), and the numbers get to be a little ridiculous. While I haven’t seen any signs that scream “PROCREATE NOW,” I am starting to think this is a bandwagon I will want to get on sooner, rather than later. Not right now…but not too far from right now either.
Another bandwagon that I am hitching myself too (or trying to, anyway) is this whole green living thing. I am the girl who read Fifty Simple Things You Can Do To Save the Earth back in high school when the 20th anniversary of Earth Day was being celebrated and decided that it was my job to save the earth. I led the Spork Revolt back in high school, during which we successfully campaigned to get rid of the prepackaged spork/napkin/straw combo being used in our cafeteria and go back to real silverware. I recycled like a madwoman, and I preached my message to all who would listen. And then I got…lazy. I am trying to overcome the lazy, but it’s hard! Some things are simple. We switched over to compact fluorescent light bulbs. We recycle…and I even wash out and recycle things like mayonnaise and peanut butter jars, which I did not used to do. And I bought some reusable grocery bags…although I am just as likely to realize when I reach the checkout that they are in the car, not in my cart. However, I save all my plastic grocery bags and bring them back to the store for their recycling bin. And I would say that about half the time the reusable bags make it into the store with me, which is better than the former no times at all.
Another topic that I find very interesting (and which is related to that baby-making bandwagon that I am pondering joining) is cloth diapering. When I was in high school, I baby-sat for one family that cloth diapered. It involved folding a diaper, pinning it on the kid, and covering it with a pair of plastic pants. When the diaper was dirty, it had to be dunked in the toilet before being placed in the diaper pail. I swore then and there that I would never cloth diaper. However, while perusing a new message board on The Nest called “The Eco-Friendly Family,” I learned a few things. First of all, cloth diapers are now much easier than before. The options out there will make your head spin. There are those old-fashioned options, which some still use. But there are also pre-fitted diapers and all-in-one diapers and pocket diapers. There are covers with cute designs and covers handmade out of wool and covers that snap and covers that Velcro. There are diapers that seem to be no harder than disposables to use, until you get to the laundry…and even then, it doesn’t seem too bad! I definitely think this could be a possibility for us. The space saved in a landfill speaks to me, but speaking to me even more loudly is the money that will be saved in the long run by cloth diapering. And also, there is the cute factor! I am all about the cute factor!
So there’s your update on some of the things that are on my mind right now. At night, when I am at work and things are quiet, I have plenty of time to think. And these are some of the topics that my mind makes its way around to…always looking for another bandwagon to hitch myself to.