Slow Progress Is Still Progress

Lifestyle changes are not easy. Starting down a new path is often initially fulfilling- and then it gets hard. This is true for most well-intentioned goals, including living a more sustainable lifestyle.

There have been so many moments on this sustainability adventure when I’ve felt like I’m failing. Like when I want to buy olive oil in bulk, but that store is on the other side of town and I just don’t have the time to get there; when the homemade eco-friendly dish detergent tabs I just spent two days making are absolutely not cleaning my dishes; or when I discover that I am allergic to the waste free body bars I just purchased.

But there are also rewards. There are moments of beauty and encouragement when I know that this lifestyle is bringing lots of wonderful things into my life too. I slow down more, I find enjoyment in small things more than I used to. I get a real thrill out of problem solving. I feel good about what I’m contributing to the world around me. And for those things, it is worth continuing.

I think that if you too are on a sustainable path, you have probably had these moments as well. I believe that it’s ok if you’re not doing everything- it isn’t easy. You are swimming against the tide in a society that prizes convenience, speed and disposability.

Living in harmony with my home planet and the other creatures on it is really important to me. But there are times when I have to step back, be happy for the progress I have made, and accept the progress I have yet to make. When I started this journey, I was working long hours, and I needed to be careful about spending. I had to be satisfied with doing what I could. And that is still how I walk this journey toward sustainability today. I do what I can. I let go of what I can’t do at this time. I take a break when I need to take a break. And I don’t beat myself up about buying that new glass bottle of olive oil at Trader Joe’s, because it won’t erase those other 18 times I bought it in bulk instead. I resolve that once I’ve rested, I will get right back in the fight. And I do. Because slow progress is still progress.

Thank you for all of the steps you are taking.

Thank you for the progress you are making.

Thank you for taking time to read this.

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