We're getting settled into our apartment, and I am thoroughly enjoying the routine of a full time job. And yet. There are still so many things that I wonder about and so many things that I didn't realize I needed to learn.
Grocery shopping, for example. Didn't think that something I felt was so routine in my family of five would be so hard to do for just myself and my spouse when I 'grew up.'
Of all the things that I watched my mom do, I always remember watching her stroll confidently through the store, snatching up the things our family needed to thrive. Vegetables, meat, cereal, bread, juice, milk, ice cream...
Now, I find myself wandering through the store trying to make a million different decisions while balancing all of the things we're concerned about: our budget, our health, smart consumerism, our tastes. My husband and I, although we both share a love for food and healthy appetites, have differing opinions on which issue carries the most weight with our choices.
What constitutes "healthy?" Read the FDA requirements for labeling a product as "all natural" versus "organic" and you'll see what I mean.
We want to buy fair trade, organic, eco-friendly, budget-safe products. But how smart can we really be as consumers? [I've gone more than 12 weeks without purchasing BP, but are we setting up another company for an epic failure down the road?] Maybe trying to do it all isn't possible.
I realize now that despite how carefully our parents and their parents tried to protect our well-being, they still learned the hard way that our food, our toys, our education, our energy sources, our transportation, our economy, our government - all have been tainted by one thing or another. None are as sustainable as we had hoped.
When I'm grocery shopping, I feel the profound weight of deciding more than just what we'll be eating for dinner. We are deciding what kind of lives we'll be leading. We are deciding what kind of economy we can sustain. We are deciding who is in charge of our resources. We are deciding whether the health of the world is worth investing in. That's a hard decision to make.