It was the array of vegetables quietly lying in their own individual plastic that finally broke it for me. I felt deflated, defeated and pretty bloody miserable to be honest.
Moving cities was always going to have its pockets of turbulence, I knew that. It’s a transition period where you have to nut out what’s what, who’s who, where’s where and build up from that right?.
I knew that, it all takes a little time.
So why was I feeling like I was carrying round a basket full of sad, looking down at my plastic encased vegetable dinner options?
Because I forgot. I did have options.
While I had been trying really hard to keep things as uncomplicated as possible, while I nutted out a seemingly endless supply of other issues that needed attending, packed a household, unpacked a household, grappled with a grumpy oven, the weather defied all odds, new garden beds were created and I mostly single parented the summer school holidays. For those reasons, I resorted to supermarket vegetables, some bought bread, and more plastic encased food than I cared to think about.
Except I did care, and combined with the transition of moving, it made for a pretty sad face round here.
Shopping had turned into being surrounded by an endless supply of uninspiring temperature controlled chain stores, empty conversations, enough plastic to make you shudder and all filled with people who I seemingly had little in common with.
It all felt so false. The mass-produced shopping, the plastic on plastic, the convenience of it all and the questionable happiness that people seemed to get from living like this.
Is that how it really is? Was this really my chosen road, the inevitable living that was bound to happen at some point, just because we moved?
Staring at those vegetables again, and something gently clicked back into place.
Hell no. This isn’t me, this isn’t us. I Don’t. Want. This.
Readjustment, realignment, and a good rethink.
And so slowly I’m catching up. The local transport system was nutted out, travels further afield were taken. Local organic vegetables got delivered to the door which gave me some breathing room when I couldn’t get to the farmers markets, independent health food stores were located, the toilet paper came in bulk, the huge shopping centres were bypassed and I found the beginnings of a list of a few mismatched seated cafe’s that served coffee in cups the size of my head, (and from which I danced in caffeine fuelled happiness.)
While I didn’t want the plastic vegetables, and the convenience of everything being at my door step, I do acknowledge that I needed it for that transition period, (and not being sainted) may dip back into it in small amounts over the coming few months as needed.
While we are all still very much finding our feet and it really will take a while to set down new roots, I feel a hell of a lot more grounded knowing that there has been a bunch of bread just baked, there’s kombucha on the bench top, I’ve found places that I can buy basics in bulk, joined the local library, traded cucumbers for black soldier fly larvae over the back fence, made jam, made kasundi, roasted pumpkin’s and with a contented exhale, have once again sourced our families every day vegetables bought without a single, sheet, of plastic.
For me, it feels a whole lot better to be once again, keeping it real.