Picking Your Poison

I just finished knitting these mitts over the weekend:


…and as I tried them on and admired them, my first thought was, “Ooooooh! I should get a deep wine or black nail polish and that would look SO COOL!”

I swear — just a few hours later these tweets started arriving in my feed:

Needless to say, I did not purchase any nail polish. Win for me, win for the environment I’d say.

Things are a bit scary; not only are we surrounded with environmental poisons, but chemicals that are not good for us are secretly and not so secretly in our food, on/in our new clothes, and in the products we clean and adorn ourselves and our homes with. It’s not just that a or b or c or d is “bad” but when you COMBINE a, b, c, and d on your skin/in your body every day, it can result in a real threat to your well-being. As the nail painting story exemplifies, sometimes I feel I am at war with having some fun with my appearance (and trying to keep up my appearance!) and being a good steward of my health and the earth.

I don’t know the answer, but the little mantra I’m repeating as I decide what to let in to my life is “Pick Your Poison!” For example, I really (really, really) love lipstick. So, I’ve picked one that contains low harm ingredients, and ditched the face powder, blush, eye stuff, etc. OK, I still like to dust my face with a little French Green Clay (no I don’t look green!). I save perfume for special occasions. I’ve gotten used to the alum stone deodorant that works well enough. Recently, I ran out of my body butter concoction and I just used oil after my bath. Not only was it fine, it was very nice! No need to make a recipe when a simple, single thing works. I use soap on my hair and body and face. I’ve picked my poison, so to speak, and I will let the others go.

I’m curious to see how this will work in the rest of my life! When I’m buying fabric and yarn, or at the grocery, or drugstore, or…! Like rationing (being able to buy, but buy less), picking my poison (white flour? rayon?) whilst keeping the rest of what I’m letting in to my world on the up and up might help me feel less powerless, less confused, less at war with those very human impulses to hunt and gather, adorn and enjoy.

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