There are six months left in 2020 and if you're feeling sluggish, like you aren't going to accomplish everything you wanted to this year, you're in good company—I mean, who among us even saw this coming? What I find helps motivate me when I'm in a slump is a thought-provoking book that inspires me to action. Often times, the more meager the means and the more humble the beginnings of the author, the more their book resonates with me. Not only am I inspired by what they write about, but I'm inspired that an average Joe like me could produce such an awe-inspiring work. It really gets me thinking about my potential, my limitations, and if either are truly as I perceive them. In the words of Helen Exley (creator of the London publisher by the same name), “books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life’.”
Recently I finished reading the Ernman-Thunberg (as in Greta Thunberg) family's memoir and wow... It was a total doozy. Our House is On Fire tells the story of the events that led up to Greta Thunberg's school strike for the climate on August 20th, 2018. As hard as it would be to cover any four years in just 222 pages, the four years in question for the Thunbergs are some of the craziest. So many changes, so many struggles, so many fears & dark days, and so much action. More than anything, this book is a guide to getting back on your feet after life knocks you down. And none have been more so knocked than Malena Ernman upon having to watch first one daughter and then the other get bullied in school, receive life-altering diagnoses, and develop life threatening eating disorders. About more than just the young girl who started the World's largest climate strike by sitting alone in front of the Swedish Parliament building, Our House is an insider's view on the good, the bad, and the ugly that took the Thunbergs from a simple Swedish family ruled by their internationally-renowned opera singer mother's tour schedule to an internationally-despised family led by their eldest daughter, her deep concern for the health of the planet we all call home, and her unyielding faith that humanity is not evil.
I think I speak for most of us when I say... I am losing my damn mind! This whole social distancing, self-quarantining, stay at home lifestyle is taking its toll on my sanity. I happen to be part of the population not laid off, but also not occupied by work (it's not exactly legal to take aquarium animals home with you during a pandemic) and thus I am part of the population that has found themselves at home with heaps of free time. And there's only so many crafts one can make or things one can clean before the mind starts to unravel. So I've been doing a lot of reading to stave off the boredom. It's great! I'm learning new things, being entertained and inspired, and when I get jittery I can walk laps around the downstairs without having to press pause.
Ever wish your treat yo' self purchases could treat others too? Well, you're in luck! Never has the saying "money talks" been more appropriate, or accurate, than in today's 21st century consumer culture. But, that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. If you're serious about putting your money where your mouth is, and your mouth is espousing harmful environmental practices and oppressive social hierarchies, then you need look no further than these six brands and their mission statements to find yourself in the middle of guilt-free shopping bliss. Next time you want to treat yourself or someone you love, have a birthday party or bridal shower you don't want to attend empty-handed, or don't want to be caught off guard by Christmas... again, give these planet-friendly options a try. Good for men, womyn, children, and everyone in between!
When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder'd. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred! —Lord Alfred Tennyson“The Charge of the light Brigade”