It’s 3am. My app just told me sunrise is in 3 hours.
I have a confession to make, though you may already be getting prepared for it: I won’t be writing here as much. I have a post to do about my families soup and then after that I either may appear here once or twice a month or maybe never again. The reason being because I’m writing a lot elsewhere. Working on projects that aren’t meant to be publicized until they are ready and I don’t want to be writing here because it takes up my writing time for those projects.
This site was always meant to be one year, which because of this, has now turned into an online business and me speaking to kids in schools about reducing waste. Which by the way, is incredibly amazing. My first one took place a few months ago via Skype to a class in Pemberton, British Columbia. They had my face on a giant screen in their classroom. Apparently, they loved it so much the kids ask if I’ll be Skyping with them again.
Let’s give you a quick update shall we?
1. We’re finally launching A Dream Lived Greener on Earth Day – April 22. THIS FRIDAY. My friend and I believe in creating less waste and so we wanted to make it easy for others. Everything has been up and ready for a while, since we were supposed to launch in March. But Life in between the busy-ness of business, clients and Mama-ing can get in the way. There’s a lot off screen that happens that I never share with anyone.
2. But I will soon. These projects that I’m working on will share a lot. Some in more in-depth detail that I ever thought I could or would want to do but that I know I have to do as part of therapy. Want to know what they are?
If you don’t, oh well.
– A book about the lessons life has taught me. It’s my biography and will feature stories on how I survived child abuse, my struggles with depression and suicidal attempts/thoughts, my divorce (to name a few) and how I used art as a way to cope with many traumatic experiences. A book about learning self-love and forgiveness.
– A poetry and art book. I’ve been writing since I could pick up a pencil. I have at least two bins full of notebooks, diaries and letters. One of my best friends can attest to this because she had to pack them up when I decided not to come back from the Philippines in 2010. I write because I have to. Just like I painted because I had to. I’m an artist and over the last few years, I’ve finally accepted the title. The first time someone ever addressed me as an artist without batting an eye, was on the plane to Chicago a few weeks ago. She is a well known Canadian TV producer (look up Flashpoint) and I hope she looks me up like she told me she would because I’ll remember her forever. Some people do that to you. Anyway, I told her what I did; photographer, videograph.. and she before I was even done, she said, “Oh, so you’re an artist.”
And for once, I just confidently said, “Yes.”
Instead of… “well, yeah… I mean.. uh.. well, yeah, kind of.”
This book will be where I will have pieces of writing and art from my childhood and youth years, mixed in with pieces of writing and art with work that I’ve done in the last decade. I’m so excited about this one.
– A Zero Waste Guidebook. I’ll be giving this one away for free. Or maybe ask donations for it, which I will put towards A.R.T. In Action (where we fund free art workshops for youth facing barriers). I haven’t decided.
What do you think?
You want it to be free right?
– And lastly, a screenplay. This one I was hired for. And I can’t share much more information other than it is based on a true story. A week before I got hired to write this, I told the Universe I wanted to be a writer (as if I wasn’t already) and out of the blue, this came flying onto my lap. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.
When will these come out?
When they are ready, but I have ten days to myself at the end of this month and I am writing. Doing nothing but writing, sleeping and eating. The zero waste guidebook will be the first. Then the art book. Then the biography. Then the screenplay. Good things take time. I’ve always wanted to write books since I was a kid. Writing was my first art form and so two decades later, I am finally making that dream a reality. I’ll be sharing my progress in the visual diary on my social enterprise, Dream Love Grow.
Follow Your Dream. Do What You Love. Continue to Grow. Words I live by and it only makes sense to track the progress there.
So that’s that. On to the last.
An Almost Zero Waste Birthday
Let’s share with you how I managed to make my son’s birthday party and birthday as zero waste as possible.
1. I asked for no presents from any of the guests. Other than someone bringing something that my son needed, everyone listened! My parents got him a toolbox, but he reallllllllly loved it. I don’t buy my son anything. Maybe every few months it’s penny candy. It’s the only candy that they sell at the Quickie for .5 a piece still and doesn’t come in plastic. He buys that with his money he saves.
2. I didn’t decorate. No balloons. No streamers. Nothing. My friends brought him a balloon that they had in their house, but other than that, I really tried not to have anything that I would end up throwing out.
3. Reusable cups borrowed from a friend. Paper bowls. Although these were put in the green bin by my Dad, they shouldn’t have been. They were printed on and I think were probably coated. So I failed there. My friend brought these and I brought over some reusable plates that we could wash. I also fought my Mom not to have plastic cutlery because she has tons of metal cutlery, but I got tired of arguing (I mean I was already going to a funeral so what the fuck did I care about anything?) and so we ended up using her plastic cutlery and we washed them all at the end and they are now back in her storage. Just like we would have washed all the metal cutlery. So I don’t get it, but whatever.
4. I created one thing of garbage and it was an egg roll wrapper packaging that I had from before zero waste life. We cooked filipino food and I managed to get everything sans garbage at T&T and Produce Depot. Although less waste was created, there was still some, my friend cooked a dish at home and made the cake, my Mom made two dishes and my son needed “pancit mushrooms” aka black fungus (which only comes in plastic), otherwise pancit is not pancit to him. And I just didn’t want him to cry. He cries if it’s not in the pancit. Pancit is a traditional filipino food that we eat at celebrations.
5. The cake was also reinvented for the day of his birthday. My friend made this cake and it had Optimus Prime on it. And we kept it at my parents house, slowly eating it. The birthday party was on a Saturday. His birthday was on a Tuesday. Anyway, my Mom scraped the fondant off of it, iced it with chocolate, covered it with sprinkles and brought it out for my son again on his actual birthday. On his actual birthday we do something just as a family. The candles – they are reused every year. I swear they are the same ones that we blew out as kids growing up. I’ve never bought candles.
6. No party favours. I’m not sorry that no one got sent home with anything. Two years ago I made body butter for everyone and that was the party favour. Last year we didn’t do any party favours either. We gave out hugs and thank you’s and that is more than enough. No plastic dollar store toys. Nothing that will break. Just nothing.
So in the end?
It didn’t take very long to clean up. We barely threw anything in the garbage and in the end we were all happy.
As you all know, it’s hard to be zero waste. It’s hard to cook what you want to cook, especially filipino food, zero waste. It’s just hard. But you try. You try anyway. Because that’s what matters.
I get that not everyone strives to make birthdays simple. But I do. he doesn’t need it to be fancy. He doesn’t need lots of toys or anything extravagant. All I want him to know is that there are people that love him and that being with his family and making memories together, is the most important thing in the world.
The sun is rising now. It’s time for me to go back to bed.
Until the next time – thank you for reading this. If you want to stay in the loop, I’d suggest sending me a message or subscribing at Dream Love Grow.
3 thoughts on “Updates, a ZW birthday and why I won’t write here again”
Hi, I’ve seen this post in the morning but I was at work and waited untill I get home to read and write you something (I’m from Israel so your 3 am was my 10 am). First of all good luck with all your writing projects! I hope it will all go well. I found your blog a couple of months ago after seeing the video Exploring Alternatives made on you. I really like your blog, for me it started as an interest in zero waste lifestyle, but somehow you really got to me and I just wanted to read what you have to say in general. You’ve mentioned things like depression, and I can relate as I’ve been going through some too in the past few months. I thought I’ll have more things to write but now as I seat in front of the computer I have nothing… oh well, sometimes I can’t interpret feelings into wrtinig, I’ll try to do it in some other way, as you’ve done with art and writing, I just need to find my way. So thank you, you’ve definitely inspired me.
Anna, thank you for this. For writing me from Israel. I answer this trying to visualize where you are and what it looks like. I hope you stay connected. Write me anytime if you need to talk about anything. Sometimes being able to talk it through is the only way through. If what you’re going through is translated into art or writing or something, I’d love to see/hear/read. etc.
Thanks for all the blog posts in the last year, it’s been great following along on a relatively new journey (compared to some blogs that are well-established!).
I noticed you’re going to write about your family’s soup, thanks!! Can’t wait to read it.
Also, I saw that you gave a Skype talk in Pemberton. I was the environmental coordinator at the regional district there until about 8 months ago and left them with a whole bunch of websites and blogs that I followed, I wonder if there was any connection there? Otherwise, it’s a small world!
Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s great reading along!
Meredith On 18 Apr 2016 6:52 p.m., “A Dream Lived Greener” wrote:
Mailyne posted: ” It’s 3am. My app just told me sunrise is in 3 hours. I have a confession to make, though you may already be getting prepared for it: I won’t be writing here as much. I have a post to do about my families soup and then after that I either may appear her”