As part of my New Year’s resolutions, I vowed to find the time to get back to writing this column every week.
Seeing as how this page ran minus my mug again last Sunday, however, it’s fair to say that, at least so far, I’m not succeeding. I’m actually in the negative — two weeks without, instead of just one.
When it comes to last year’s goals, though, I might be doing a bit too well.
As you may or may not recall (I had to go to our archives to double-check, myself), my 2018 New Year’s resolution was an ambitious one.
Rather than — OK, in addition to — my standard “lose weight,” I also vowed to, as I put it then, “Make more of an impact on the world and less on the planet, pursue my passions, form healthier habits, and become a generally more fulfilled human being.”
A bit of a mouthful, for sure. But with a full year of trying behind me, I’m pretty proud of the way I’ve stuck to it.
That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been without its fair share of challenges.
Because while I don’t necessarily believe ignorance is bliss, I can tell you things get a whole lot more complicated once you start considering the implications of, oh, say, everything you do.
Take for example one day, when, much to my dismay, I awakened to the knowledge that I was out of coffee. And running late for work.
Unfortunately, the locally owned, free-trade-offering coffee shop near my house was closed, sending me searching for my much-needed joe in Sabraton.
“Well, I can’t get Dunkin’,” I thought, driving down the strip, “because they still use Styrofoam.”
“But then, I can’t go to McDonald’s either,” my brain said, “because they’re one of the biggest culprits for factory farming.”
I couldn’t go to Kroger and buy some to brew at the office, because my coworkers hate my coffee. Sheetz was out, because the line was too long, and I didn’t have my refillable Sheetz mug with me. And I was starting to feel super bad about all the gas I was using for a single drink.
The entire process left me (even more) exhausted, and I wound up opting for a cup of hot water from the cooler in Composing.
Buying a container of vegan “butter” found me down a similar rabbit hole.
Happy to have a stand-in for my most-missed dairy product, the endeavor quickly turned difficult when I noticed nearly all contain palm oil.
“Well, that’s no good,” I worried. “Palm oil is terrible for the environment and is wiping out the orangutans.”
Save cows, hurt apes? No way.
So I was forced to stand there in the aisle reading every single container, looking for ones marked with the sustainable palm oil label.
Then spend another half an hour Googling “is there really such thing as sustainable palm oil” on my cell phone.
In the end, I bought Earth Balance, but in my weeks and months of research since have worked out that earth-friendly palm oil of any kind is probably a pipe dream.
So I guess it’s goodbye forever, English muffins. Which is just as well, as the plastic bags they come in give me yet another attack of conscience, and all that white flour can’t be helpful in the lifelong skinny quest anyway.
Sometimes feeling bad is a good thing.
And if there’s one thing I excel at, it’s hardcore neurotic guilt.
Boy, I bet you’re all looking forward to going back to reading about that every week, huh?
Katie McDowell is a lifestyles writer/copy editor for The Dominion Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.