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I was sitting writing while my son was watching TV in the other room, and some boys on a show were talking about which would be worse; to drink a gallon of mayonnaise, or mustard. Now obviously, both are absolutely and equally disgusting. My automatic reaction however was mayonnaise…of course. I love mayonnaise, it is one of my favorite foods, and I put it in everything. I eat it on cold steak, and apples, and carrot sticks…to name a few. Could I consume a gallon of it? Absolutely no way…I would throw up after a few spoonfuls.

Moderation is something that I am naturally successful with. I suppose that the biggest addiction that I have ever struggled with is food, once I matured a bit and gained discipline however, it hasn’t been a problem. Probably, because I am so ridiculously stubborn…I don’t want for anything to have control over me. Because of that, I moderate constantly because I don’t want to desire anything enough, that I give it the power to take me over. I don’t know if this personality trait is a product of nature or environment; it is probably a mixture of both. Wow, am I ever grateful for it…it helps me out a lot in life.

I don’t know how I learned it, so I don’t know specifically how to pass it on to my children. Obviously they have the constant example of my ability to moderate, that is a great first step. I remind myself to repeat the mantras to them whenever I have the opportunity. I guess that I am actively seeking out good examples as well…we will have the conversation about the gallon of mayonnaise. The effects of moderation are so far reaching. There are few of us who live with intention to take only what we need in mind. We use far more electricity than necessary. We over-water our super green lawns. We keep the television on just for background noise. These are not good practices and they are causing problems.

We do have an energy crisis. The state of Florida, for one, is running out of water. More and more kids are being diagnosed with ADHD. All of these problems have simple solutions, and the answer is moderation. The statistics on how much we would help the environment if every American household eliminated two, just two, meals a week that contained beef are staggering. We won’t do it though. We know that our un-moderated beef consumption is bad for the planet, and bad for our bodies, but we just won’t do it…and I don’t understand why.

White clover is a great looking ground cover that needs mown only a few times a year, and consumes minute amounts of water. In the state of Florida, no neighborhood association has the right to tell anyone that they can’t replace their fast growing, invasive, water guzzling St. Augustine grass with white clover. It’s a law. I want to have lower water bills. I don’t want to pay a lawn service. I don’t like paying for fuel for my lawn mower, and I loathe the fact that all of the mowing happening in the US contributes more pollution to our air than our cars do…this is because there are no emissions standards for lawn mowers. I haven’t replaced my lawn…and I don’t have solar panels yet. They are both on the top of my list.

My husband has worked at some of the largest restaurants around the states. The amount of waste that passes through those establishments is staggeringly disgusting. When he first mentioned some actual numbers to me, I wondered why our race in general has not yet been struck dead for the sin of gluttony. We waste so much as a nation…this is one of the reasons that people form other countries, who have so little, dislike us. I guarantee that attempts at moderation feel great. I do it all of the time. I constantly turn my AC up, just one more degree, to discover that we really aren’t miserable at all. I don’t speed up to red lights and then slam on my brakes. I only plug in my air fresheners when we have guests. I walk into rooms all of the time to see if every light or fan that is on, actually needs to be on. I refuse to use the timers on our sprinklers…if the lawn is dying…then I water it. It feels fantastic. In my own little way I am making tiny sacrifices. I am moderating, and in the greater scheme of things, it does make a difference.


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