How I Dine Out-Zero Waste 


I’ve been on this zero waste journey for almost 2 years and while I still have a long way to go, I’m getting closer to my goal. One thing that I need to get better at is finding multiple uses for the things I already have, but that’s a story for another time. Here are a few things that I do when I dine out. 

  1. Bring my own silverware and cloth napkin.
  2. If I know that they are serving my drink in a disposable cup, I bring my own and ask them to use that. 
  3. I frequent a couple restaurants that I know serve with glassware 
  4. If I anticipate leftovers, I bring my own container 
  5. If there is a paper placemat and/or wrapped silverware, I put them aside and/ or tell them that I won’t be using them ( I’ve had people ask if I get embarrassed or uneasy about this one, and simply, no I don’t) 
  6. I always ask for no straw 
  7. When it’s time to pay, I always ask for no receipt. If I need to, I write my total in my phone, but my bank is pretty good about keeping track. 
  8. I normally have hot tea with my meal, so I ask for a cup of hot water and use my loose leaf tea and tea ball.

That’s basically all I do. It may seem like a lot at first, but I normally just wash my dishes and clothes and stick them in my bag or lunch box by the door, so it’s all there and ready to go when I need it. 
Always, 

Hannah 

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Technology Perspective 

I have come to conclusion that I rarely “unplug” as much as I wish/tell others that I do. It’s almost more wishful thinking. The realization came when I was reading a book (Live Simply by Aimee Curtis-yeah, I know…ironic) and I had my phone right beside me and I would pick it up every couple of minutes just to see if I had missed anything or post an update or tweet something clever I read. I have become so invested in others lives that I’ve stopped paying attention to mine and my growth. I’m credit myself with being pretty self aware, but I had become clueless as to how far I had fallen down the social media rabbit hole. Here recently I’ve been hanging out with a group of people that are younger than I and every aspect of their lives is on social media and it became a gateway to connect. When you start new friendships, you want to have that common connection and that connection was social media. Snapchat groups, group texts, Instagram, Snapchat stories, twitter hashtags, Facebook notifications. It’s nonsense to me when I sit and actually think about it. There has been a spike in my anxiety and a loss of my peace because I feel like I’m always plugged in. I’m making a pledge to myself to keep the social media at bay. How can I be so consumed with my virtual life, when my actual life is so beautiful? 

Always, 

Hannah 

I’ve Moved On 

Today was my last day at the job I’ve had for the last 4 years. 

I start a new job after I come back from my Ireland vacation.

I haven’t seen or heard from you in over a year and I’ve been fine with that.

At orientation for new said job I hear your name. 

You’re apparently coming back to town and working for the same agency as me for the summer. 

I was told “We all get along like family” 

I’ve moved on even though we have a history. 

The growth and strength that I’ve made in the last year is something I am very proud of. 

The man that has become my friend is letting you live with him this summer and told me “A friend is coming to stay” 

I have no expectations because I’ve moved on. 

I pray that you have done the same, so I can enjoy this next step in my journey. 

The Gift of Meditation 

I normally start my yoga classes with a five minute meditation period. This is just a time to try to think about nothing or set your intention for your practice that day. I say “When your mind begins to wander simply say the word “breath” and come back” this means that you are taking 5 minutes out of a 24 hour day to do nothing, but focus on nothing but breathing. However, something really cool happened at my “Good Morning” yoga class this past Saturday. During closing mediation, I was able to feel the sense of nothingness in the positive light. It was an experience of being present of everything except time. It felt like hours or days could have passed, but when I came back I realized it could have only been a couple of seconds. I have begun to incorporate some EMDR tapping into my classes and that really helps me get in tune with my body and emotions. Especially when I move down to the collarbone area. I can almost immediately feel the tears start to flow. It’s a very powerful life force. We had done EMDR that morning and I really had a strong feeling that I was pure emotion that day. With Mother Nature coming with her monthly reminder that this lesbian is yet again not with child, my emotions are always at the peak of explosion. While it is inconvenient most days, I’ve learned to embrace it and found it very useful on Saturday. I’ve said from the get go that mediation and shavasana are probably the hardest parts of practice. To be comfortable in the silence. To be able to let your mind go into nothingness while still being present. To use it as a tool to defuse the tense and overbearing thoughts in your mind. In today’s society, it’s very hard to obtain because stillness is a synonym for laziness and quietness is a synonym for meekness. But I’ve found that I draw my strength for the quietness and some of my most life affirming revelations come in the stillness. I was so excited for those couple of seconds and I want to strive for them again. I want to be able to do it at will and not just randomly. I’m finding that mediation is the best medication. Namaste 🙏🏼 

Always, 

Hannah 

What’s Next? 

The burn out is so real, folks. Social work is something that I’m still very passionate about, but currently I need a change. I got a random call from World Vision asking if I was interested in a part time summer job. I applied. It’s not a safety net job. It’s actually pretty risky. It is not something that I ever thought I would consider. There are no benefits and I’m probably going to struggle a little financially, but what is life without challenges? This may not seem like a risk to some, but I don’t take risks. I always play it safe. There is a change in my spirit and a wanting for adventure. I am also starting to prepare to go back to school. I need that MSW. I am applying to grad schools, and I’m studying for the GRE. I’m going to continue to teach yoga and travel. I’m also stepping out to preform more. I have the ability, I just haven’t taken the time to work on it. I’m realizing that I’m not stuck and I have things that I can do, but I never challenged myself to make myself better in them. I also have to prepare myself for setbacks. There will probably be storms, but ultimately “this too shall pass” and I’ll make it out on the other side being better for myself and others and there will just be natural growth that comes with entering new territory. I’m ready and excited. I’m ready to add some metaphorical color to my soul. ❤️

Always, 

Hannah 

John B. Macklemore 

I have listened to podcast S-Town a total of 3 times completely through [spoliers ahead] and the ultimate struggle for John was living. He was in a constant battle for survival from himself and in the end of it all he, in a brief moment of time, lost that battle. However, I know that the war wages on and because of his sacrifice, some will win their own battles. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you must be thinking that I’m a nutcase. A man who seemingly hated everything and had a poor disposition and ultimately couldn’t take the toll of living any more and “opted out”. How is that helping anyone? Well, it’s helped because he helped me. His disdain for life was not consistent throughout his time here. It came from a broken place. It came from a sickness (potentially a cause for his depression and suicidal thoughts through mercury poisoning from his many years of fire guilding, which I just find so fascinating) The man was intelligent, causious, reckless, a black sheep, no nonsense, and seemingly just another “every town has one” kind of guy, yet the timeline of his life is similar to many people who don’t leave their small towns. While his eccentric nature made for a great plot line, he was just another person with ambition, but too afraid to leave what he knows. If anything, I learned about time and it’s lack of change, but it’s ever consistent ticking is full of life and eloquently shows how many ticks we take advantage of. It also gave me the courage to leave. I love my life, but it’s also complacent and not allowing me to reach my full potential. Also, in John’s negativity, it allowed me to see the positive. Each day is a new chance for adventures and that sounds cliche, but things are cliche because they are the ultimate truths. Live and love and understand that there will be hang ups and hardships, but there is so much good. Thank you John for your legacy. 

Always, 

Hannah 

Where To Go From Here

In many ways and in many different times this has been said. When life goes “not as planned” and then you wonder “Well, what do I do now?” I’m finding that at 26, I have done and not done a lot of things out of fear of failure. I have played it safe and taken the path of least resistance to avoid failure, backlash, or heaven forbid, making someone angry or disappointing them. But in my early 20’s I was nothing but driven. I had dreams and plans and to look at some of them now, I’m envious of who I used to be. When I “got into the world” I got a bad taste in my mouth for discomfort. I didn’t ever want to fall on hard times and I didn’t ever want to put faith in my own ability to make a successful life. I just wanted to be comfortable, safe, and secure. Well I’ve been that for about 4 years now and I’m miserable. Where is my life? Somewhere along the lines I forgot about living and just worried about money. My thinking converted from adventure to the almighty dollar. I feel like its a fairly common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean that I need to accept that as is and continue following that same path.

After coming back from Nicaragua, there has been a sense of “What more can I do?” I am so grateful for that opportunity.I renewed my sense of self-empowerment and I have a new found drive to make my life and the lives of people around me better. I am starting with me first. We shall see where I can go from here, but I believe in good things and I believe that good things are going to happen. Not amount of money, or people, or careers, or opportunity can provide me with happiness if my internal view sucks. I have felt like a butterfly tacked to a cork board for awhile now and when I take the time to reflect I realize that the life that I am currently living is made for someone else. Anything that I’m ever going to do or be starts with the internal question of “Am I living in my full potential?” and up until now, I haven’t been, but that train stops here. I’m excited and scared and both are valid.

Always,

Hannah