My Journey to give up something I love started with a vow...
So 2015 is the year I actually vowed to give up something I love - don't laugh...ok, go ahead and laugh... I love bleach...there, I said it. I love bleach. I have been very resistant to give up bleach. And why wouldn't I love bleach... my daughter hugs me while I am in my freshly bleached thick white terry robe and she says "Mmmm, you smell like an expensive hotel" -my cutting boards are beautifully sanitized with bleach after each use - my kitchen sink doesn't require 'elbow grease' - and my whites are actually white. What's not to love?
Four years ago I started 'thinking' about giving up bleach. Two years ago I realized one day I would give up bleach and last year I vowed to myself 2015 would be the year to give up bleach. So I started out 2015 with a half a bottle of beach for laundry and a 3/4 bottle of cleaner for the kitchen that contains bleach. I let my husband know we would not be buying bleach this year. I won't say he actually agreed, let's just say he acquiesced. After all, we still had half bottles and he knows I love bleach. Then over this past 7 months of the year about twice it comes up that he will pick up some bleach when he goes to the store for the 'paper goods' run and I say "oh, remember this is the year we give up bleach? " which now got a comment or two about how much we like bleach. Side note: My husband always goes to the store to buy the TP, tissues, PT, napkins, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc because - and this is how sweet he is to me - years ago when I was raising and supporting my 4 daughters alone and living within a very calculated budget the one thing I couldn't stand to spend money on was all those non perishable things listed above. So here it is years later I have released that static and it doesn't bother me at all now and he still goes to the store for 'paper goods' because as he says "I know you don't like to spend money on those things". It's not the only 'past resistance' of mine that he still has attachment to that I have released. That's a different story for a different day.
So we ran out of bleach. I used the laundry bleach less and less to reduce my love and dependency so when it ran out I had only the slightest regret. And now the kitchen cleaner with bleach ran out. YIKES! My reaction would almost be funny if it wasn't so odd.. you can already imagine that when it ran out I filled the bottle with water to get the last drops including the straw thingy in the bottle and the spray nozzle part. Now, here's where it gets strange...I stopped cleaning the sink...meaning... I stopped cleaning the sink. That's right, and it looked really bad and I let it get worse and worse over the week. AND the small cutting board too. I let it get nasty. And my husband, who usually cleans the kitchen let it go too. It's as if a part of me wanted to convince another part of me that this would never work giving up bleach. And my husband was my silent coconspirator. We didn't speak about the sink. Then yesterday my husband puts in front of me the "paper goods" list to see what I want to add. Hmm, he has never done that before. Ah ha...he wants me to be the one to add bleach to the list. So I add 'alternative to bleach' and say to him, "honey, find something like bleach but not bleach." Some background...I have never properly researched bleach alternatives because I never knew if I would ever give it up and I wanted personal testimonials rather than reading advertisements for it. So he brings home a 7th Generations general purpose cleaner. Well, we already have a natural general purpose cleaner so this is not a bleach alternative.
With appreciation for my husband's efforts I go to clean the sink and cutting board. Hmm, this definitely is not bleach. Interestingly enough my resolve to give up bleach has never been shaken. It took me 4 years to declare it and I meant it. Buying bleach again was never an option for me and I knew that.
Today I have a sink that looks better than yesterday and not as good as bleached and will now require some actually 'work' on our part. Not good, not ok, not welcomed at all. hahhhhhhhhh
This is where I beseech you beautiful women, full of heart for our planet and brave in all areas of living and ask : WHAT DO I USE INSTEAD OF BLEACH?
And feel free to receive this story of giving up something one loves that is not healthy as a metaphor.
And don't forget the bleach alternative suggestions.