Have you ever experienced a week where life threw you a curve-ball, everything was turned upside down and you had to put your eco principles on hold while you dealt with the situation at hand?

We experienced one of these weeks recently when my father in law passed away and I dubbed it “The Week of YES”, because that seemed to be my default answer to all the incoming requests from my sons.

In this post I’ll share a little about our week of YES and explain why I believe it’s more than okay to have a week like this every now and again.

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Last month my family lost our beloved Nonno, Marco Trotta, my husband Paul’s father.

It wasn’t totally unexpected as he’d been failing for a few months, but it all happened quickly in his final days.

We’d travelled to and from Adelaide (1200 km round trip) several times between April and July to spend time with him and Nonna, but when the crunch came, we just made it in time.

Midway through the final week of June he started to deteriorate quickly and the doctors thought he had around two weeks to live. So we made plans to travel to Adelaide again to see him and started preparing ourselves to say good bye.

We only intended to be in Adelaide for a few days, as Paul needed to return for work and Master 6 would be missing school, but I packed an outfit for a funeral just in case and made sure the boys had something nice to wear. Paul stressed he didn’t need to pack his suit…. there’d be plenty of time to come back and collect it if it was required… or so he thought.

On arrival into Adelaide on the Saturday we decided to swing past the hospital first and I’m so glad we did. Nonno was unconscious but we still sat with him and said what we wanted to say. I’m sure he knew we were there and could hear us.

We then headed to Nonno and Nonna’s house where we were staying and Paul returned to the hospital with his mum and three siblings. His eldest brother had flown in from Brisbane the night before and this was the first time they’d go to see him all together in hospital.

It would also be the last time.

Within two hours of arriving, Nonno passed away with his family by his side. The curtains closed on the life of a wonderful man.

The next few days were quite a blur as you can expect. Nonna’s phone rang constantly with people sending their condolences from around the world. Family and friends were continually popping in and there was a funeral to arrange.

It was winter in Adelaide and it was cold and pouring with rain. Nonna’s house is essentially a two bedroom unit and the boys were starting to climb the walls.

The week of YES had begun.

By lunchtime the day after Nonno passed I needed to get the boys out of the house so I took them to the local shopping centre, Tea Tree Plaza. Being country kids they’re not used to shops so this exercise alone was always going to be interesting, but we needed to kill some time and burn some energy.

We walked past rides.

“Mum, can we go on this Peppa Pig ride?”


Two minutes later….

“Mum, can we go again?”

”I don’t see why not!”

We walked past Big W and there was a big LEGO display. The boys made a bee-line for it and all of a sudden we found ourselves in the toy department.

And then I found myself at the counter paying for a new toy for each of the boys. Nice, plastic Paw Patrol vehicles. Maybe $70 worth.

I didn’t see this as a big deal. We’d hardly packed any toys and it now looked like we’d be in Adelaide for at least a week. They could do with something to entertain them and one new toy each wasn’t excessive.

And besides, I was tired.

I was upset.

I didn’t want arguments.

I didn’t feel like saying no.

So YES it was.

We soon found ourselves in the Food Court…..

Besides Subway, there’s no fast food outlets in the town we live so the boys aren’t acquainted with this kind of ‘food’. However, they’d eaten McDonalds fries once before and today they were asking for them again.

I was tired.

I was upset.

I didn’t want arguments.

I didn’t feel like saying no.

So YES it was.

About an hour or so later we headed back to Nonna’s. I had two happy and tired boys in tow so my mission was accomplished.

Until the next day.

Funeral preparations were well underway and the boys were climbing the walls again. So off to the Plaza they went…. this time with their Dad (he’d only packed a couple of days’ worth of clothes and needed to do some shopping!).

They returned a couple of hours later, each with a new toy again. I think they also enjoyed an ice-cream there too.

Dad was tired.

Dad was upset.

Dad didn’t want arguments.

Dad didn’t feel like saying no.

So YES it was.

And so it went on.

It was a busy, emotionally intense week. The boys were sleeping in the lounge-room and bed time was a good 2-3 hours later than normal as the house was constantly full of visitors and the phone seemed to be always ringing. They were tired but were handling the chaos really well.

In fact, Nonna was so happy with them she gave them some money to buy a new toy.

So off to the Plaza they went again to add to their growing Paw Patrol collection.

This new toy collection was starting to get a bit ridiculous but it was godsend. There was so much to do to organise the funeral, so many people to call, guests to be fed etc. The toys provided the perfect outlet for the boys and while they were happy, all the adults could get on with whatever needed to be done.

The day of the funeral came and it was a tough day.

But it wasn’t tough for the kids.

They had their new toys as well as their cousins to play with, and heaps of yummy ‘sometimes’ food to eat. When I sat down for a breather late in the afternoon I asked Master 6 what he’d eaten and he proudly declared, with a big swollen belly, that he’d had “Six bread rolls and two Tim Tams!”

That’s six, white dinner rolls (with nothing on them) and two Tim Tams.


I cringed but accepted it as just part of the week of YES.

Things would get back to normal soon.

And things did return to normal.

But not before a few more trips to the Plaza, a movie outing to see ‘Finding Dory’, a day inside the indoor play centre ‘Wacky Warehouse’ and more ‘sometimes food’.

A few days later we returned home, with a car full of Paw Patrol toys covering two little beaming boys who declared that the best thing about the week was getting to play with their cousins. #bless

So why am I sharing this with you?

I know you’re trying your best to live as sustainably as you can, feed your kids real foods and cut back your consumption. But none of us are perfect and we all have days, or even weeks, where we need to focus on something else.

Your week of YES may not be for the same reason as our recent week of YES, but the principles are the same.

Your green guilt is there because you have a conscience. You care.

But things will return to normal.

So be kind to yourself.

You’re doing a great job.


Have you experienced a week of YES yourself recently? How did you manage your green guilt? Did you just embrace the crazy and go with the flow until life went back to normal? Feel free to share below!