I’m not sure whether it is the tragedy in Newtown, the greyness of the winter skies or the workload at the office but I’ve found myself thinking more about trying to actually live now, more than ever before. I’ve been back in the office-bound work world for only four months now and realize how hard it is to take the time to step away and think about what is really important in life and how to put those things front and center in my day-to-day outlook.
When you’re head down into work day after day, week after week, with meetings and tasks backed up, it is hard to see past the next day, let alone the next several years. I guess this is one of the reasons that corporate strategist schedule off-site retreats for their executives when strategy planning or how some employers encourage employees to take vacation in blocks of at least 3 to 5 days, so that a period of reflection can occur.
So with that mental backdrop, here are a few large scale realizations I’ve had on my drives in to work. I don’t want to negatively impact anyone, people, animals or the environment. I don’t want to have my existence perpetuate the destruction of the world or perpetuate the “buy and spend” mentality that drives the US economy.
What good are realizations without a plan, so here is what I’m doing about it… Molly and I are eating a plant-based diet. Some people call this being a “vegan” in that there is no meat and dairy, but that term creates negative images or associations with a lot of people so I’ll just say “plant-based”. We have sold most of our cars and motorcycles and only have one vehicle that Molly and I share now. Admittedly, this one vehicle is a van that gets poor gas mileage but we have a contract to sell our house so hopefully soon the van or the boat will be our home. We have added more solar and wind to the boat so that we don’t have to use the diesel engine or gas generator to charge the batteries and have made a mental commitment to sail more and motor less when on the boat. We have given, or are giving, many of the things we worked hard for and had looked forward to buying, away. “Minimalizing” if that is a word.
Nothing I’m doing is really going to make a bit of difference to the big economic and environmental perspective but what it has done for me is to create a significant mental shift. I feel like I want fewer physical possessions. Clothing, furniture, toys if they are not absolute necessities now seem to just hold us back from living. We have been tied to the continual upkeep and maintenance of junk. From an American perspective, we still have lots of crap but by divesting ourselves of things that we didn’t need, could do without or were just plain burdensome, we have been allowed to see much more of the outside world. Maybe it’s one to many veggie burgers, an overdose of tofu or perhaps there really was something mind altering in what that guy passed me at the Furthur show, but this perspective feels very comfortable and natural like I’ve tapped into some cosmic energy flow.
I realize more than ever that there are roads to be traveled, oceans to be sailed and beers to drink. I’m not at my stopping point; this is not where I want to park it. I’m not sure what is out there next, but life has been pretty damn good so far and with this new perspective and ethos, I’m more than ready to see what’s next… and soon.
We are all on this planet for such a short time and I can only think that if we all try to love each other more, protect the animals and earth, that this would be a better place and have more of a future than the path it is now on.
Cheers my friends, thanks for reading my ramblings. Happy holidays, Namaste and hope to see all you like-minded souls out there sometime soon.