Monday, November 27, 2006

Too Much Time On My Hands

A long convalescence usually means you have plenty of time to think. Sure, I can read, and knit/crochet, and make lists, and blog, but I still have plenty of time. I have been completely freed of any household tasks. Papa is doing the laundry, cooking the meals, getting the groceries, doing the dishes, etc.

So I do some things, and I think. I think about what I'd like to be doing. I think about the changes I'd like to make in my life. I think about what we're doing right and what we could be doing better. I think about our family. I think about peak oil and sustainability.

I spend a lot of time reading what other people are doing. There are people who have joined The Compact, something I read about months ago after reading Not Buying It, and still really want to do. There is a mama who is trying to feed her family within the USDA's thrifty meal budget guidlelines. There are families who are homesteading, and families who live without cars, and people who get rid of 7 items every week. It is all exciting and interesting.

I've been thinking about our health. I'm reading John Robbins' new book, Healthy at 100, which encompasses so much more than diet. I had been slowly and steadily reclaiming my health before this little setback, so I was on the right path, but having a hysterectomy was a wake-up call. My body is already diseased. The good news is that already I have spent years reversing some of the damage done when I was a child (and later when I continued to eat dairy and eggs as well as foods I was allergic to), and I have many years ahead of me in which I can restore myself to vibrant health.

It's sort of like having nearly two months to research and choose you goals for the new year. After all, I won't be released to full activity until Christmas. So here are some of my plans and goals:

1) Join the Compact. I can't ask my whole family to do it with me because I believe you must be called to it. I'm still hammering out my ideas...look for an update post soon.

2) Aggressively adopt a car-lite lifestyle. Once I can return to activity I will build myself up again and we will walk and bike everywhere we can. Already the boys and Papa road their bikes to the HFS, which is 10 miles round trip. It is amazing how much freedom we gained with the purchase of a bicycle trailer.

3) Lower our food budget. I too would like to stay within the USDA Thrifty guidelines, and still eat organic. That means eliminating all convenience foods, but I think that would be part of the Compact, anyway.

4) Declutter and Simplify. Okay, this is always one of my goals. I'm thinking though, that with less stuff coming in that we can make progress this year, instead of just holding even.

5) Begin preparations for peak oil living. This means putting in a garden this year, no matter how I feel about bugs. Learning herbal medicine, reducing our vehicle usage, learning to make things or do without, simplifying, getting rid of things, establishing all fits in. We also need to research where we might choose to live when suburbia falls apart. Even if our town reverts to small town status, it might not be sustainable because of the lack of water.

6) Reclaim our health. Eat even more whole foods, and make sure it's organic. Eat less. Exercise more (hopefully making exercise a lifestyle and not an activity to pursue). Create strong relationships. Cultivate community.

7) Live more. I enjoy the computer, really I do. It can be a source of information and inspiration. It connects me to people, truly kind people. With the computer I find artisans, chefs, friends. However, it is not living. I had moved away from the computer before I got stuck in bed, and I will move away again.

It's all big picture stuff right now...I have plenty of time to break the goals down into doable plans of action.

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