Monday, January 21, 2008

New Year's theme

Given the general craziness of the last few years (long story...perhaps for another time), I've been liking the idea of having a theme for the year, both to follow and to inspire me. I've spent a lot of time thinking about my interests for the last few months, and especially the ones that are growing a lot. I've also been pondering what I need, and where I have issues in my life that need to be addressed. And, after a bunch of pondering over deep cups of tea, I think I finally have a theme for 2008.

Balance and sustainability.

(Okay - so maybe that's kind of two themes.)

The first thing that got me thinking about sustainability was environmental issues. I started thinking and reading more and more about what's going on in the world, and what can be done at the local level. I found myself inspired by Patrick and Holly of Hen Waller and Jim and Peggy of earth home garden . I got to thinking about ideas of self-sufficiency, and living out off the grid as much as possible - making do, crafting, growing food, and all manner of other activities.

Then, I got into thinking about sustainability in more general terms. Although I was familiar with all of it's concepts, The Story of Stuff hit me pretty hard. I've always been interested in things that were older, durable, well-designed, and made to stand the test of time. I began to consider how to further surround myself with things that would last, or had already lasted for a long time. Things that would get more comfortable or worn in over time, that would eventually show their age, that would hold up and wouldn't need to be replaced anytime soon, and that would be useful and beautiful because of all of these qualities.

A bit later, it also struck me that sustainability was something that I needed more of in my life, in even more general and personal ways. I needed to find some kind of balance that I could then make sustainable, over time. There are so many things that I have going on and, even more that I'm interested in that I really should think about how to keep everything that I do sustainable for the long run. As it stands, I currently do just about everything in fits and starts and in cycles where one thing tends to get focused on while others get pushed aside.

In general, I want to create the life that I want and make it sustainable for me as well as for the world around me. I need to find a way to balance all of the different areas of my life - academic and work, community and relationships, health, creativity, home, finances - and get myself to a place where they remain balanced and equal priorities. While I do this, I also want to make sure that they have as little negative effect, and as much positive effect on the world as possible. I know this won't always be possible, but I certainly think I can get this better than I have it now. Even better, I also see ways that managing one area will help to make the others easier to maintain as well. I'm looking forward to thinking out and exploring the links between these areas as I go.

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