Kelley (kelglitter) wrote,

Thoughts on Intentionality, Part 1

For those of you who caught yesterday's post, you might have noticed that I mentioned DIY in the list of things I wanted to discuss, but then I never actually unpacked how that has to do with intentionality and enjoying your life moment-by-moment instead of in a flurry of scheduling and worrying and absent minds. The tie-in has to do with consumerism.

If we are to make truly informed decisions about all of the things we do, living our lives perfectly purposefully, we'd probably have to be omniscient, and we'd have to choose the lesser evil more often than not. Thus, most of us dally around and try to choose wisely and buy organic and shop at Whole Foods (if one is nearby) and drive highly fuel-efficient vehicles and hybrids (if we can afford them). The problem with that is that we really don't know enough. Whole Foods, for instance, is Not A Good Place To Support, and while we all can cite one or the other of Frontline's "Is Walmart Good For America" and Robert Greenwald's "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, the real answer is that it's complicated.

Enter DIY. To whatever extent we can do things ourselves, that's the extent to which we can control the things that we consume and whomever we know our consumption helps/hurts. When No Impact Man Colin Beavan undertook a year of zero consumption of new products or non-local foods in the heart of NYC everyone thought he was nuts. And yet, he did fairly well and exposed the extent to which such was possible through blogging his way through it (this was done via a solar-cell battery charger for his laptop). It worked. And opened a huge new world for us.

Now about DIY - it's not a Martha Stewart thing for the idle rich, although I suspect they have a great deal more time to devote to such than I do. It is a time-honored thing that people have always done, and which can also save you serious cash. I don't know that I could completely quit consuming, but I think I want to start trying to cut down. If I can intentionally walk to work once all this blasted snow clears (it'll be 2.1 miles each way through roads next to fields!), I'll save tons of money and lose weight and stop burning fossil fuels for transportation, benefiting myself and my planet in more ways than I think I could quantify here since some benefits are intangible. If I can get Jesse to spend $20 making a very tall carpet-covered t tower from which my cats can look out the garage window we can construct it to our specs and save the $150 or so that commercial ones cost. Food I cook myself is less than half the cost of food eaten out, and beer I drink at home... well... we'll just say there's a lot to be saved there.

But I don't know how to sew, at least not well. I can crochet, and even well and quickly, but I can pretty much only make plain afghans or scarves. I can write music, sure, and that's great, but nobody wants to trade a song in return for hemming my slacks, so this will be interesting. Hopefully I can take baby steps from now until Easter continually incorporating more intentional components into my life at a sustainable pace. For now, we are starting with coffee & breakfast & yoga at home every morning. Baby steps.

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