This is a sort of New Year’s resolutions post. I usually don’t write resolutions. In fact, the last few years I’ve thought it was silly and that it just ends up being a list that hangs over your head. But I feel differently this year for some reason. Writing down a list can be a powerful way of committing things to your psyche. And I feel very strongly about the things on this list. I think they are accomplish-able and important for my mental health and the health of those around me. And, I’m in a new state, a new (small) city, and I feel an immense sense opportunity that is just waiting to be plucked from the beautiful Vermont sky.
I don’t think I’ve blogged since the move: my husband and I relocated to northern Vermont. I grew up near where we are living and my family is still here. We were done with the noise, the pace, and in the impersonal-ness of Boston. We were done with the monetary and material obsession that gets fed in the city. The advertising and the one-up-manship and competitiveness was getting to be too much for us. The people here are so much nicer and more open. Many of them actually look you in the eye! There is some trade off on progressiveness and modernity, but I’m not sure how I feel about “progress” as it is typically touted these days, anyway. I don’t know if I think large cities are sustainable. I am on the fence about human “civilization.” How civilized are we really? We have our giant shiny buildings and our handheld all-knowing machines, sure. But our mental and physical health are deteriorating rapidly, mass shootings happen all the time, we’re fat as ever, 40 million people go hungry in this country alone, our police kill more people than are killed at war, we have the highest incarceration rate in the world, many of those sent to private prisons (for nonviolent offenses) which make more money if they are full, and everyone is afraid of one another. I’d hardly call that civilized. So. We removed ourselves from this clusterfuck as much as possible, and are working on making a life up here. We want to do as much good as we can, do a small part to help try to reverse the way our species seems to be going. I look at it this way: people have as much tendency to be good and kind as they do to be selfish. Which do we reward, which do we feed, which do we focus on? The masses have been looked at for so long as stupid, scary, mindless and gullible. We have been told that someone must rule us, or all chaos will break loose. We have been treated as such, and have become as such. I am an anarchist at heart now, but I’m not naive enough to think that if we were just thrown into an anarchist society right now there wouldn’t be a lot of chaos. But I think we can get to that point. I think if enough of us focus on the good, cultivate the good, the kind, the helpful, we can slowly bring ourselves to a place where we don’t need those rulers, we don’t need to be controlled, we don’t need to look to someone else to save us. We will have saved ourselves.
So do do my part, in 2014 and beyond, I plan to:
Stop worrying about what people think of me and stop worrying about “looking dumb”
Live in gratitude
Help someone at least once a day
Get to know the people in my community better
Go to a naturopathic doctor for the first time
Work with some amazing people through Gift of Design, my new freelance endeavor where I offer my services in graphic design and custom art in the mode of the gift. Check out my site!
Take more time to paint
Meditate once a day
Plan and execute my first garden
Research the possibility of starting a “free store” in Saint Albans and actually start it
Research the possibility of starting a public permaculture edible forest garden in Saint Albans
Reduce the need to over-analyze everything
The end. Happy New Year!