The PBR I Just Drank Helped A Little

I've been experiencing some internet/media overload this week, though I suppose it's been building for a while. There are so many areas I'd like to grow in and things I want to learn how to do and facets of life I want to change, but when I go looking for (or even stumble upon) information about these things, the sheer volume and variety of knowledge available can be paralyzing.

A few days ago I read an article in the paper about 'Radical Homemaking' and the increasingly popular movement toward simplification and self-sufficiency (followed by 7 or 8 online rabbit trails in similar directions). Yesterday I saw that an acquaintance of mine had posted something related to the idea that owning a small number of toys can be beneficial to children - an idea that was reiterated continuously in the book Simplicity Parenting that I read a few weeks ago. Last night we watched Food, Inc. again, and now, 20-some hours later, I've subscribed to 10 new blogs, tried to imagine life with fewer than 100 possessions, eliminated 5 more clutter-y things from the kitchen counters, written 8 pages worth of notes and questions and goals, gone through our grocery receipts for the past 2 months wondering how we can move more quickly toward a natural/local/organic/wholesome diet, identified changes to make in virtually every room of the house, and spent most of the last 12 hours stressed out and generally cranky and brooding.

These ideas are not new - to me, or in our culture. And I think for the most part, they are good. Good things to learn. Good things to change. Good things to pursue. But. But I MUST re-focus. Re-focus and remember and re-think: what is the point of all of this, anyway?
Is it to become the most frugal, wildly skilled, and ethically magnificent goat-milking frock-knitting tallow-rendering homemaker the West Coast has ever seen? Is it to achieve a spare and technically savvy, simple-chic lifestyle and live off of fantastically high e-book earnings while residing in an ethereal pure white studio apartment furnished with only a modern white couch and iPad (Miette can live in the bathtub) - except for the 6 months a year spent traveling throughout Europe? (Actually, that sounds kind of fun.)

Anyway, the point is that I'm not sure of the point of it all, at least from the perspective of the internet, en masse. The point is, I have to figure out what I want the point to be for me, for our family, first, before leaping off any bridges into a marsh of drastic lifestyle changes, backed only by quotes from weird bloggers.

So, yeah, I'll be off figuring out the point of things. Be back later.

Also, we are going to Hawaii next week. And I'm already aware that buying those plane tickets shot all environmentally-friendly choices we have made over the past 3 years straight to hell.


Ashley L said…
I can totally relate! =) I definitely feel like there are areas of my life that I want to change, but I know things have gone bad when I am more stressed out AFTER my changes toward "simplification" have been made. Way not to miss the point, and I am so glad that Miette won't have to live in the bathtub. I think I read that toy article. I thought it was very good, but largely because it made me feel like my kids are not deprived since they have fewer toys by the necessity of our lifestyle! =) Hey, there is another good idea for media diving... Read only stuff that affirms how you are already living, and then feel really great about yourself. Well, I guess that isn't a good alternative either. Humm... what to do?
Alexis said…
Ha ha, Ashley, I think you said it best - it's a problem to be feeling more stressed out after simplifying than before! I really liked the toy article, too, actually. Even with two babies I think we've been able to keep it pretty reasonable around here, though they are still so little it's hard to take credit for anything.
I think my biggest problem is getting stuck in my own head and overwhelming myself by comparing my actual life to a lot of abstract ideas and ideals. What I should probably start with is considering our top priorities, values and goals first, and then figuring out what will help us move toward them.

Or just do what you said and only read things that affirm my current habits! :-)

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