EVERY DAY IS WEDNESDAY Living a Life Less Ordinary

If I Was Stupid Rich…

February 28

A few weeks ago, while we were having our Valentine’s Day dinner, my husband asked me what I would do with my money if I was extremely wealthy. I said, after buying a modest house and modest car and setting enough aside that I could live comfortably off the interest for the rest of my life (so I could write fiction full time), I’d participate heavily in charitable actions. But not by actually giving money to charities, instead I’d keep my eye out for news stories like this one, where society has either let someone down or a family has stumbled upon a patch of insurmountable bad luck and I would anonymously give them the money that would once again improve their quality of life. As I explained, that would be a million times more meaningful to me than some stupid $10,000 handbag or a lot of the other dumb things the tremendously rich waste their money on.

 

Everything You Know Is Wrong

February 8

I can’t remember the exact day that I realized that most of what I’d been taught about life and the world was a lie, but I do remember feeling incredibly betrayed. The thing was, it was no one’s fault. We’d all bought into it. We’d all drunk the Kool-Aid. The things we thought we knew had been conditioned in us since childhood, by the media, by society, by all those who believed this stuff before us. And there I was some thirty-some years later, angry that it was all crap – made to sell products, made to tell us how to live, made to keep the corporate consumerism machine churning onwards and onwards.

And yet it wasn’t what I wanted. And it wasn’t making me happy. Why should we care about keeping up with the Joneses instead of treading our own way through the landscape of life?

I made a decision to live differently that day. To consume less, to buy less, to create more. To reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible. To put my credit cards on ice. To not buy into the hype machine and to weigh all my decisions based on the values that were important to me and mine. To reduce my negative impact on the planet. To eat less processed foods. The list goes on and on.

At first my husband looked at me funny, but he didn’t stop me. And I didn’t ask him to join me in this endeavour. The realization that I had come to was one that had to be arrived at organically. A year or two later he got there himself. I don’t know if it was from watching me and watching my happiness increase, or simply realizing that there was a better way. But soon I saw him making many of the sorts of changes I had and we became a team in this, just as we are in every other part of our lives. And things were good, and getting better.

Then late last year, we found out that we were pregnant (and that this time around it looked like it was finally going to stick). And suddenly this adventure we were on became bigger than ourselves. This inspired even more thinking and even more assessing of our lifestyle and the things we’d like to teach our little one someday. Healthy things. Things that will enrich his or her life and help him or her enrich the community and the world. Things that will hopefully spare them from their own “everything I was told was wrong” realization thirty years down the road.

And that’s why I’ve begun this blog. As a place to collect and explore my thoughts (I’ve talked my friends’ ears off enough about this all at this point). And as a way to chronicle our journey, both the successes and failures. So welcome aboard. It’s going to be a strange ride.