The Good – The Bad – The Possible

Over the years, I’ve written about Peak Oil, Community Exchanges, Shop Local, Campaign Finance Reform, Education Reform, Alternative Healthcare, Big Pharma, Corporate Monoculture Farming, Sustainable Living, Renewable Energy, Self-Healing and Spirituality.

I’ve read, listened and researched.

I’ve talked, argued and thrown my hands up in despair.

I’ve ranted, I’ve raved, tried sharing information through humor and How – Not – Too.

I’ve been on fire with enthusiasm and sick with despair when I believed that my passion for these subjects had no interested audience.

I’ve dreamed, I’ve hoped, I’ve struggled to make a difference through my lifestyle choices, purchasing decisions, writing topic choices and personal belief system improvements.

And now, all that experience has been encapsulated into one extraordinary two-hour film, “Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take?”, which I discovered this morning via a post by recOveryhealth.

(I embedded the film below – yes, it’s that important – I don’t want you to even have to click twice to start watching it  –  *You can donate to the producers here.)

So instead of digging through my archives, you can now glean all that info with the simple investment of a couple hours of your time – you can even watch in increments if you like…

The Good

From the beginning to about 33 minutes – the film highlights the creator’s background and reason for researching.  His quest for truth and the form he found it in echoes the conclusions found throughout the history of the spiritual, the religious and the scientific.  It has been postulated by the prophets, the holy men, the gurus, metaphysicists, cosmologists, cellular bioligists and quantum theorists:

There is a code to the Universe – to Life

If we  figure it out, we can work in harmony with it,

Instead of paddling upstream all the while…

And though I’ve had my crisis of faith moments and believed the Universe to be one big Chaotic mess, bent on destroying me – – I’ve found the only way for me to continue in this life with any semblance of happiness is to embrace the Code story in it’s many variations.

The Bad

Around 33 minutes, you enter the Bad phase – the phase that examines the problems facing our world and the inter-connected,  complex structures  that are contributing to or causing-on-purpose the disasters we fear and seek refuge from.    It digs deep into systems and mind-sets that contribute to the misery of our lives –

You may not agree with all the viewpoints referenced as causing our global problems, but only the truly oblivious could say we have no challenges regarding our continued existence given our present course.

It’s not always a pleasant or comforting place to be, confronting our fears – though I believe this film does it’s best to present the information within a space of hope – – which brings us to…

The Possible

At around 1 hour, 38 minutes – after you’ve delved into a story you really hope isn’t true -but suspect is –  you get to watch the What’s Possible portion.

(If you’re already worried and depressed about the state of things and you feel powerless in being able to do anything about it – skip from :33 to 1:38 on the film.

Choosing not to wallow in the problems portion will not keep you from being inspired by the Possible section; however, if you’re one of those who must know Why? before you do – best just take your lumps and confront your fears.  Watch with a friend and the lights on if it helps – – )

The Possible portion will inspire you – it will show you easy-to-integrate ways to make a difference, right now, today, with what you already know and  have, with who you already are.  To quit contributing to the problems and instead, become part of the solution – you don’t have to do them all – – any forays you make into your favorite arenas makes a difference – just pick one and start.

Without further ado – here’s “Thrive: What on Earth will it Take?”:

For myself, I’m continuing on through my day ‘off’ by meandering through the ThriveMovement website – – – they sound like my kind of folks….

Date?!? Are you Kidding?

Apparently, though I’ve perked up enough to be back in the land of the living, I’m not fully recovered enough to fit in well, as conversations with others have really highlighted the fact that there is a facet of life that greatly occupies others’ lives that I never think about until someone else brings it up –

Mainly, relationships and sex.

A home tutoring session on how-to organize your photos the other day resulted in said customer being exasperated that :

 I think So-And-So’s butt looks like any other football player’s butt – padded – and what’s the big deal and why does it matter that he plays for the Broncos?

In my defense, I’ve never been a ‘butt’ person – I always look at shoulders and hands – – -will they hold up to plenty of  home improvement projects?  (Shameless, I know)   But she, along with plenty of others think I’m too young to ‘swear off relationships’ and believe it their job to somehow entice my libido back to the land of man-admiring…

I admire men – did I not just recently wax eloquent about Grandpa Golden’s Green Thumb?!?

Two days later, an ole school chum of mine came over for finger foods, a movie and catching up.   Her youngest will soon finish her first year of college and my friend is busy dreaming about what the ‘next step’ of her life will look like -should she sell the house and rent something, till she knows where she’ll settle?  To be less tied down for when she finds the love and companionship she wants and deserves in her life….

“Really?”  I ask her.  “You really want to date and/or be married?” Astonishing.

Like me, she grew up here, moved away, married, had some kids…

and then came back home, a single mom, struggling to get those kids the best start she could.

How could she forget the pain and heartache of trying to rebuild a life, find a home, re-furnish it and recover financially from the devastation brought to her by the very person who promised to cherish and protect?

Apparently, it’s been long enough for her.  And she even, *gasp* dates!  I mean, it’s only been 12 years or so since her divorce – how could she possibly be interested in that merry-go-round ride again?  But I swear to goodness – the woman has been dating for years.   Has tried to get me to go with her on outings – -(which will happen whenever what is located below hell freezes over…)

She assures me I won’t always feel this way (she has no idea how stubborn I can be, since now, I have a point to prove…)

And then today, the guy who showed up to give me an estimate on some house upgrades and who I found an ally in regarding local economies and politics commented that he really liked how I think – – and he’s by himself too, except for his dog, which he’s sure I’d love…

Hmmm – – – going back in the house now – thanks for coming by and yes, by all means call me with that estimate.    But now having coffee and chewing the fat no longer holds any allure for me.

I all but ran back into the house – and if he does call to discuss politics and how-to’s over coffee (like we originally discussed, before I knew he was single) I’ll probably be too busy re-wiring my house.

(I Do Not Insult possible suitors by telling them I have to wash my hair instead of going out with them – that’s just cruel.)

Perhaps I’m wrong – maybe he’d laugh out loud if I told him it sounded like I thought he was edging towards dating….

Nevertheless, in my house I will stay.

***********

My mom mentioned a couple years ago that I was still young, that someday Prince Charming would show up – – I told her the list of “To-Do’s” Prince Charming would have to perform in order to calm my inner fears and even dare to think about dating again was so long, I don’t think anyone, Hercules included, would be up to the task and even if they were, who the heck would plow through the list that includes:

  • Be available for all work requiring heavy lifting and power tools I don’t yet know how to use
  • And train me how to use them, so I don’t have to call you again
  • Be willing to fix your own supper and entertain yourself at night, because I overdid in the garden and must now lay down, or die from a second stroke
  • Not interested in your stuff, I’ve got my own to deal with – just show up, get the project done and quietly leave me to enjoy the fruit of your labors.

I’m self-aware enough to know that any man who might find his way to my house would be viewed in the same manner as a chainsaw – “Gets work done, but best to handle with extreme care, don’t allow close to any body parts and store in the shed when not needed.”

Which is why I’m getting estimates from professionals, rather than offering meals and beer to the local bachelors to get these projects done.  That may work for some (I swear! this still goes on – – – who knew?) but I can’t bring myself to even do that – knowing that at some point, I would fail to live up to what I suspect would be my end of the bargain.

Closing the door on anything but a celibate, dateless existence was a conscious choice – it didn’t happen because I got tired, or took a break, or am ‘giving myself time to heal’.

I shut it because I see it as the only option for a happy life – at least for now.   Sort of a self-imposed quarantine to keep me away from things that historically have not been too good for me and to guard the opposite sex from my crappy, pessimistic world-view right now.

I think I should get a frickin’ medal for locking myself away until I’m fit for human consumption again – – :>)

**********

Those in my circle just cluck their tongues and smile knowingly – – “She just needs time. “

I’m thinking an eternity.

One friend said it sounded like I was suited for the nun’s life – I told him I spent 10 days at an abbey once.   And loved every minute of it – but I really had problems with stopping work to pray so often – – it just rankled my butt to leave that last section of weeds un-pulled for an hour or so.

**********

I always looked at marriage as a partnership – you hooked up when you were young, pro-created and saw to it the kiddos got what they needed to start their grand life adventure full of knowledge and confidence.   You stayed together when children were no longer possible, bodies aged and became ill, because, hey – you’re a team now – forged from the yawning jaws of Life – and you know each others secrets and ain’t it grand that someone knows all your warts and still has your back, anyways.

I’m past the age of pro-creating – I have no resources or energy to raise someone else’s creation or take care of another aged/ill body.   My body is a ticking time bomb and who knows when it might go off and I certainly don’t want someone else hurt in the fall out.     I like that my youngest child and I are excellent roommates – I don’t really want someone else messing up the oasis we have built.

Soon, he will be off on his own adventures and by that time, I’m thinking I’ll be so used to getting to watch what I want (we have similar movie tastes) that I won’t want to give that lifestyle up.

Besides, it takes a lot of energy to meet new people, make conversation and not step on toes or commit social gaffes while you’re at it – – –

I guess, this morning’s musings are more about trying to figure out how to be perpetually single/celibate in a world that seems to live for Double-Vision.   I guess there will be more episodes where I back off when maybe I didn’t need too (sometimes coffee is JUST coffee) and more comments from well-meaning friends who think I ‘should put myself out there” – which has all the allure of hiking Everest barefooted and in a bikini, to boot…

Ah well, live some and learn some and then try something else…

How-to properly “How-To”

I visit my stats page often –  as an ‘improve my writing’ exercise.   I’m always amazed at what hits and which posts should obviously have been left in the ‘draft’ stage – –

The most popular search term that sends people my way is “GE Silicone caulk” and my most enduring post, “Caulking for Beginners” – which is funny, because I’m the Queen of How-To, rather than Emperor of Do.

Traded comments with Justine this morning, (author of If Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness, I’m Screwed) and found out I’m not the only one who spends more time learning How-To than actually Doing…

So, for all my fellow Love of Knowledge, How-To connoisseurs, here’s the List of Proper How-Tooing:

  • Always read at least 5 different ways of doing anything – you’ll be amazed at how many styles you can cram into one project, once you actually start
  • Purposely seek out those who have successfully done what you want to do, ask lots of questions, write down all your notes and then go buy a book or two, just to make sure they really gave you the full scoop.
  • Keep a list of items you’ll need for all those nifty projects, so you can always take advantage of sales and give-aways of stuff you might need if you ever build a…(solar cooker, tire home, drip-irrigation system…fill in the blank….)
  • Make sure to keep abreast of new technology and processes – do not start a project until you’re absolutely sure the latest-greatest way to achieve it will mean your finished project will last at least 100 years or more.  Why waste time and energy doing something twice?
  • And finally, when you Actually Do, post pictures and information for all your fellow How-toer’s enjoyment.   Even if the project fails.

Especially if the project fails.  Do your part to keep How-To brethren out of the zone of doing a project twice!

Posting information and pictures is Absolutely necessary – it also serves as a record to all those Doers that your How-toing heart is not really a cover for Procrastination – it simply a more meandering, ultimately efficient (and enjoyable) journey towards any project.

Corner of the surround
Successful Project – Caulking.
Took plenty of coffee and how-to reading breaks, moseyed through the project without the litany of “When are you going to be done?” statements from Doer’s –
Failure - Garden after 15 minute hail storm June 17, 2011
Failure – Garden after 15 minute hail storm June 17, 2011
I KNEW I shouldn’t have started without the hail protection hoop-tunnels….I gave in to a resident Doer’s request we just “Get Started – – Now – – “

Howlin’ at the Moon

"Why me? What did I do?"
“Why me? What did I do?”

Took the child unit to school this morning – scolded the dog for barking at the trash truck as we were leaving and again when I returned home, as it was just rounding out the block and was hasted along in leaving our neighborhood by loud, indignant barking.

“Hush – Hush!, I say.   That trash truck will be coming every week ’til hell freezes over – you’re just wasting your time barking at it.  You barking does about as much good as me howling at the moon.   Stop it,” I say.

I pause, stunned by a realization – I do howl at the moon and sometimes it does make a difference – not to the moon or sky – but to me.  (and possibly my neighbors, but not in a good way.)

I howl at the moon in desperation and grief.   I howl at the moon because I feel safe in my outrage, certain no terrible consequences will come from slinging a bit of inside angst out towards it’s radiance – surely, the punch has lost it’s kick by the time it travels 238,857 miles?

I’ve sat quietly pondering the Universe, stars and moon and when the thoughts of my life’s travails have whipped me into a frenzy, I howl at the moon my heartbreak.

Maybe my dog does need to bark.   Maybe it’s not just her protective streak, rather she barks at the garbage man instead of ripping my throat out because I again chose to work through lunch instead of taking her for a walk – –

In that case, bark all you want.

Yes, I’m Listening….

The last few weeks of my life involved a move to my new home and gearing up my new business.  Sometime in early January, I was tiring of 16-hour work days in front of the computer, using drag and drop technology to build my website and event registration instead of reinventing the wheel and doing it all myself.

(Thank the Universe for those who build plug-ins for use via donation – you’ve saved my bacon once again for a price my new business can afford!)

And about 10 days ago, my blood pressure sky-rocketed, the excruciating pain and heart palpitations started up again and I thought,

Uh – Oh.

Now, I’m a Creative Workaholic – loosely translated, this means I go through intense periods of work-work-work and just as intense periods of I’m-so-tired-I-can’t-move-and-need-to-rest.

In the past, I silently waited for permission from those around me as to when I was allowed to rest and recoup from my latest creative period (or 36 hour work stint – your choice).

Trust me, those around you rarely, if ever, give you that permission.  If they love you, they will ask you to please quit trying to save the world, pace yourself and get a boring 2-4 hours a day job that consistently brings you a paycheck.

In short, they’ll ask you to be someone other than who you are.

If they make money off your contributions, they will assure you a rest period….just as soon as you finish this and that for them…and qualify for two-weeks vacation.

Either way, even though I’ve had glimmers of the truth over the years and felt like I really tried to live my life in tune with my natural talent and personality, I never really got the message until the stroke.

Instead, I acknowledged the message with a, “Oh yes, doing what you love and works with your own personality is the way to go and just as soon as I can afford to, I’ll try it.”

Not now – post-stroke means any time I deny my body what it needs, it shuts me down and in a hurry, I might add.    I cannot stray far from the path the Universe is urging me towards before I am very obviously jerked back to the reality of what my current limitations (gifts?) are.

So after a grueling month of computer grunt work (it is grunt work – necessary for what I want to do and yes, I can do it fair to middlin’ – but grunt work  nonetheless….), emailing to those who said, “Let me know the minute you start your classes, so I can sign up” and hanging flyers everywhere within a 30 mile radius of my location, I waited…

and waited…

and nada.  No interest, no sign-ups, no glimmer of even a speck of difference in the Universe. (I forgot to mention, I’m big on what I do making a difference, even if it’s only for one person for one nano second in time…)

Then I log in to delete my old blog, reconsider and instead write 4 posts and wouldn’t ya know – more followers signed up that day than ever, got some comments and some “Likes” (thank you very much) and was in turn gently nudged over to the blogs of others who are creative and smart, which I’m gathering is the Universe’s way of getting me to come out from my hermit’s hole and try being around humans again.

Three hours of “Hey, this is fun, I could do this all day without breaking a sweat” netted more feedback, expanded horizons (new people to get to know) and glimpses of beauty (new creative blogs to follow) than weeks of intense, purposeful, “productive” work.

(“Productive work” is a phrase that sticks in my craw – anyone who uses it invariably does not understand or approve you or your work)

Yes, Universe, I’m listening – – and I vowed to take more frequent breaks, concentrate on finishing my book, blogging and let the Universe lead me where it will.

*****

Because I chose to participate in the non-productive this morning -writing- instead of diving into website building and class presentations, the “Let’s go for coffee” phone invitation this morning was greeted with,

“Hey, that sounds good.  Meet you there at 10:00?”

instead of ,

“Oh, I’d love to, but I have to* get some boring geek stuff done today.”

By noon, I’m back at home, loading up a new event registration (guess the grunt work paid off somewhat).   The idea that has been brewing within me for nearly 8 years is coming to fruition, simply because I tossed it out as something I’m passionate about at my coffee date.

I’ll be giving a lecture on Rebuilding Community Resiliency on February 18th.   With plans for other future lectures.  And building a platform for others to lecture and share their special talents, while allowing businesses and organizations to put their real estate to profitable use when they aren’t using it themselves.

(My chatty-Kathy personality simply loves making income from talking, my sustainable heart is pleased at putting local resources to good use and I love providing opportunities for others.   Could it have gotten any better?)

Thank you body and Universe for reminding me to keep on track – – and to be good to myself.   To follow my own work patterns and contribute my special gifts to the community, not just offer what I can do, but don’t necessarily love.

Only took a stroke and a few close calls to train me….

*have to – If this phrase is regularly in your vocabulary, do your best to get rid of as many instances of it as you can.  Of course, phrases like, “I have to roll in the dirt, because my clothes are on fire.” are exempt from deletion.