January 27, 2008

You mean I'm not the only one?

For the past few weeks the pressure has been building... I've been re-reading the Ishmael trilogy by Daniel Quinn, which is always an eye-opening experience for me. I got the latest of the three, My Ishmael, for Christmas and I guess that's what started this most recent bout of restlessness for me. This book really gets into the origins of our culture of working our whole lives for food, money, security. It turned my attention to my life, to the last 10 years or so that have flown by while I worked one meaningless but tolerable job after another.

After a short panicky period during which my boyfriend had to convince me that it's not realistic for me to run away from "society" and live off the land, I calmed down and set out some plans that were do-able for me. These include: cutting back my day job to 3 days a week for now (hopefully altogether down the road), working on my passions, music, guitar lessons, crafts. I've decided to start cooking for myself instead of eating out, and this includes buying free-range chicken and eggs, and supporting local farming operations instead of the huge corporations that are ravaging the planet. These are the small things I can do for now.

I have been inspired by the artists on Etsy, the supportive community there, and the hand-made movement that is taking place. I have bought quite a few items on Etsy, for myself and for others. This was definitely an "Etsy Christmas" for me, and it was so calm and wholesome. I think I spent a total of about 1 hour in the mall this year. One of my favorite indulgences so far were these beautiful hand-forged silver lotus flower earrings, from Stone Soup Jewelry. I wear them pretty much every day.

For my mother, who has been spinning yarn for the last year or so, I got some gorgeous batts from Loop. I couldn't believe how stunning this fibre was. I can't wait to see the yarn she spins from this, and also to learn to spin myself.

And today I read a post on Suze Adams' blog, 2am, which echoed the thoughts I've been having. Suze also has an Etsy shop, Coffee Cup Quilting, and has taken the plunge - doing what she loves full-time. It's so nice to know that there are others out there who are not content to work their days away for someone else. I think this "work ethic" is so engrained in us that any thoughts we have that this is not the way we want to live amount to cultural blasphemy. So many people in my life who I've shared these sentiments with immediately write me off as lazy or idealistic. But the reality is, supporting yourself is probably a lot more "work". It's just so much more rewarding that it doesn't feel that way. I am so grateful to have found a group of people who share these values. It has given me the strength to admit that I want more out of life, and to go for it!

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Suzer said...

Yeah! I am so proud of you following your ideals. Forget about all those others who believe they need to be corporate to survive. You can do it! And thank you for conciously choosing to lessen your footprint on the world by buying free range.