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Thread: Living deliberately

  1. #1
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    Living deliberately

    So, this is sort of a distillation of a bunch of other things that I have been working on over the last year in which I have been examining just about everything in my life. Big ones including eating the elephant and finding balance and mindful consumption, and I'm finding that it all boils down to

    1) what are my goals and values
    and
    2) how does this serve them?

    it's the first day of spring, which is one of the days of reflection sprinkled throughout my year. I made a list of actions that serve various areas that are important in my life (and have to accept that some of my goals -and even values - are in conflict with each other). And I thought about setting some specific goals and challenges, but my list is very long and there are many I'm still working on.

    so, instead, what I want to go is pay attention to the choices I am making from day to day (what am I doing, why, how does this relate to what I tell myself I want to be doing) and keep track of the ones I make consciously and the ones I become aware that I have been making unconsciously.

    i'm going to focus on the newer stuff - steps in the right direction, but as an example,
    this morning I am making my dh breakfast and packing his lunch. Those are decisions I made some time ago because they improve his health, our budget, and our relationship. I probably won't mention that again unless there is some reason I don't do it.

    then a little later I am working at the foodbank. This is a new thing tied to investing more energy in my community. It also involves driving, which is a negative, so I will sometimes mention combining trips (although I did the math and am trying to not need to grocery shop afterwards).

    I have been there long enough that I recently felt comfortable asking if I can take some of the recycling that they were throwing away when I go. Also, there is a woman who takes expired/moldy/ wilted, no longer for human consumption food for her farm animals. She doesn't come on Thursdays and sometimes she comes early enough on Mondays that they find stuff after she leaves (this fruit is fine, but nobody wanted it and it won't make it from Monday to Thursday...) so since I stay to clean up, I am now taking these things for my chickens (or sometimes compost if they are really bad, or honestly sometimes I eat them i.e., the fruit). So, while my primary goal was to help out and become more involved in my community, the activity is also serving my environmental and financial goals. - marginally after gas, more of an offset?

    i guess what I am looking for here is a place to reflect on larger choices with others, and maybe support from or for others who have more generalized goals or want to focus on a wider range of factors (healthier habits vs. eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day) without starting a bunch of different threads.

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Great idea for a thread. I love the idea of living deliberately, and mindfully.

    I use a mind map for overall direction in terms of where I want to go. It helps me visualize the different areas of my life that I want to concentrate on. I like the idea of "leaning in" to get to where you want to be as opposed to a more rigid "resolution" approach.

    Other tools i use are my Way of Life app.. it allows you to set up daily goals and then track them.

    So I try to "lean in" to more permaculture activities--thank God for my little group of permaculturists near me. They offer all kinds of opportunities to get together--not just volunteering on the farm but attending frequent pot lucks, and participating in their other activities: outside yoga, Parkour, mushroom inoculation, writing workshops.. it's becoming a whole wellness center, which is awesome.

    I also try to "lean in" to more exercise. I was running for a while 3x a week, and I'd love to get back into that now that the winter is almost over. (Well, as you said, it IS over!) I wish I could be more diligent about yoga, but it's the last thing I think of doing every day. Not sure why, because I really believe in the benefits.

    When I think of living deliberately it helps me to think of role models. I loved my great-aunt's lifestyle and her simple but beautiful, peaceful approach to life. As I get older if I could be half the woman she was, I'd be so happy. There are so many spin-offs of my mind map I could create if I used her as the center of it--from easy routines, to ritualizing mealtime, to getting up and showing up for life every day by dressing nicely, to engagement in the world, to creating (she was a knitter and she taught me how to sew), to laughing every day.

    Thanks for the opportunity to think of these goals in a big picture way, Chicken lady
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  3. #3
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    Catherine, I am not a yogs person, but my dh is. For a while we were going to a group yoga session every Sunday morning. The meditation/spiritual aspect of it didn't really work for me, but it was important to dh, and the stretchy/exercise/core work was good for me. Then the leader changed and while it was still helping dh physically and to a small degree from a community aspect we decided that on balance, it was no longer a good trade off.

    now he sets his alarm 20 minutes early and puts on one of several recordings he has made for guided meditation and yoga before he gets in the shower 5 days a week (I drink coffee, spend time reflecting on my day or checking in with the world, and pack his lunch.)

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    So, I remembered to turn the heat down this morning before I left for the food bank (if I am going to be gone more than a couple of hours and the program is set to "chicken lady is home" temp, I drop it 5 degrees.)

    i brought home two grocery bags of recyclable case wrap and a box of bread for my chickens (some of that will be for me because we had so much bread come in this morning we cleared stuff that said "sell by March 18"). I also rescued the empty water bottles to recycle, but I discovered we make coffee with bottled water and now I feel bad about drinking it.

    otoh, the thermostat is set low because people go in and out a lot and it's a very small building - the volunteers often keep our coats on, so a hot cup of coffee is a multipurpose treat (one volunteer kept her gloves on all morning today)

    now I am home and I have eaten (healthy homemade vegetarian lunch plus a pastry full of all kind of sugars and refined/artificial this that and the other that I brought home from the food bank.)

    i am curled up by the woodstove trying to find the motivation to tackle making cookies and soap - my two afternoon projects for the day. Unfortunately my inner regulator is advocating for sitting by the fire reading and recharging my introvert batteries. It would help if the sun would come out.

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    So, I did make soap.

    also made a bad snack choice but managed to stop myself 3/4 of the way through.

    Dinner was "clean out the fridge" stew with toasted food bank rolls.

    i don't need to make cookies until tomorrow because dh has a work lunch tomorrow. So I did all my important things for the day and i feel good about most of my decisions. I need to just plan for the "post food bank" recovery. There are low energy jobs I could do rather than expecting to tackle a bigger project. (Bigger project being something that takes over an hour - I wasted almost 3 hours avoiding that. I could have finished half a dozen short tasks)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    So, I did make soap.

    also made a bad snack choice but managed to stop myself 3/4 of the way through.

    Dinner was "clean out the fridge" stew with toasted food bank rolls.

    i don't need to make cookies until tomorrow because dh has a work lunch tomorrow. So I did all my important things for the day and i feel good about most of my decisions. I need to just plan for the "post food bank" recovery. There are low energy jobs I could do rather than expecting to tackle a bigger project. (Bigger project being something that takes over an hour - I wasted almost 3 hours avoiding that. I could have finished half a dozen short tasks)
    Might be worth scheduling in a bit of post-food-bank downtime, Chicken Lady. I know I sometimes find a half hour that I commit to doing nothing in is more restful than two or three hours of procrastination. (Overscheduling is a challenge for me... I seem to think I can be productive in all my non-sleeping hours, and surprise, that is not true...)

  7. #7
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    I like this challenge also. I am trying to catch myself when I brood on the past and redirect my thoughts to the present.

  8. #8
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    Chicken Lady,
    1) what are my goals and values
    and
    2) how does this serve them?

    Sums up how I handle things or attempt too, along with two more thoughts: Will this make me happy and Does it bring value to my life.



  9. #9
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    Well, being happy is one of my goals.

    yesterday was overcast most of the day and I was struggling. I finally decided that since dh would be home really late, to make cookies (to avoid a problem today), do my chores, and then just really wallow in slackerdom and self indulgence. - get it out of my system.

    i ate whatever I wanted to eat whenever all day. I binged on mindless tv shows on Netflix, I left the dishes all over the house. I went to bed late still feeling draggy.

    this morning I woke up ready to refocus and "clean up" my house and my act. I expected to get on the scale and see that I had thrown myself back out of the ten pound acceptable range I have struggled so hard to barely drop into - nope, same weight. But more energy. Possibly by limiting myself too tightly to "healthy" food I have been starving myself of too many calories. Today I plan to eat bread AND jam AND eggs AND cheese AND cookies in reasonable amounts. AND a glass of juice or chocolate milk.

    so this morning I fixed dh breakfast and lunch and got him off, did my chores, got done things in the mail that needed to go out, addressed the dishes and laundry, started picking up, and exercised (realizing that this is the first time in over a month that I have ridden the bike hard enough to get really sweaty.). I feel pretty good, although it is hard to know how much of that us going myself a real break yesterday and how much is the current sunny weather.

    I am not working today because it is spring break.

    i have had breakfast and a snack, so now my plan is to get in a couple hours of pottery before a late lunch.

  10. #10
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    Yppej how are you doing?

    i went out in the world yesterday and I am still processing.

    i started at a store I rarely visit that required a few extra miles of driving on the total trip - bought the commercial soap I recently switched to on sale, and nuts in bulk. The nut dispenser jammed and my jar was overfilled, so I called over the employee on duty who was wearing gloves and filling dispensers - thinking that as long as my jar hadn't been moved, she could just put the nuts that were stuck in the dispenser funnel back in the dispenser. Nope, she just swept them into the trash.

    so my quest to avoid plastic garbage By accepting a higher monetary cost resulted in food waste as well as increased gasoline usage. I've started making more soap - I'll just go with that and buy the nuts in the plastic bags at the regular grocery I guess.

    next stop I bought spices in plastic bags, that are higher quality (and price) than my regular grocery. More plastic, but good spices make a big difference in getting dh to eat less meat.

    went around the block and ran the mandatory errand - no issues

    stopped at the farmers market and my regular salad guy wasn't there, so I bought expensive organic kale in a .....plastic.....bag. But the kale lady told me that my salad guy has a home stand, which could be more convient for me than the farmer's market, so there's that.

    foodbank - put a couple of children's books out on the free table, collected the case wrap, one water bottle and a can. Nobody made coffee and I didn't volunteer to. Brought home more chicken bread, suggested adding some of the really far gone vegetables to the on site compost pile for the on site community garden instead of putting them in plastic bags and giving them to chicken keepers. Wanted to bang my head on the wall because everyone thought that was really radical and creative. Also got free fresh bakery bread "sell by" yesterday because it came donated straight from the store in open paper bag sleeves and we can't give out baked goods that aren't sealed. (Wanted to bang my head on the wall again!)

    i'm getting slow start today, but I want to get out to the studio and also make some bread into flavored Melba toast (savories and sweets) to offer dh instead of packaged snack food. Might make some more soap.

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