Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New year, new life

So here it is 2014. I'm still alive and breathing well. As I work on rehabilitating myself I find myself out in the world at an increasingly exponential rate. I love life and fought so hard to live. There are aspects to life I just don't enjoy and those are things like the rat race, rushing, over scheduling and cranky people. Those are a heck of a lot of folks that one encounters randomly. I was fortunate this past year to surround myself with loving beautiful people. I realize there are many more of these folks in existence, I just have to find them.

In re-entering the living world, I don't so much fear these things as fear that I will lose all that I have gained: an appreciation for the truth in life. Love. Simplicity. Time. Relationships. Quality. Mindfulness. As I took down my mindfulness 2013 calendar called "the Present Moment" I feared losing moments, mindfulness. So me, being me, started looking up articles on simplifying life. A spiritual friend had many of these types of articles on her FB page throughout the year so I decided to start there. As I read through the second of such articles I realized that I don't need someone else to tell me how to simplify my life. I could teach people how to do it. My number one piece of advice would be to stay out of malls (and stay away from store fliers). We spend the bulk of our time shopping/buying things we think we need or that will makes us happy. Having been a shut-in for practically all of 2013 I learned that lesson the slow way. We don't need ninety percent of what we think we need. We only want the new fridge, the new car, the new clothing, the bigger television, etc. We all know too well that things won't buy happiness but we find ourselves wasting precious creative time roaming malls in search of the newest best deals anyway.

This year I changed how I ate, drastically. I always thought that being vegetarian meant I was fairly healthy and compared to the typical American diet, I am. However when I say drastic, I mean it: practically everything was made from scratch, including my own salad dressing. Most of it out of necessity because I can't eat sodium-laden commercial foods. Some of it because I had the time. Since I wasn't roaming malls, I had time to make nutritious, delicious, and because it was from scratch, fairly affordable food. Now, returning to the rat race, I understand not every dish can be prepared that way. Especially if I am well enough to return to work (my eventual goal). I understand why frozen food exists - working families just don't have the time. However, how much time do people spend roaming around malls, their favourite stores and other places of capitalism? Now, couldn't that time be better spent cooking something deliciously nutritious? Why not?

The second part of cooking from scratch was sharing it with loved ones. There's a reason families used to sit down to meals. That's the reason I insisted on keeping the "seats 12" dining table when we were splitting furniture during my divorce. I actually use it.

Being out and about the past few weeks, whether returning home from the Heart hospital or groceries with ma belle, we would stop at shops I haven't been to in over a year. I could understand the draw to spend (waste) time in stores... there's so much to look at and even take home but I don't need any of it. How do I know: I have lived just fine without it thus far. Now, I am not trying to preach non-consumerism here. I did purchase a few things throughout the year. Online shopping is convenient where you're a shut-in. So is having a wife that can go get things. My purchases have been mainly for raw materials (be it ingredients for a food dish, fabric or yarn to make something, dirt and plants to create a space, etc.). I am not against all purchasing but I know for me that was THE leak of time, energy and money in my life. If you need more of those, get out of the stores, malls, fliers, and start spending time with people you love, especially around a table full of home-made food.

For 2014 my goal is to live balance. It seems balance has been my lifetime goal. As a Pisces it has always been a challenge for me. May the year of mindfulness, deep spirituality and deepening quality relationships move forward as I return to the world of mindlessness.