It seems like every time I post something light or ‘funny’ on Facebook, or anywhere, something really tragic is happening somewhere in the world that just makes me feel like a total jerk for having been happy or silly that day. One of the points of starting this blog was to reconnect with my silly side and not be so heavy about everything all the time. But hells bells that is not easy in this world. At least not for me.
I have this list of 40 things to do before turning 40, but when i look at the state of the world and the situations that many people are facing all of the items just seem so preposterous. Which reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about more and more recently.
So I am a recent first-time homeowner having bought a ‘fixer-upper’ a little under a year ago. Since moving in lots of things have had to be fixed, lots of time has been spent figuring out how to keep the house from washing away. I walk sometimes in the early mornings around my new neighborhood and look at other homes for ideas I guess about what we could do with our yard, what grows here, what people have done with similar houses on similar lots.
I also have spent a bit of time in the DIY blogosphere, choosing paint colors, learning how to paint tile, figuring out why it is important to get your A/C unit serviced (this is the first time I’ve had central A/C in years) (my A/C broke yesterday, by the way) (it is fixed now).
So here’s what I’ve been thinking about all of this on my walks in the morning: Why does every family need their own little castle with their own little yard that has to look just so and spend ALL OF THIS TIME hours, years, lifetimes, learning how to DIY, buying furniture, choosing fabrics, colors, objects. I love being in a cheery room. I love a functional kitchen where food is cooked and people share it together. I love a beautiful garden growing sweet smelling flowers and rosemary and all that good stuff. But why does everybody have to make one for themselves that is all their own? We all do all of this work, or pay for all of this work to be done it seems like in many cases, for one family to benefit. I love working. I am happy to shovel dirt all day long, paint walls, cook food, watch kids, think creatively, whatever. I kind of think people in general like to work if the purpose is clear and the work is possible and well organized. Especially if they can work together.
I guess I just wish that I could do hard work to build a garden that was for more than just me. And that all of that amazing creative energy people seem to have for decorating / redecorating / renovating their homes could be used to fix some of the myriad other problems in all of our communities, countries, continents, planets. And not in a somber way exactly, harnessing that creativity that people so clearly want to use for something other than our individual abodes.
It seems a little bit like we’ve set up our living situations to be so INDEPENDENT and so individual that we have put ourselves into a little bit of prison. Unless I guess you are wealthy enough to pay someone else to do everything for you so maybe I just bought the wrong house in the wrong place. I don’t want to be forced to earn enough money to pay other people to landscape my home, decorate my home, clean my home, renovate my home. But it doesn’t seem possible for me to do all that ‘feels’ required by myself and still have any time to do anything else in the world.
So one question I’ve been asking myself is – what “Feels” required and what “Is” required? Does my daughter NEED a new bed or is there a catalog picture in my head telling me that? It is pretty tough to break the materialist programming that tells me that things need to look a certain way to show that… something. That we are good people? That we love each other? That we care about the world and other people?
Anyway, this is a big ramble but I’ve been wanting to think and write about it for a while. I’m sure there will be more on this topic later.
And on the checklist, I may adjust some of the items (see paragraph 2 above) and I’m a ‘bit’ behind but have completed #5: Sign up for a class (I chose musical theater comedy). Hooray ; )