Tuesday, April 24, 2012

But how... exactly?

I've been thinking about this a lot... and tonight, after reading Gavin's post, 'Yet the Band Played On', posted on Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op, (on the Titanic comparative to current-day 'unsinkable' Human-based-Earth and the looming consequences of climate change), and the post 'On Not Being a Fruad and Beetroot' post from Eat at Dixibelle's I kicked my rear and decided to post what I had been thinking about for a bit...

Because I know where I want to be, as a family and an individual, I know when I want to be there, but it's the specifics of the 'how' that get me bogged.

how?

I do things. One week I'll decide we'll do this, another week something else. Sometimes nothing in one week and three things the next week... but bit by bit, we're changing. I am Fairtrade only for chocolate, we have (some) grid solar, grow f&v (though not all of it), compost, worm farm, chooks, recycle water, rainwater collection, etc - I could list all the good things we do but in my mind, it's not enough - there are still so many things to not do, and new things to start. Maybe the answer to 'how, exactly?' is 'slowly' but even then, I think it's too slow for what we need AND the actual nitty gritty, the 'plan' of it all is something I don't have. And I am a planner.

I need a plan. I like to have a plan. I feel more 'free' with a plan, wierd as that sounds because my brain can stop the chatter, and get on with something else.

Maybe it's the reminder, in doing exam prep and assignments for UNI, how useful a plan can be that's put this more to the front of my mind. I have pretty comprehensive plans surrounding going camping, what's happening in the week (schedule) etc - not in terms of making things restrictive, but by making them I'm actually enabling flexibility. All the essentials are taken care of which frees up room for other stuff. Important things don't get missed or forgotten and I don't feel all out of whack and unsure if I've missed something.
So I can see, that in other areas of life I apply the 'have a goal/target/deadline (which need not be inflexible), and steps to achieve it'. So why not with this too - with my prep and 'changeover' from now to where I'd like to be?

So I think that's on my 'May' list... do up a plan, some plan, any plan that's remotely workable and start there... between assignments, children, exams, house, garden... the plan can change and that's ok. I can come short of deadlines or goals but I'm closer to them than I otherwise was, and that's great.
if you have a plan, or a plan to work out 'the plan' please share - link to or comment :)

(edited for clarity 26/04)

4 comments:

eatclosetohome said...

Sounds like you like goals, lists, and such - much like me. Having a plan makes me feel much more secure, like I have some modicum of control even if the rest of the world is spinning away.

So, make your plan: one year and five year. Include items for home and community. The Riot 4 Austerity can help give you some guidelines of areas to consider: food, home energy use, travel, etc.

From that, chart your course of action. What will I/we do this month? Pick one or two things and make the changes - then pick one or two things next month. At the beginning, there might be low-hanging fruit: install low-flow shower head; find a source for a local food product.

Things like changing food tastes will take much longer - so if your 5 year goal is to eat 95% local food, your 1 year goal might be to discover 5 meals the whole family loves that can be sourced locally, and your 1 month goal could be "try a new local recipe."

And again.
And again.

Don't worry about doing it perfectly. Begin, take manageable steps, and keep taking them.

Emily

eatclosetohome said...

Don't wait for the perfect plan. Just pick some goals - one-year and five-year, some for home and some for community - and go from there.

If one goal is that five years from now, you'll be eating a 95% local diet, your one-year goal might be to have eight local meals your family loves. Changing tastes is hard - so maybe your first month goal is "make one 95% local recipe." The next month, make that recipe again and make another new one.

The Riot 4 Austerity http://greenknowe.org/content/riot-4-austerity is a great place to start for categories and guidelines. 90% reduction is very difficult, especially at first, but if those can be your 5-year goals, or you can aim for 50% in each category, and then see.

I was in much your position in 2008, and having a plan made me feel much better: like I had a modicum of control, and was taking some positive action. It can get overwhelming - trying to do everything at once is impossible. But with the "big" goals broken down into more manageable yearly and monthly goals, it's doable. And you'll probably find your 5-year goals change every couple of years, too.

Take one step.
Take another.
Take a breather, and look how far you've come.
And take another step.

Emily

Linda Woodrow said...

As Gavin's post said, the band often plays on when heading for disaster. People usually only start running away from bad stuff way too late, and then in a stampede that causes more problems than it solves.

But people make their way towards good stuff as quick as they can, using all the wits they have, co-operatively and creatively.

This is the basis of my hope. I don't think we're staring down the barrel of disaster. Or if we are, it isn't going to help focusing on it. Fear paralyses. I think we are at a moment in history with potential like hasn't been seen in a thousand years. It's wonderful and exciting.

It is possible to live a very good quality of life with a minuscule environmental footprint. In fact, it is impossible to live a very good quality of life sucked into the vortex of consumerism. The emperor has no clothes.

I don't know that "a plan" is the answer. I think, like Indiana Jones, it's a matter of making fast good decisions. Looking around, seeing real reality and nimbly picking the opportunities.

We don't need to be martyrs. In fact a few martyrs is counter productive. We only need a small change but from a lot of people, a cultural shift. And that is best promoted by making small, do-able changes that look and feel good.

Wow, that turned into much longer than I planned! Sorry...it just kept coming.

dixiebelle said...

I am such a plan person. I guess I've always been a bit of a control-freak... so I feel better when I have a grip on things. My post yesterday was about not having a grip on things! I am OK with that, though, because even when I am sick and feel like I am not being productive enough, I am learning. There is more to 'being prepared' than having a stockpile, having a productive garden, having equipment etc. I mean, I am glad I have those things, but we are not relying on the physical stuff. There are other important things, mindset, flexibility, community building, resourcefulness, and keeping a positive perspective in the face of challenges. Right now, my challenge is that we are going through changes and the stresses associated have made me run down & unwell. I hate being sick. But my lessons to learn could be, how to accept help in these times, or how to heal myself, or how to roll with the punches. Having a plan is a good idea. Having the right attitude is a great idea! I am working on it.

Disclaimer: Not having been through any major challenges in my life, or any emergencies, I can only keep going with what I *believe* is the right way forward.

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