Most people are kind. There are a few who are not but the vast majority of the human race is considerate and kind. You get busy , though or stressed or preoccupied and kindness just doesn’t flow as easily as when you are relaxed. Shari’s Berries blog has a random act of kindness generator which can be used in so many ways. You can click it and get a random . You can focus on just family or just work colleagues. You can also download the whole list of acts of kindness and you could customise it to suit your mood and how you want be. You could create challenges. They really make you feel good. I did one last year and some of it was actually hard but I learned so much and it was just a positive contribution to my life even though I was the one doing the acts of kindness. It works. It creates a well world and a well you.
Mildred Walker was a very well credentialed writer who was also a creative writing teacher who dies at the age of 93 in Oregon. Her novel is about Montana where she had lived for a long time. There is no sex, no drugs , no violence and no drama. It’s a slice of life and about Montana. It held me captive for the whole time I was reading it because it was so sane and normal. It was about a young girl growing into a young woman who was discovering what love meant and who was living her life in Montana. You come to understand the rhythm of life in Montana in 1941 and you get to be a part of that life as you read the book. You can see and feel the change of seasons. You come to love the farm and the slow lifestyle. People are living rather than being entertained, stimulated or diverted. They are battling the elements and relishing the small things in life. It is such a contrast to how we are living now. The descriptions are vivid and the experiences are very real. It is not ramped up, artificial or confected. It’s life and the descriptions allow a full appreciation of the experiences in a place like Montana just before WWII. I loved being an invited guest there.
The Living Smart program started in Western Australia and has been well loved and well endorsed. It has made a difference to how people perceive sustainability and the environment. It has managed to allow people to see that working together as a community preserves an environment for the future as well as allowing an opportunity to live in a healthier more welcoming environment. There is a disconnect between the people who just want to make their money and run and those who want to be part of a growth mindset which enables us to live healthily and well on this planet for generations to come. The short term , quick reward approach is hard to counter since people find it very hard to resist riches and money. It is also really hard when working conditions make it so hard for you to relax and have free time. You just want to survive and follow the path of least resistance which largely means ignoring your footprint on the earth. Living Smart has allowed people to take a step back and get rid of the fear and procrastination and just do: find out that networking and being with others is how you manage some of it, if not all of it. We now have this course in South Australia at McLaren Vale, Unley and Glenelg. I have been lucky enough to be in the McLaren Vale course and already I can see I am in a room full of people with ideas, experience, a nice way of being and that invaluable attribute of enthusiasm. It’s that enthusiasm which forges a positive road forward in terms of sustainability and the environment. It’s not an alternative. It is. It is, because you can see and implement the options and find a way of doing that so that others can do it. I grew up in an Australia which cared about the land and knew so much about natural environments. We were then submerged in suburbs but that connection with the land is unstoppable. It is now burgeoning as ecoburbia.
It’s the Noarlunga Library’s fault I haven’t been to a library in 20 years! I used to be at the library every week and it was a great place for my daughter . They played their part in ensuring she loved books and reading.She even went back as a volunteer when she was older. It was a great library then with all the foreign language books, the wealth of health books, the craft and art books and the massive choice of fiction. They installed computers and allowed us access to this new Internet thing. I booked the two of us in for an hour at a time and we were lost in Netscape and just loved it, so much so I bought my IBM 486 computer and suddenly we could find everything online and were spending lot of time online .The library became superfluous to requirements. Last Wednesday was foul weather in Adelaide and I had the urge to go back to the library to see what had happened to it. It is an airy, well thought out space now. There are not so many books but there are more electronic media, magazines and computers. They even had some retro computers in their own special spot which were fully utilised as flat screens sat idle and unpopular. That was really interesting. There were more magazines and they were really well organised and covered a wide variety of interests. The staff set me up well and quickly and I was borrowing in no time. I also had an update and explanation of how it all works online now. Libraries are linked and so you can book resources you search and they will come to your nearest library. You can read books online or download them to a compatible reader. What interested me as I wandered was there was a map of the proposed changes to the Port Noarlunga foreshore to include and upgraded walking trail. It was clearly explained, there were photographs and it was information worth seeing. There was a lot of art work featured too. It wasn’t overly busy, probably because of the weather. Everyone there was engrossed in what they were doing. I came out with a number of books and some magazines which have already gone to work really hard in my life with the ideas they have brought me. A book or magazine brings you specific content which is curated in a careful way. It is focused learning and focused presentation of material. Books have things which are not necessarily on the internet. It’s another way to see the ideas and creativity of others. The library is now going to be a regular part of my life because it is a learning space which allows you to explore in your own way. I am still discovering the online part of it but I can see that will help broaden my searches and access to information. On a computer you are available to others. In a library you are available to yourself and that thought struck me clearly. Libraries are there for you and your own self development and that has been lost in the passion for technology . Originally, computing was just for me on my IBM 486 but now it has become a place where I am expected to be there. I am used to it and do well with technology but it was lovely to just have me time in the library where my learning needs are met uninterrupted and without any expectations other than my own and that is a library’s biggest asset in 2016.
That was bizarre. The woman is in a completely different age group to me, she is at a different stage in life and yet, her video looked like my life at the moment. I am watching the ocean, walking on the beach, enjoying my yarn arts, reading , doing yoga and walking in nature. I really am taking the time to take the time! She articulates well what slow living is about and why you need it. We do glorify doing and it’s as though life has no meaning if you don’t have this grand todo list of where you have been and what you are doing. I am lucky I have a dog who really loves walking. That may sound odd but my other dogs preferred playing , running around, fetch, all of that. This dog is in my life now and she just loves walking. She started me off on this slow path. I was thinking I needed to reclaim my life. I have always had too much to do, have supported others, done so many things and worked really hard. I have achieved a lot and it has defined me but all the time the things which were important to me were being neglected. I did some sewing, some knitting, some crochet, some cross stitch but now I have time to really think things out and to really involve myself in my projects. When you are driven like you are in life then you pump a lot of adrenalin and it eventually impacts on your health. You don’t sleep properly, you don’t exercise properly and even if you think you are eating well, once you slow down you realise you were limited in your choices because of time and energy. I have had a chance to meet people, talk more, really notice the clouds. In many ways it is as I grew up. We often had times just wandering or sitting and looking or sitting and chatting. Like the woman in this video I love my technology. It can be very inspiring but it is also a great way to produce and share ideas and keep connected with people in a really good way. I have found it odd that after years of being uber busy I now have tome to think properly and notice. I am doing a journal about slow living. It is already set up and I follow the pattern. The balance she talks of is what is missing. If you work then there is so much to do there is no balance. Over the years the amount of things expected has increased. Profit, cost cutting, profit, streamlining have all meant good people are pushed too hard. They are reliable. They are there , and because they are there, they are overworked. The only solution is to work less and want less. When she talked of decluttering it was an indication we are driven to collect things in one way or another. To be slow, you need to simplify your life and be genuinely content with less.