Positive Practices for Changing the World (and Your Life Too!)

I ended the work day yesterday by reading a few articles from Yes! Magazine, and would highly suggest the practice; Yes! is a perfect panacea for a day of drudgery, for the repetitive and downtrodden daily routine it is all to easy to fall into.  Positive yet not blindly idealistic, Yes! brought back my ‘this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life’ fervor, particularly with this fabulous list of 31 Ways to Jump Start the Local Economy.

This list was affirming not only of my view of how the world and economy should really work, but because it lists several ‘how tos’ that I was surprised to realize my friends and family already pursue!

4. Pay off debts. Try life without credit cards. (even though so many people say it’s impossible)
12. Form a dinner club and hold a weekly potluck, or trade off cooking and hosting. (we don’t do weekly yet, but do host monthly potlucks)
23. Start a local currency or time dollar program to help link needs and offerings, those with time and those starved for time. (props to my mother for starting a Time Bank in Naperville!)

In addition to Yes!’s fabulous list of building community and the local economy, a fellow potluck attendee this past week had a marvelous ‘simplifying and clarifying one’s life practice’:
Write down everything you do for a week and divide the various tasks and endeavors into a ‘more’ and ‘less’ list for the future.

Through observation and intentionality we can live a life of joy.

Two Challenges

I’m still in the midst of my year of reading books by non-straight white men, but in response to recent life changes want to add a couple more challenges to my plate.

First, an exercise in financial discipline.  I’m not buying anything for a week (today is Day 1) other than groceries this Friday, because it feels like money has been falling out of my pockets and account as of late.  It’s not for lack of disposable income (which, come to think of it, is a very strange phrase…are we insinuating that purchases other than basic needs are inherently garbage?) but between Craft Beer Week, Art-a-Whirl, and my general penchant for the multitudes of amazing restaurants in the Twin Cities, my weekly spending has risen substantially.  So- no cookies, coffeeshops, restaurants or thrift stores this week.

The second challenge: figuring out what to do with my non-working hours.  Due to the summer return of a couple coworkers, I now pretty much work three days a week, with four off.  Wonderful, right?  Only if I can actually DO something meaningful with that time.

  • Fridays and Saturdays will still be my weekend, for shows and friends and fun, and over the summer almost all of my weekends are committed to trips of various sorts.
  • Tuesdays are generally my get-stuff-done-around-the-house day while Benjamin is at work.  They also used to be for journalling/letter writing, a practice that went by the wayside in the midst of wedding planning but deserves revival.
  • Sundays are the new free day, a day of promise, a day I want to claim as something before too many submit to lethargy or menial chores.  Possibilities: herbal medicine collection/creation, spiritual reflection time and/or meditation, more focused writing time, long walks.  What else might one do with newly freed up Sundays?