Headline: Spacey Hippie Grandma braves technological challenge-wins!
What a relief, after over a week with no laptop, communicating from my phone and my aging laptop which has no keyboard, I finally took the daring adventure into “Safe Mode”. Such a funny name because to me it always felt like a very UN-safe mode…I expected the journey to be something like venturing into a dark cave with only a birthday candle for light.
The temporary loss of my beloved laptop gave me an opportunity to evaluate certain areas of my life. I spend a significant amount of time online, some of it productive, some creative and some just silly. I realized that at times I neglect other areas of my life, areas that expand my creativity and are essential to living a somewhat balanced life. I spent more time drawing, crafting, walking and played some board games.
Another issue that came up was my commitment to a non-mainstream lifestyle. I live on very little money and at this point in my life and our nation’s history I rather prefer to keep it that way. I don’t have savings or credit cards and much of my “commerce” is via the barter system or making/producing many of my own goods. That means when something breaks I can’t just hop in my car (don’t have one) and zip over to the Mega Media Mart, drop off my computer and come back later with my shiny credit card to pay the stranger that fixed it. So while I was asking around and waiting for a repair person who would be willing to barter, I reflected on concepts like community and time. The car/credit card/ Mega Mart method would have saved a great deal of time…and personal involvement. My method required me to network, talking to real actual people who then went and talked to real actual people. While this was going on, I took the time to read instructions to actually learn some things about my computer and took chances by trial and error.
It has occurred to me that most people are spoiled by convenience, having a car that tells you where to go rather than having to use your own problem solving skills and enjoy the adventure of getting lost and discovering new territory. If something “breaks”, people throw it away. I had a friend who was about to throw away her vacuum cleaner; I looked at it and discovered a broken belt and a beater that was tangled with hair. In 20 minutes I repaired and cleaned the vac and saved her the 160 dollars it would have cost her to replace it, and saved a small piece of landfill.
There are many small actions we can take that combined and applied consistently can make our lives more sustainable, reduce our dependence of corporation that care nothing for our health and safety and help encourage others to follow our lead. The one certain thing is, we can’t continue living with the instant gratifying, disposable, self absorbed patterns that have impacted our planet, our economy and our freedom.
What steps can you take, or have taken to humanize your community? I’d love to hear your stories!
© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard