The pursuit of...everything
The majority of us are chasing something. Perfect health, inner peace, our dream job, money, security, happiness, love.
I was reading back on one of my favourite old tropical spa books this morning, which is filled with Asian beauty secrets and skin food recipes.
I came across a section about washing hair with coconut milk that said:
“Young girls say their grandmothers still wash their hair with coconut milk. They use thick milk for washing and massaging, lighter milk from a younger coconut for conditioning and rinsing. But for most, this is considered crazily old fashioned and far too much work. It’s worth a try though.”
I am fascinated by this outlook of it being ‘too much work’. And not just washing your hair with coconut. Growing your own food, making your own cleaning products, building your own furniture...so old fashioned, ain’t nobody got time for that, right?
Well...Yes and no for me. I’m currently stuck right in the middle of two contrasting options.
- Work 8 or so hours a day, 4-5 days a week so that I can afford all of life's conveniences and pleasures, securities and guarantees.
- Do the ‘old fashioned’ thing and grow my own food, create my own stuff- ultimately eliminating the need for money because I can create almost everything it can buy me on my own (within reason, obviously).
Do you see my point? How did it become easier and more efficient to spend the majority of our lives working...just so we can afford to live- but don’t actually have time to live?
I know how it happened- gradually, just like everything that changes overtime. But with the environmental crisis (waste overload) more and more people are considering an off-grid, DIY lifestyle.
At the moment, and over the past few years I have been doing a bit of both and I just can’t seem to choose which is the better option.
So I find myself asking, why can’t I do both?
In my personal experience, because it is too bloody exhausting.
Starting a sustainable, ethical business, working another job to support that business, trying to keep fruit trees and veggies alive, tending to the compost, doing DIY just about everything so I can still afford to travel overseas and buy nice things.
You get the picture.
I feel like the juggle of both appealing lifestyles is killing me softly. It’s a strange time to be alive because there is such a big shift occurring, whether we acknowledge it or not- it’s happening. It has to.
Everyone is starting to realise we can’t keep living the way we, the collective, are living.
Something’s gotta give.
I can’t help but think though, surely going backwards isn’t the answer.
Surely living in a hut, enduring crazy weather conditions, barely surviving each day, living of fruit and roots...is not the answer.
We need to evolve. Use our incredibly intelligent minds to do GOOD for all the earth and all the beings that live here.
Because let’s face it. Some of us love our job, some of us would be bored stiff just chilling in a country cottage living a simple life (not me! but some). Everybody is entitled to live the life they choose- it’s just that in this day and age it really needs to be aligned with sustainability and ethics.
I’m actually chuckling to myself right now reflecting on how much I’m currently trying to juggle. Trying to be a zero waste, DIYer and organic gardener, jumping between my job and my business, taking care of my physical/emotional/mental wellbeing while also showing up as a present girlfriend, aunty, daughter, friend, sister, therapist, employee, community member...saving money for travel/education/bills/rent/future/the things I can’t DIY. Meditating, spending time outside, making meals from scratch 3x a day.
Madness! But a really good type of madness. And I know that with just a few tweaks in that paragraph- you’re probably living a very similar juggling act.
No complaining here, I love my life and everything/everyone in it.
It’s just that it’s a lot.
Sometimes It feels like too much, running around busy busy DOING the things I love but struggling to LIVE the things I love...if you know what I mean. Despite my best efforts, still lacking presence.
So now what.
I feel like almost everyone I talk to is tired. Not tired of anything in particular, just tired in general.
Could this be the reason? We are currently trying to implement all the the sustainable new practices, but refusing to give up our comforts and pleasures like exciting, international travel, a sturdy home with hot water (and insurance), devices that connect us with people and information instantaneously.
I don’t want to be a cavewoman, and I don’t want to be a workaholic who forgot how to live.
What is the happy medium?
I hope you weren’t expecting an answer- because I don't have one.
All questions, pondering and hypotheticals at the moment.
Please share if you have any views on this interesting subject.
Are you also feeling stuck between two lifestyles? Like you’re being pulled in many directions- but you love all of those directions and it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense right now?
Yeah, I feel you.
What are you chasing, pursuing- trying to catch or catch up with?
*** Very interesting: I wrote this a few months ago before I knew much about this virus, before I lost my job, shut down practice and went into isolation. Weird, right?! I have been thinking about this topic for so long and just like that- I'm experiencing a life where I'm forced to be content with a more simple lifestyle, forced to make it work despite having no money coming in, forced to get a really good, strong taste of the very lifestyle I have been wondering about. Suddenly all of these DIY life skills are being put to the test, and I am super grateful that I'm able to grow and make my own stuff. With complete uncertainty of what the future will hold, I wonder if, given the chance, I'd go back to the juggling act***