Thursday, October 4, 2012

St. Francis Day

File:Portland OR Grotto.jpg
Today is St. Francis Day and I was fortunate to be born on this day, not only because St. Francis of Assissi tried to follow in the footsteps of Jesus (caring for the poor,hungry, sick, imprisoned, etc.) but also because he is the patron saint of animals and the environment, two things close to my heart.

A month ago I decided to use the time leading up to this day to reflect on the direction of my life and I've made a few decisions:

1) I'm not going to seek paid employment outside of our home.  Rather, I will focus on the farm and on my volunteer non-profit projects.  Over the years, Bill and I have had to spend much time apart due to work demands, so now I'm going to enjoy having him home 24/7.

2) I will become more engaged politically - that is in policy - by monitoring seven websites that put out regular action alerts.  These seven are organizations that monitor important activities and legislation related to many of the causes I support.  I will take various actions that the sites advise and monitor the outcome of those actions.

3) I will become more and more conscious of my impact on the earth and on others and strive to minimize the damage I cause to people, animals, and the environment.  This is not an easy task given our present culture but one I feel compelled to follow.  And I don't mind being labeled a "pagan" or "tree hugger" or "heretic" or "unpatriotic" or any other seemingly derogatory name.  Some of the same people who might label me for caring about the earth  and the people on it are the ones who are militant about wearing pink ribbons for breast cancer (or expressing concern over other health problems), yet don't make the connection between the poisons that damage the earth and our health.  Nor do they understand that the ribbons and "awareness" do absolutely nothing to eradicate the disease while reducing the poisons on our planet and in our bodies would make a difference.

4) I've come to the conclusion that I don't really miss facebook.  One month without it had no affect on my life.  For the most part, I find it annoying and time consuming.  I'm not going to give up on it entirely because there are some people with whom I enjoy maintaining a connection and mainly do so through facebook.

5) I'm beginning a three-month no-shopping challenge (yes, again).  My rules are to only purchase essentials during this period - food, toiletries, gas, etc. - or if something I use on a daily basis breaks and is irreparable, I will replace it.  Since I have done this in the past, I know it won't be difficult yet I'm sure I'll learn more from the experience (and my bank account will thank me).  We've all been seduced into believing that we need many of the things we purchase when we don't.  Really, how much more do we need to purchase besides the items I already mentioned.  Anything else is pretty much a "want" rather than a "need."  Our shopping habits aren't driven by any true need; it's the corporations and the media talking to us, telling us we're incomplete without the latest model, gadget, or style.  They're preying on our insecurity.  Who needs that?  It's nice to have a small treat occasionally but our culture has made the idea of a treat meaningless. (Since this is during the holiday season, I will still buy *essential* gifts for those whose feelings would be hurt otherwise.)

Happy St. Francis Day!


Shona~ LALA dex press said...

Happy! Happy! Birthday!

I like your plan to focus on your farm, it looks like you are really making a great life with you CSA and interns. Why go outside when you already have something wonderful at home.

Sorry, going to skip out this year on the challenge. Mostly because with last year's challenge and some unforseen increases in monthly bills, I'm already there. I did get some new (to me) thrift store clothes, but when I walked out of the store with 2 pr. of jeans, a sweater & a Bodem coffee press (my old one broke!)for $9.00, well, I felt that it was money well-spent. I am going in with specific items in mind, not just implulse buys.

Cherie said...

Shona, thanks for the birthday wishes!

I have to thank you for your past support and encouragement. You're the one who encouraged me to go for a full 3 month shopping challenge rather than the 1 month I had planned - and even joined me in the challenge. (And I'm very envious of the deals you find!)