I've had a some thoughts come together lately as a result of many conversations and many years of thoughts and process. I thought it was a bit of an epiphany, but really I think I just became very aware, in a moment, of where I have been, where I have been going and what I have instinctually been doing.
I have had conversations and watched documentaries about a number of unrelated topics that seemed to have come together into one thing, and that is how I see life and what I should be doing.
First of all this all came to a head when Mono and I had been talking about how there are two kinds of people in the world. PN and I are of one group and he of another. There are people like PN and I that think of the world and our affect on it... we think about how it affects us too and the future; holistically. There are also people in the world that don't. They think about what is going on for them and what is going on in their immediate surrounding. How the people they love are doing and how they can help or be supportive, this is Mono. In native totems this would be akin to the eagle and the mouse. Eagle sores above and sees all, mouse sees up close and the details. Both relevant, both important.
I have also been thinking about money and have been watching and talking about debt. Recently PN and I have been trying something new as a way to save money. He gives me cash once a week to spend on what we need and entertainment. It has changed how I operate in terms of how I see money. I see our money going down and plan ahead more, only buying what we need.... it's awesome! It really works for me. I have been really thinking hard about how to make sure we don't go into debt any more than the mortgage we have and how to survive the prices going up and my wage and his, not. Not only that, the car just cost quite a bit just to keep well maintained. Its something I really don't think I can be without if I want to keep my job.
I have been thinking also about who I choose to spend my time and energy on and who I should pass on. Like everyone, I have a need to belong, but sometimes I go to the ends of the earth to achieve that and really I not only don't need to because I have most of what I need inside of me, or in those that are close to me. As an attempt, yet again, to explore being alone and okay, I have been trying hard to focus on those closest too me, who fit my values, and letting go of feeling responsible to anyone else.
I had a chat with someone about how people consume more and more in terms of people they know, fame, things/items, attention from others, time/being busy, activities/doing it all. This instead of looking within at what sustains them and only taking what they need so as to give back what is possible for them. Or only giving as much as they will receive back and need back from others. Often people take more than they should and expect too much back as a result, leaving those around them feeling no connection to the real person within the person. That person is not available to them.
Much as people consume when they shop... there is little to no connection to the item itself, only to the fleeting moment of glee at buying a new toy. That fleeting moment is becoming common place in every aspect of life for some. The thing is its often followed by depression and resentment that they don't have the same high on life feeling they might of had if they had not been scrambling to get something or be something special... They might have that feeling in the moment, but it passes quickly and is gone.
That feeling of being special is something we teach our kids in this culture. No one is special. We are all average. Out of that comes someone special, a star, just because they are noticed for something that to them is average.
I find myself saying how amazing LB is in everything he does. Well he is just an average kid who does average developmental stuff. I am setting him up to think that he is special and capable of achieving special things that will set him aside from others. This is not fair, because if he doesn't succeed in being better then he will be susceptible to depression and will find himself being lonely and on his own. This is not healthy I don't think.
By teaching him that he is average and its okay to be average, he can decide for himself what he will do. Or it will turn out that he isn't average because his brilliance will rise to the surface in his life, unfettered by a consumeristic way of being. Much like many great people, he will just become noticed.. He will be fine to be just average if it should turn out that way because I have decided not to teach him that he is special and apart from the crowd because of it. I will work on my own averageness also.
The culmination of all this is that I am realizing that more and more I need to be self sustainable, work on being average and with a deep respect for saving my money and resources to keep my family going and that really, home and family are the most important thing... not necessarily real family, although they are important, but chosen family. In a way, bringing in thoughts of how I influence the whole world and it me and looking closely just at myself and those closest to me at the same time.
I am thinking that more and more chosen family and birth family is going to be huge in the future as far as survival. Its rather back in time really, but I think it will swing around, yet be different in many ways than the past. Already there are signs of it in my life as I hear of my friends older kids staying in the family home longer because they can't afford to move out, or having parents move in in their old age because they can't live on what they have saved or earn. All these big houses that are owned by single families may just one day have to be owned by many families or one large chosen family... much as what I have in my life now. Three adult incomes coming together to form something sustainable. There will be more need for good communication skills, tolerance, virtues and values, accepting our averageness and finding ways to be sustainable within our families or tribes.
I heard somewhere recently that there is 40 years left before we destroy the world if we keep at the rate we are going in its destruction. I will be 80 then, what can I do now that is at my family/community level? That is the only place I can make a difference I think. What can I teach and prompt my boy to get a handle on now so that he might be capable of getting along with others and existing in an average, large family of chosen people? How can I achieve a sense of self worth and confidence in myself and my place in the tribe and communities I am in... how can I feel as if I belong? I know the answers a bit more now and intend to keep at it.