I don’t know if it’s turning forty, or if it’s having baby who’s swiftly transformed into a toddler, but my energy level and health have taken a nosedive lately – it’s time to make a change. By that, I mean, if I want to be a healthy, mindful mother, and one that ages relatively gracefully (I’ll be 60 when my daughter is just 20), I’m having to take a hard, honest look at my emotional and physical bad habits. What doesn’t serve me anymore? What does?
In the interest of not losing interest in this project (I have a tendency to chase after whatever fly-by-night idea hits me for about five minutes before moving on to the next GREAT IDEA), I’m going to be documenting this shift towards better emotional and physical health here on my blog.
Unlike Walden, I don’t have the luxury of going into the woods to find myself, but I do have the luxury of community and time, not to mention boundless inspiration courtesy of the public library.
Fair forewarning: I’m looking at the next six months as one big experiment. I heard computer scientist and tech- philosopher Jaron Lanier on Forum recently, and he said something about how he encourages his students to experiment with their own behaviors, so as not to be at the mercy of ingrained habits. For example, what does it feel like to go off Facebook for a few months? I couldn’t tell you because I still head to FB way too often for my five-hit-a-day dopamine habit. But Lanier is right. You don’t know the effect of an action until you give it an honest try.
My parents did this when I was young. They left behind family and friends to live in a house on stilts, on the beach, in Kauai when I was only three and my sister eight-weeks-old. Thanks to my surf bum parents, I spent my early childhood in paradise , eating foraged avocados, papayas and fish, living in nature, swimming and playing all day, studying the stars with my Papa at night. What if my parents had been afraid to leave Los Angeles, to leave what they knew, all of their family and friends? It was an experiment, and parts of it sucked, but other parts were glorious (I have the blurred memories to prove it).
Please join me for this experiment. I’ll be posting short essays, photos, successes and failures about three times a week. Leave me comments. Encourage me to stick with it. Help me come up with ideas for how to live healthfully without spending tons of cash on Crossfit and yoga classes (and if you catch me buying those see-through Lululemon yoga pants, just take me out into the woods to die or send me a vision quest to retrieve my soul). Bear with the paleo phase and cliched complaints about life without sugar (but with honey – I could never totally give up the sweet). Read books with me. Engage in dialogue about whether having time to garden, bicycle and is only for the privileged and not for the working-class.
See if it’s possible for a lazy-ass, city-raised, (we moved back to Los Angeles from Kauai when I was 6) working-class lady like myself to make real change; can I put my ideals about simplicity, consumption, sustainability, community-building, kindness and mental health into action? I think I can . . I think I can . . . I think I can . . .