Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Take Back Our Power

These are hard times  for a lot of people, and the future looks challenging as well.  

After reading a comment elsewhere that made me go Hmmm, I think we need to get bullish on taking back our power.   And by that I don't mean perpetrating hate crimes (just had to say that...)

Jack and I have decided there IS a "best" life out there for us, and we keep working towards it.  Work is not always fun.   But we touched base again last night about our greatest fears and worst case scenario...what if we lose it all?  

So we continue to re-adapt our plans.  And I told him...and I mean this...I would be happy to be debt free and living with him in a garden shed.  I want a patch of earth that is ours enough to grow a basic garden.  And a room big enough for a bed, a couple chairs and a hot plate or woodburning stove.  I think we'll actually come out with a bit different scenario in real life, but that's how simply it boils down to things with me...I want self-sufficiency no matter how stripped down it comes, because I don't like feeling powerless.

And you know what?  When it's our own choice, it's empowering, even if it doesn't look like the more modern version of the American dream.

Have you ever had that talk...the What If talk? 

If we can get past the fear, we get empowered to refashion our possibilities.  My grandparents grew up without air conditioning, health insurance, a 401k, and a second vehicle (actually they started with a mule).  Progress is great...but when it boils right down to it, if we give up our POWER to be as self-determining as possible in exchange for things we come to think of as necessities, we lose some kind of grit that can see us through.

So I say, let's take it back, even if it looks different than today's norm. 

What's are the ways in which you've taken back your choices and your "power" that have worked for you, and what hasn't worked?  A lot of you are my heroes for doing just that!


Wendy said...

Indeed! It is incredibly empowering to do things by choice rather than feeling coerced or manipulated or forced.

I suppose we've done a lot of little things to wrest the responsibility over our lives out of the hands of the "powers-that-be." More important than the individual things we've done, however, is the change in attitude from one of forced resignation and compliance to one of self-"control" and personal responsibiliy. I'm not just "responsible" for my actions in the sense that I have to pay for my wrongs, but I'm also "responsible" for my life in that I will do what and live how I wish, and in a way that is morally and ethically acceptable to me. Sometimes those convictions don't mesh well with what society believes is appropriate and proper :).

I know we're stuck here in the suburbs, and that's okay, because every day, I'm figuring out new ways to do exactly what I want while staying "within" the system.

By the way, we've had the "what if" conversation and shed living has come up :).

jj said...

One of the big things we are doing to take back our power is taking control of our own food supply. While we're not growing much of our own, yet, we have found a community of local growers, and we are learning how to preserve the harvest and therefore eat more locally, and away from the industrial food chain. We're also working toward paying down debt, though that is a secondary goal right now...

Annette said...

Ronnie and I have that talk often. Like you, we would be content in a tiny house off the grid. Using an outhouse.
The biggest step we have taken so far is growing and canning our own food along with caring for 8 laying hens (no rooster)< This one is an act of civil disobedience.

fast eddie said...

One Small Babystep at a time!! And maybe you will never get to where you want to be exactly, but inch by inch, foot by foot, we will get there!! Every LITTLE thing that we do toward self sufficeincy, is one step closer. Babysteps---Ed

CatHerder said...

after almost 30 years of marriage, and being poor, to being almost rich...i would choose a debt free simple life with land of my hell with keeping up with the joneses...HAVE YOU READ LIVING THE GOOD LIFE/helen nearing.....just amazing to me

Robbyn said... well put, and it's so so SO true!!!

JJ, isn't it interesting the tie between food supply and independence? We are reminded of that constantly :) are so far ahead of us in those areas...I still need to learn to can! And we will hopefully know this year if we will have to stay here for the long term or if we'll be able to plant ourselves somewhere with fewer taxes, restrictions and more privacy. It seems we're waiting soooo long holding off on things like a proper garden, etc until we kill the debt. Yay to you for the poultry civil's forbidden in our neighborhood, too...hmmm... :)

Ed, thanks for the encouraagement, and it's so true...those steps add up!!

Hey Cat gal :) Y'know, I'm going RIGHT now to reserve my copy from the library website...can you believe I've gone this long without ever reading it? Thanks for the nudge!

P~ said...

yeah Robbyn, we've had that same conversation many times. In fact, it was those conversations that have led us to many of the beliefs that dictate how we make our decisions on many of the things that affect our lives together.
I if may mention the name of my blog without sounding like a total shill for it, "a posse ad esse" evolved from the same feeling of needing to take back power. It means from possibility to reality, as I'm sure you've read before, but that's how we try to look at things. What's possible and how can we get thereand make it reality.
best of luck on your continued journey.