Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year's Ambiguity

Well, here we are in 2009 already. I don't feel particularly hopeful or excited, but mostly just strange and ambiguous about what the year will bring.

Over the past nine days I've been out of town, visiting with family and friends on Vancouver Island. In speaking with people there, there seems to be little in the way of concern for how things might go in the future. I heard people talk about the economy rebounding later this year or early in 2010, and how they look forward to things getting back to "normal." Things are being spruced up for the 2010 Vancouver winter Olympics, so there are building projects here and there, with large industrial cranes dotting the skyline even in Victoria. Making mention of the possibility that things may not 'normalize' so quickly, if ever, is glossed over. I don't press the point much, since I'm a guest in people's homes and it seems guests shouldn't be unpleasant or difficult, especially over the holidays. And, I confess, it is easy to revert into that mindset, to think that things will continue to be as they have always been: easy, convenient, pleasant and benign. But yet I can't escape the knowledge that all things change; nothing is permanent.

So, I'll get back to doing the stuff that makes sense no matter what the future holds: paying off debt, storing some food, learning some new and practical skills, getting better at gardening, trying to make do with less, and continuing to work on becoming a more compassionate person.

Maybe that's my long way of saying that I'm resolving to make 2009 a year of more walk and less talk.

12 comments:

Isle Dance said...

Exellent ideas.

SoapBoxTech said...

I'm with you, Theresa.

Desiree said...

Yup, I agree with you 100% about change and things probably not turning over for awhile. Maybe we're wrong, but the situation we're in took years to snowball and only just arrived at our door. To think that we can get rid of all that snow in such a short amount of time is crazy. We all know how long winter can last. You know what I mean?

I think a lot of us in this kind of "circle" of blogs are saying the same thing about 2009. Funny though, because I can't bring myself to call those goals "resolutions". To do so would mean that they probably wont happen, or that they are temporary. I want them to be permanent and find their way into my life.

Here's wishing you and your warmth and happiness this winter and year.

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Theresa said...

I've removed the previous post as per my blog policies (see sidebar), particularly my commitment to keeping this blog non-commercial and spam-free. I hope the commenter returns to join in on the conversation, but I don't want this blog to be used merely as a vehicle for advertising for other sites.

Theresa said...

Isle Dance - thanks :)

SBT - I hope this year brings some more realization of the situation to the general populace and we all start working together to re-construct our lifestyles in a sustainable way.

Desiree - I felt funny putting the word 'resolution' in there too. I don't generally make resolutions. On the other hand, I figured that New Years Day was as good as any other day to reaffirm and recommit to what I was doing already.

Thanks for the wishes for warmth and happiness - I send these back to you as well, and to everyone. (The warmth part is much appreciated, as it was -37 again this morning!)

ruralaspirations said...

Sigh, it's a classic case here in Vancouver - we think we're Different, that it will Never Happen Here. Real estate can only go up, rich Asians will keep buying stuff here, and the Olympics will be a cash boon. Too many realtors and other so-called "experts" (with an obvious conflict of interest) are perpetuating the idea that it will all get better in the Spring. Yeah, right.

abuddhistperspective said...

I like your “resolution” of more walk and less talk. :-)

The first half of 2008, I lived in the US where people listened politely, but the reality hadn't really set in. They were, and still largely are I’m afraid, waiting for things to return to normal.

Mid-year I returned to Australia. When I have given talks about the changes we're facing, the audiences were in complete agreement. People here are generally more prepared with rainwater tanks, solar, gardens, and do-it-yourself skills. Probably with a simpler lifestyle—and not having moved up quite so high on the ladder of consumption—it’s easier to accept that we’re all headed back down the ladder. That all things change; nothing is permanent.

Isle Dance said...

A Buddhist Perspective - How neat to see that where you're at. It's more the norm in the US remote/island regions to be aware of these things, too. Might be one of the reasons standard infrustructure feels unnatural to me.

Theresa said...

RA - good points. I think Alberta has that same idea of "Different." It seems to be the collective view here that having the oilsands means we will always be rolling in dough. Yet even I remember the last boom/bust cycle from the '80s - it can and will happen again here.

Venerable Wuling - I'm glad to hear that the people of Australia are open to the ideas of change. Even though I have never been to Australia, I have always had the impression that people there are more familiar with the unmitigated effects of weather/climate and have perhaps a better appreciation for nature's power. In Canada we have certainly attained a similar level of affluence to that of the US, but it is on a smaller scale and we also retain a healthy sense of awe of the forces of nature, and so prepare for things like power outages in the depths of winter, snow/ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and such. But we do see these as short term emergencies rather than things to adapt to in the long run, probably similar to people in the US. A lot of this is speculation on my part of course. But like IsleDance says, I think that people who live in more remote areas, or areas that are (or could be) at a remove from supply lines tend to take these things more seriously. Hmm...I am rambling excessively and will stop now :)

Theresa said...

Isle Dance, what do you mean by 'standard infrastructure' and how does it feel unnatural to you? Would this mean things like emergency alarm systems that require electricity to run?

Isle Dance said...

Theresa - By standard infrustructure, I mean the systems we set our communities up on, to keep things running (power lines, sewer, etc.). I feel claustrophobic when driving into more developed areas. Yet there are some very important services offered within the system, for which I'm so grateful. Knowing how to survive outside of it, being free from it whenever desired, or keeping it small, is so nice to me. By no means am I 100% free from it, but things here are much simpler and more connected to nature/the seasons (hence why I'm still stranded in snow). :o)