I need to apply a little resource conservation around here. I think I am sufficiently “green” in our refuse handling, though there can always be improvements in that area. What I really need is to apply the same process to my life as to my trash.
Reduce – I’m gradually coming to terms with the fact that I need to simplify my life and surroundings by ditching or donating the clutter and unnecessary stuff we live with. I have done it along the way, if only to make room for more and better clutter as the kids grow and change. I’m not really talking about that kind of shift, more a move to less. We don’t need all the things that we fill our homes with, we merely want them. I require so much less than I used to believe, but things are difficult to let go of. Someone has gifted them, we liked them years ago, they are a part of our visual landscape, we have always had them – those are all excuses I have used myself in clutching on to possessions. I need to cultivate a ruthless attitude and only keep what I need. My first job is determining what I can do without.
Reuse – If I reduce enough, there won’t be things I need to reuse. Instead, I should repurpose some of the knowledge my mother and father left me with. There are concepts and ideals they followed that could be shaped to fit my life today. They were frugal and only spent what they had. Family connections were vital. My mother believed in community service, through groups and volunteering. My father loved being at home and was content in his own company, yet was the life of the party when he went out. They both were there to help whenever help was needed, be it around the neighborhood or for family. My second job is determining what I can do more with.
Recycle – It has been quite a while since I had time for myself and the happy luxury of filling it. Old skills and interests were put on the back burner for so long that they just boiled away. I need to take the time to remember what activities I used to enjoy and hold them up against the person I have become, to see if they still fit. For those that do, it will be a rediscovery. For those that don’t, perhaps they will meld into a current interest and reform. My third job is determining what I can recreate and do today.
The three Rs of “empty nesting” – restrain, reconnect, and reinvent.