I’ve written about some of the thought work I’ve been working on for the last two years or so, and I have a new thought I’m really digging: “I live aligned with my values.”
What would that look like?
I’d move: walking, biking for transportation and enjoyment, running, hiking, swimming, playing with my kids, skiing, yoga-ing, and dare I say, dancing? I’d be outside in all kinds of weather: in the garden, in the yard, in the neighborhood, in parks, camping. I’d be on screens, sometimes: for connection, for efficiency, for learning. I’d be off screens most times: for connection, for efficiency, for learning. I’d be decisive, willing to fail, and imperfect. I’d be avoiding plastic and new goods wherever possible; I’d be using a bike whenever I could.
I’d be living with less stuff in my home so I wouldn’t feel so stressed out about it, yet with enough to feel abundant and cozy. I’d be working actively to be satisfied with my material goods, including whatever home I’d be living in, instead of always seeking the greener grass. When making purchases I’d be taking the time to shop at the hyper local shops I treasure – right now, I could 90% live my daily life within two miles of my home and 99% within 10 miles. I’d spend money free of guilt and not second-guess purchases large or small – neither being unnecessarily frugal just for the sake of it, nor spending in order to avoid a small inconvenience or more importantly, avoid or create any feeling. I’d allow myself simply to spend money, and not attach many unspoken and vague conditions in order to grant myself the right to spend. In doing so, I’d assert myself as a full and equal financial partner in the household with the right to achieve my own dreams and desires regardless of my partner’s level of comfort. I’d either have to be comfortable with setting aside some of my earnings outside of the household pot and/or earning some more through other avenues in order to control these funds in the pursuit of my dreams.
I’d be fully present without guilt at work when at work, at home when at home, and with myself when with myself. I’d create community in, well, creative ways and breathe life into some of my many ideas instead of just letting them knock around in my head. I’d chance to participate in the community life in ways I feel called, while accepting that those ways can also feel hard and give me a bit of anxiety. I’d embrace the plans I set for myself, whether for daily eating and tasks, weekly schedules, or steps to meet long term goals. I would keep seeking the balance of being considerate to others while not really caring what they think of me, my plans or what’s important to me in the world. I’d love my partner in life for who he is, neither putting him on a pedestal nor expecting him to be anything other than exactly just the wonderful person he is.
I’d be soft on myself when I forget my journey and my vision – when I’m in Target the day after Christmas excitedly acquiring more plastic detritus – remind myself, love myself free of judgment, learn and move on.