Ten Things to Make you Feel Better



In this age of Trump, fake news, insanity and stupidity everyone needs something to make them feel better.  Here are ten suggestions guaranteed to help:

  1. Plant something and take care of it; start a garden.
  2. Go for a bicycle ride.
  3. Cook something completely from scratch (and drink wine while you’re doing it).
  4. Do something to help someone, but do it anonymously.
  5. Do #3 and take it to a neighbor.
  6. Take a long weekend and spend it in an expensive hotel.
  7. Go for a hike on a quiet trail, early in the morning (and I mean early!)
  8. Write a letter (on paper with a pen) to a friend.
  9. Close all the windows, all the curtains, and the doors and spend a day doing nothing.  Note: be sure to stock up with your favorite food for this one.
  10. Take a first step towards a long put-off dream.

Do not expect these suggestions to have the expected consequences, but if you delve into them in full guaranteed fulfillment is a certain consequent.


Work, Rest, Repeat


There’s only so many hours in a day.  That is the lesson to learn if one is to try to take a self-sufficient idea to a self-sufficient reality.  Some of those hours are better spent resting and some are better spent working.  There is a balance and I notice it when I swing by (thanks to J. Mellencamp for that bit of word play).  This week was to be the week where both the greenhouse and the woodshed were to be started (not started) as well as my wife’s desk (started), and the cabinet doors and closet door for a new built in finished (done).  I did mention to catch a bad head cold.

I don’t believe I’m lazy, but looking back over the week the projects fell short.  But is that really the case?  There must be time for rest and relaxation; we all know that.  Taking time, however, is a different story.  Work defines us to a great extent and there is nothing wrong with that, but the guilt of not getting all the projects going is ridiculous.  There are those out there that feel this way and know what the importance of rest and relaxation are.  They also know how difficult it is to do when there is a list of things to be done.

Self-employment carries the weight of work rather than the joy of work, but this is unfortunate.  Often those self-employed become that for the simple reason of making decisions for themselves.  However, the reality is often the opposite: the projects needing to be finished make the decisions for them.  There is nothing wrong with having to work until late in the evening or even “crazy” hours, but there is something skewed to the thought that one must do this.

I, like many, enjoy working and the feeling that comes with finishing a job, doing it correctly and being able to look upon something built with my own hands.  This is a craft-less world that needs more time, not more things.  This is, perhaps, a good thing to remember when we wake up in the morning with a list of unfinished projects or unfinished business. The business of rest is equally important and (as I am finding) equally difficult as business as usual.

The Revolution of Food


The word revolution conjures up scenes of violence and mayhem, but as history has shown us violent and political revolution often leads societies backwards towards the historical reasons for the revolution rather than forwards towards a better, more progressive approach to the original problem.  The French revolted, and the original problems of the time still exist today.  In America much is the same after the American Revolution.  While the ruling class is not longer the British, oligarchy still reigns over this country.  This oligarchical control is not governmental, however, but corporate.


Perhaps it is the nature of revolutionary acts to be cyclical?  Perhaps it is the nature of human beings that we must make the necessary mistakes, take the necessary shortcuts in order to learn that mistakes only count if we actually do learn from them, or that shortcuts are illusionary?  But we must learn from them, and understand that shortcuts are only as good as our reasons for taking them.  If revolution in all its forms is cyclical, then the ethical perspective relies upon the intention that instigates the revolution in the first place rather than the consequences of the acts themselves.


It is typically the intention of military revolutions to overthrow a government and the implication of that act is for the revolutionaries to become the governing body.  The intention, it can be said, is to govern and thus the cycle is complete.  The corporate food industry claims that its’ intention is to feed the world, because (it claims) more traditional methods fail to do so.  It has “overthrown” traditional methods and thus the cycle is complete.  However, like the military revolutionaries that become dictators, the industrial food complex has become the very problem that is proposed to solve because it has not acted honestly and with the right intentions.   Revolution fails if the intentions are not honest, and are not honestly come by.


Consider the reasons behind the corporate food revolution of the 40’s and 50’s: surplus chemicals from the Second World War; the surplus of corn because of technological advances, and the need for the government to create jobs, summed up in the Nixon administration by Earl Butz and his constituents.  Food ceased to be a human necessity and became an economic opportunity.


There is Truth in food and it must be the intention of those that revolt to turn from the shortcuts and mistakes made in the name of the almighty dollar and define themselves and their actions by the natural limitations that exist.  The comfort of Supermarket shopping and packaged goods and the ease of “just add water; makes it own sauce” mentalities must change and will change.  The question is how?  Will these changes come at our intentional beckoning or will they come in the form of catastrophic damages as a result of fuzzy thinking, lazy attitudes, greed and avarice?


The present food revolution leads us towards a place that we have visited before: the agrarian lifestyle, but we can only hope that unlike the military and political revolutions, we are the prodigal sons realizing our mistakes and hopefully learning from the corporate shortcuts that we have chosen to follow.  The food revolution is ironically progressive, ironic because it forces us to realize that the sustainable lifestyles lead to greater happiness because they are natural, not in lieu of being natural.  We must revolt, but we must do so quietly, concertedly and with the right intention.  But, most of all we must do so honestly.