Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Change is a funny thing. Some changes are gradual like my journey into veganism, which started so many years ago because of a picture of muscle fiber bundles in an anatomy and physiology textbook. Other changes are more abrupt and startling to those who aren't living inside your skin, esperiencing the world through your eyes. I feel like I'm on the edge of several of the second type of change. Here's a peek at why.

Try as I might, my job keeps infringing on my personal life. If I can't get this under control soon, I'm going to have to seriously consider making a change in September.

I'm feeling more and more disconnected from the affluence and the desire for affluence that is pervading the area I live in. I do not want or need a house twice the size of the modest one I already live in, which is just shy of 1800 square feet. I grew up with 4 siblings and both my parents living in a house that was about 1100 square feet. I was not emotionally crippled from sharing my space and belongings with my siblings. Although, I did envy my brother, the only boy, who eventually ended up with his own room:)

Similarly, I don't want to drive a big SUV. I acutally look forward to the day that I can trade my minivan in for a much smaller car, preferably one with a stick shift so I can pretend I'm driving a sporty car while I have my midlife crisis and getting good gas mileage. Better yet, I'm itching to abandon using the car as much as possible and rely more on public transportation, walking or biking.

Everytime I see a new shopping center or giant house pop up I cringe inwardly. Did we need another Walgreens or Bed Bath & Beyond? How many Starbucks are necessary in a 10 mile radius? Why do we need all these dollar stores filled largely with low quality products destined to wind up in our landfills after only a few uses? Why is our local grocery store giving away reusable bags but instead of filling them, they're putting them inside plastic grocery bags?

Whatever change I make will be deliberate and thought out, no matter how abrupt and startling it may seem to those around me.


Ruthie said...

Katie --

Sometimes I feel like we have the same brain! :) I too, at times, feel completely disconnected from those around me. Luckily, we moved to a small town with many walkable amendenities (in the Summer, of course). I've also wondered about you and your job, and how you can handle the increase in hours, seeing as you have four kids and live so wonderfully sustainably and simply as you do. I've always admired your resourcefulness and creativity in all aspects of your life that you have shared here, and it seems to me that, the more time I spend away from home (i.e. at work), the less resourceful and creative I have the time to be. It becomes more like "I will make ____ or do ____ when I have the time and energy" but the time and energy are rarely there.

Good luck in whatever you decide, and I will support you no matter what!

Casey Kochmer said...

Judging from your statements, I don't think you will experience a midlife crisis since you are flowing with the changes of your nature. You have a strong sense of how and where you are going. So If you buy a red sports car, it's not due to having a crisis, it's simply because you want a fun car that fits your needs, to drive.

Many of us are disconnected from this current society, and as more of us simply live well and to our own nature, an interesting thing will happen. We won't have a midlife crisis, it will reflect out and rather society will experience a midlife crisis as others will try to live their own life well as we do show it can be done.

That is if we all have the strength to be true to ourselves.

Peace to your journey, it are those like you who actually do make a difference the world.

Katie said...


I read your blog not long after I posted. We might actually share the same brain!

I'm struggling through exactly what you describe, the more time I spend at work or doing things for work, the less time and energy I have for the things that truly matter to me. I wish I hated my job, that would make it so much easier. Thanks for understanding.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. You're quite right, I don't think I'll actually have a midlife crisis either.

It is interesting, the idea of society experiencing a midlife crisis. I see that a bit in the people around me who seem to feel compelled to do what is expected of them, rather than what they feel in their hearts. It is about being true to ourselves and our ideals.

Kali said...

I can understand where you're coming from. I often feel disconnected from those around me. I see the people at work use 4 or 5 styrofoam cups a day for their coffee. I see them go out to lunch every day. I don't see many people who are trying to lighten their footprint on the earth and that is sad.