Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wandered far afield

That's a term one of my old bosses used in management meetings when he and the two under-managers he supervised (one of whom was me) would find some topic related to work, but not actually pertaining to work directly, and happily chat about it for a half-hour or so before finding our way back to business.

"Well, we've wandered far afield..." he would say, and that was our cue that we needed to get back to the real business at hand.

And it's a term I've rediscovered in these first days of 2016, as it applies to myself and the life I've been living.

One of the ways hit home yesterday, when there was a power outage at about 8 a.m. The house was cold and dark, and because we chose an electrically-driven pellet stove instead of a wood stove the house hadn't warmed up yet, and now would have no chance of doing so. We have a central heating system we use for back-up, but of course it doesn't work without electricity either. 

So as the temperature dropped inside and I bundled up, I reviewed that choice. Did I ever.

So I sat in the cold and read my Kindle, played music on my iPod and checked Facebook and email on my phone until those devices all died. At that point I decided to head into town to run some errands (thank God I had gas), where at least I'd be in some warm buildings and I could use the car to charge all my devices and run the heater while driving around, which felt SO delicious after being in a cold house for several hours, let me tell you.

Where I feel like I am.

One ironic thing is that the book I was reading before my Kindle died was one called "Patient Heal Thyself" about a young man who discovers healing of his Crone's disease through eating a diet identical to what our biblical ancestors would have eaten 2,000 years or more ago. Yes, I was reading a book about the diet of the 20 BC man on a 21st century Kindle. Boggles the mind, no? If it had been on papyrus I could have at least kept reading without fear of a battery dying.

Anyway, the book reminded me of a time when I adhered to a similar diet just through making healthy food choices and refusing to buy into the industrial food system of feedlot beef, trans-fats, refined sugar, and over-processed bleached white flour. While I haven't backslid all the way (you will not find me in line at McDonald's when McRib returns, for instance) I have cut corners as life got more busy and complex and food still needed to be served. 

So to review, I cut corners by getting a pellet stove instead of a wood stove and I cut corners by just accepting what the regular supermarket thought I should be eating. It's an uncomfortable truth that sometimes we know what the right thing is to do and still do something else anyway. And when we do that, we wander far afield from the selves we want to be.

The solution for the pellet stove is a simple one -- we can buy a small generator for the house or a back-up battery for the stove itself. And the solution to the food issue is there as well. We're already growing a lot of what we eat, but the fact is, even if we had 10 times as many acres we would probably still not grow everything we consume. And so the choice then becomes to purchase those things at the health food store, expensively, or drive an hour's south to the local Whole Foods Market and get it there.

And since I've committed to getting back to those things that matter most to me in 2016, perhaps you'll notice something of a course correction as we get farther into the year. It will be a homecoming of sorts. I've wandered far afield, and it's time to get back on the road I most want to be on -- gardening, planting, conscious food-buying, and healthy living.  It doesn't so much mean giving up on any good things as much as taking the time for different good things that aren't necessarily as easy to come by. 

One thing is for sure: When you wander far afield, eventually the road that leads home will call you back to it, if you're willing to listen. I'm listening, road. I'm listening.

Where I want to be.


  1. You don't seem far afield to me! But I know the feeling and am dealing with it as well. Figures that your answer would be to focus and work hard. My answer? Well, I'm thinking a vacation to clear my head... Haha. Though I think I'm struggling a little more with not knowing which road I even want to be called to!
    Hope you've warmed up. We're finally cold here (12 degrees) and got snow today. I'm quite enjoying it, as is Barbie!

    1. 65 glorious degrees today here, I was able to hang wash outside and it was wonderful! Glad you've warmed up, too....guess any snow you had has melted now? I think a vacation is a wonderful opportunity to think about what road you'd like to be on. Sometimes you need to be in new places to give yourself a new perspective and think beyond those old roads that are familiar. Good luck!