If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.
Economists continue to natter about whether we’re in a recession. Everyone is changing their habits regardless. I’m not a hard believer in “peak oil,” but I wonder if this is what it would look like: people flooding state parks instead of flying away for vacation; more people taking public transportation; airlines cancelling flights and flying slower to save fuel? Here in Syracuse, I don’t know if the larger trends are that noticeable. I mean, we already have an OK bus system; we use nearby state parks (ie Green Lakes) on a regular basis for fun; and the airlines seem to ignore us anyway. Nevertheless, I’m sure everyone is planning some sort of cutback.
One cutback for me has been food — or rather, changing my approach to eating. I don’t think I consume too much in general, but I just never plan my meals (dinner being the worst). Since my teens, I’ve eaten like I was raised by wolves. Maybe this is an opportunity to grow up and ensure there is something coherent to at least heat up — and savor — at the end of the day. This involves thinking things through and buying more versatile ingredients. (Sea salt and cracked pepper potato chips are tasty, but not too many recipes call for them.)
But I’m not going to ditch my current car for a Prius just yet. I like my car (no, it’s not a Hummer), and I’d rather keep driving it to places and people I care most about, and taking a bus to the other places. Maybe that’s a politically incorrect choice, but that’s the one I’m making right now.
I’m concerned that some people, especially in previously “prosperous” places that have to take a harder economic fall, are going to hurl themselves in a panic at too many choices, too soon — perhaps with disastrous results. Ironically, we have to pick and choose the choices we have enough energy to make wisely, so complicated our society has become.