I spent one afternoon this week with a friend whom I hadn't seen for quite a while. While it was a great afternoon, I was left with the strangest impression that she was laughing at me when she left.
Perhaps the impression was made by the audible sound of her laughter. It wasn't subtle. And I don't think she was laughing with me. It was definitely at me. It was very strange.
Because I live with the thoughts and rationale that go on in my own head, the changes that have been sneaking up into my life are no surprise to me, but perhaps they are not entirely seen as normal to others.
While in university, I learned that no one is actually normal. On the bell curve, normal is defined as the area directly under the top of the bell. You can't actually measure the area under a point. Everyone falls to the right or left of normal. That might be a flawed memory from statistics but that's the way I remember it, and my friends and I were always kind of proud to be abnormal. Normal would be boring, wouldn't it?
On the other hand, I've never thought I was weird. I think of myself as rational, logical or at least practical. That thinking may be flawed too. You don't have to confirm or comment. In fact, please refrain from comment! In any case, I don't think people generally laugh at me.
What do I do now that's changed all that?
I've moved towards a more local diet. Driven by finances, food allergies, a love of gardening, sense of accomplishment, enjoying this new understanding of food and where it comes from, etc. I'm not fanatical about it though. I still think I do only what is easy for me to do and what fits within our limited budget. No real sacrifices are being made and we aren't eating bugs or weeds or anything. And I still buy bananas and melons from the other side of the planet. I'm starting to rethink that though.
I try not to use much plastic. I haven't bought ziplock bags for ages, and use the same cloth grocery bags that everyone else uses these days.
I also try not to buy many paper products. Toilet paper, yes, but no more Kleenex, paper towels or napkins, and I use a Diva cup and washable liners. (Too much information? Sorry! This is mostly a female group here.)
Community gardens, urban chickens and sustainability have also been on my mind a lot over the last year.
I try not to use my dryer for clothes unless I get really behind on my laundry.
Have I gotten weird? To me, all of those things just make practical sense. I'm not spouting theories about Peak Oil or forcing anyone to justify their own purchases and life decisions. Do what works for you. This works for me.
In a past life I worked in the marketing department of a pet food company. One Christmas the staff had assigned pet food brands made in our plant to everyone on staff. Things like Light Cat (for overweight or inactive Cats), Senior Dog, Large Breed, No Name, Kitty Krunch, Extreme, Sport, Brown Bag Dog Food. They were assigned based on personality, or smell (!), age or weight, price or market opinion of the brand, whatever.
I was labelled "Go Natural". While some took this as a reflection of my looks (I didn't dye my hair, style my hair even, or wear much makeup), I understood this to be a lifestyle thing and thought it quite complimentary. I didn't really question why they chose this brand to reflect me.
I think that's all I'm trying to do with my lifestyle now more than ever. And I'm fine with that.