Sep 20, 2008

Be Forgiving of Yourself and Others

I got some nice responses/comments on the last post, one of which expressed appreciation that I could admit that it's difficult to hold perfectly to the ideals that I profess. In return, I appreciate that sentiment. It reminded me of a sticker a rad girl had on her bike a few years back: Be Forgiving of Yourself and Others.

I think it's really important not to trip out on perfection. I'm a bit type A, so I can sometimes be very demanding of myself and the folks I love in terms of principles. I am constantly learning about acceptance and not being hard on myself for straying from principles that I espouse. My dad has always cautioned me about sweating the small things. And I agree to the sweat part: though I continue to consider the small things (like packaging, food transport distance, water re-use possibilities), I try to put those thoughts toward creativity rather than criticism, for either myself or others.

The Compact is really functional in that way. We started this as friends so there was no getting kicked out of the challenge. It's fun in part because it's realistic that we'll falter at some point and most of us are a bit competitive. So even though I shopped at REI like a freak, and I bought a new cellphone (which I'm sure I'll pass on before returning to the States in leiu of the chewy antennae phone), I'm still allowed to talk about anti-consumption issues. I'm still a Compactor even if I need a month off the hardcore challenge.

I had to tell some potential future housemates today that I wouldn't consider buying new appliances/furniture if we needed to furnish the hypothetical flat. "What about a toaster?" one girl said. Of course I responded that I've never had a new toaster. I also said that I think toast is a lot more important here than it is in the US! But my used toaster always worked just fine. I'm sure Blake's still using it to toast his frozen, high protein, Alvarado St bread. But in reality, I can't afford to help furnish a flat even if the wares are used. Oi, still room hunting....

OH, I keep forgetting to mention biking in London is crazy hectic! But I kinda love it. I'm not a 'fraidy cyclist so the intensity is mostly ok. I'm sure when the rain hits (it's been deceptively gorgeous for the 5 days I've been here) and my brain gets burned from school that I'll be bitching about all the bendy/double decker buses, taxis, and silly drivers. For now I'm taking advantage of my free time by trying to navigate simply by instinct between destinations. I'm doing ok. On Wednesday I thought I might go insane, but by today I feel fairly confident about my orientation.

I gotta get back to the room hunt. Some freak just tried to run a stupid scam on me (400 pound deposit before viewing the room, right). I'm so ready to get my crap outta my bags!

1 comment:

EccentricEmma said...

we used to have a toaster where you had to hold down the lever with a biscuit tin. made me laugh, as toast is a pretty integral part of the british breakfast. or snacktime. now we just use the grill. which y'know, came free with the oven.