Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Moving Forward When Times Are Tough

by Gavin, from The Greening of Gavin.

Some days I have no inspiration or get up and go, but never from a lack of enthusiasm!  Today is one of those days.

When you embark on a lofty life goal such as mine, it is quite intense during the day. Juggling a full time job, coming home to a wonderful family, but then catching up on Sustainable Living group responsibilities and then spreading the green word via this blog and my personal blog, The Greening of Gavin, and then garden maintenance on weekends. It certainly makes for a very busy week, but I wouldn't miss all that action for the world.

However, when you come down with an illness or cronic injury that you just can't budge, it shakes your routine, beliefs/behaviours and sometimes your world. Deadlines get missed, promises get broken, and inevitablbly projects get delayed. I have one of those cronic injuries, that doesn't seem to want to go away, and I get very frustrated when I have a relapse, as I am now. One of my chief values is congruence, doing and delivering what I say I am going to do, but with this injury, I have had to learn to reassess timelines and promises.

With a 48% reduction in income, limited physical capability, and struggling to pay our mortgage, it really puts preasure, and self doubt within me when I don't or can't provide, or get all obligations, let alone my green projects started or even completed. Life just gets hectic and you have to slow right down and recover. Everyone has these days, and I certainly realise I am not Robinson Crusoe when it comes to ill health.

The only thing that keeps me strong is my family, my personal values and belief set, and the realisation that all the carbon reducing behaviours that we already have in place do not get thrown out the window just because I am in pain or imobile.  Back in the old days, it could become all too hard and pointless. I remember that this would be the first thing to go if I was sick before I had my green epiphany. Waste would accumulate, too lazy to recycle, too tired to turn off the lights when leaving the room, or too tired or complacent to actually do much at all except lay infront of the telly and veg out and put it all in the too hard basket!

Now, I have been living with this back injury for 2 and a bit years, and the circumstances of how it happened are quite ironic and somewhat humourus, but know that I am not alone in the world and there are people with greater and worse afflictions, so this post is not a call for sympanthy or sorrow on my behalf.

It is simply a message to remind me and all of us that when you feel low, or don't think that you can keep up with the change towards a simple life or whatever your life goal is, think again and think hard. The end game is worth all the effort if you really, really believe in that goal. Don't let anything get in your way, because if you let an established habit slip, then it is just as hard to get back to where you started again.  The old saying 'two steps forward, one step back' comes to mind. However, if the citizens of the world don't make the changes we are seeking, then nobody else will. Governments are already struggling to get concensus on climate change targets, and most Corporations will not give a hoot until Governments act.  It is truely up to the people of the world to change it for the better.

So, when feeling low or in pain, as I am now, I always try to remember of all the great things I have achieved so far on our journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and that things will always get better. All I have to do is take baby steps each, and every day, and put one foot in front of the other. That is all anyone could possibly ask of themselves or their fellow global citizens!

Lets all take those baby steps together in the right direction.  Big things will happen, I just know they will!