So true Bob; The times they are a changing

2 07 2012

As I woke this morning I had on my mind the changing patterns in our lives, not just for the two of us, but in general.

The shape of mine and Alistair’s of course has changed since the curve ball in December, but in reality that really only sped up the inevitable changes that would have happened anyway. Or to put it another way, it forced our hand to realise our dreams (I know it was supposed to be a barge, but hey ho the essence of the dream is there and Gladys has come in a worthy runner up, in fact maybe  she’s not a runner up at all).

Its not the living in a small space out in the open that was tugging at us. It was and is the desire to be free. To be free of the shackles of so much need, so much materialism, so much unnecessary stuff. To be free from the capitalist monster that we had become slaves to. To be free from the trappings of greed and the idea of having to have that permeated our life even though we did our best to rally against it.

For me, this has been a long time coming.

My first marriage was the epitome of materialism. And please, don’t get me wrong, for a long time I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was as into the designer labels as the next wealthy wife and, in the absence of hindsight, didn’t understand that it was the  gold card that eased the pain of  some lonely times. And for my ex husband, like many, he believed that in providing a lovely home, holidays and a fabulous standard of living for us, he had fulfilled his responsibility to us and this was also the way he showed his love.

But change was and is inevitable.

Inner growth happened, my consciousness rose, I begun to challenge my beliefs and I chose to move forwards in to the great unknown. Otherwise, for sure I would have stagnated and become very stuck, very unhappy and more reliant on things outside of myself to create the illusion of happiness   (I was already halfway there with spending and drinking).

Slowly over time the seeds of change have been sown and harvested throughout the growing of mine and Alistair’s relationship too. And these changes have lead us finally to the way we live our life today.

I can count on one hand the number of times we have been to a shopping mall over the last 12 years, I think its three. We stopped shopping in supermarkets some years ago, although I have to confess with the curve ball and organic food being essential I have had to venture into Waitrose from time to time and Planet Organic. We have both made a concerted effort to support small independent businesses over the mass markets wherever we can (perhaps also in recognition of our dismal failures as shop keepers a few years ago when our little hippy shop ‘Merlins’ in Brentwood failed so specatularly). And for myself, to the amazement of those who knew me well previously in my former life, I have delighted in shopping in Oxfam and any other charity/ secondhand or vintage shop wherever and whenever I can.

We recycle and up cycle wherever we can and living an alternative lifestyle has also forced us to be much more ecological about  our use of water, electricity and gas and our non use of supermarkets and plastic containers wherever possible has not only cut down on our exposure to the hormone disrupter BPA but on packaging and waste too.

So as I look back both through my own memory bank and my old photo albums I can see clearly that the metaphorical clothes we wore 12 years ago just don’t fit us anymore and how we are today does fit, really well.

Thankfully, we have embraced our journey of change together albeit at slightly differing times from each other. Inevitably and sadly as the tapestry of our life has changed,  friendships and social patterns have also changed. Memories of old times will always be held dearly  but letting go of what was and embracing what is has allowed the flow of  the energy of change to guide us to how we ‘be’ today. A couple of modern day hippies, doing what we can to help ourselves, to help Mother Earth and to live life for as long as we have a healthy and happy life with our children and children’s children and a little bit of travel thrown in for good measure.

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