The inconvenient truth
I have a confession to make: the dog ate my homework.
Ok, maybe that’s not exactly what happened. Maybe the truth is more like I had planned to write a really scholarly article about the challenges of the zero waste movement and life got in the way.
Er … OK, OK … the truth is that it was a nice sunny day yesterday and I just didn’t feel like researching and I spent most of the afternoon lounging on the porch doing absolutely nothing.
There I’ve said it.
I’m human and, every once in a while, I like to goof off just like everyone else except when I goof off, everyone finds out about it.
So annoying really … you spend 357 days doing your best to save the world and does anyone remember?
But those measly eight days when you played hookey? Or that one time you were tired, and you didn’t triple check your facts?
Don’t get me started …
Now don’t get me wrong I love what I do but, every once in a while even the most committed agent of change needs a break, a breather, a bubble bath, a bad hair day but most of the time when I need this I have a video to film, or editing to do, or an article to write, or a podcast to record and that breather has to be deferred.
Which is fair enough when you are busy helping to change the world but eventually, inevitably, your body just sits down and says: stop!
And when this finally happens, if you are smart you listen to yourself and hit the pause button for an afternoon or so to breathe the air and recharge your batteries even if it isn’t convenient.
Yes, you have a deadline looming, yes, the kids need to be fed, yes, you promised to help your girlfriend but, to care for everyone else in the way they deserve, you first have to care for yourself in the way that you deserve.
And this, as they say, is an inconvenient but undeniable fact.
Particularly now, in the midst of a pandemic that seems to be showing no signs of abating, you might be tempted to aspire to be “perfect” but how can you realistically meet that goal when the circumstances of daily life keep changing?
It is one thing to have ideals you aspire to, but if you take your goals too literally right now the inconvenient truth is that you might just be setting yourself up for failure.
Just as the planet needs to undergo a massive change in the way materials flow through society before the concept of zero waste can be an obtainable state of being, so too must we humans undergo a massive change in the way we accumulate and consume resources, starting with the manner in which we employ our minds and expend our personal energy.
After all, when we spew hate and negativity out into the internet are we really that much different from all the factories belching pollution into the atmosphere?
I would submit that we are not – or at least, that’s how it looked to me from the cosy corner of my porch yesterday.
According to Wikipedia, “zero waste is more of a goal or ideal rather than a hard target”, which seems a fitting way to view a lot of life for the next little while.
By all means have a set of guiding principles that you aspire to, but learn to pace yourself and be realistic in how much you can achieve in the short term as you ready yourself to adjust to larger societal changes as the world transforms around you.
Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/olderhoodgroup1/ or email@example.com