rosefox: Me looking out a window, pensive. (thoughtful)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2017-05-29 05:36 am

"Living in a bubble"

[personal profile] siderea linked to this post:

I know you want to, and you are constantly being told that you must, excel at and be committed to, for example:

1. earning a living wage
2. healing from and/or dealing with injury, illness, emotional trauma, disability
3. basic self-care and adulting (laundry, financial management, etc.)
4. family relationships (finding/maintaining romance, caring for kids and/or elders, dealing with family drama)
5. a social life beyond that
6. a fulfilling and fulfilled creative life
7. service to the community
8. social and political activism
9. self-improvement and continuing education
10. physical fitness (maintaining and building)
11. fun hobbies
12. spiritual growth

...plus enough downtime to keep you functional.

But excelling at each of those is equivalent to a full-time job and you cannot physically do them all. In fact, our society considers basic competence at
two of them to be a passing grade. ONLY TWO.

The idea is that you're supposed to look at this list and agree that it's impossible to do it all and then feel relief from the pressure. But I'm really pleased to realize that I'm doing very well in almost all of those categories. My social life isn't as busy as it used to be, but that's fine, it'll come back as Kit gets older. Creativity and hobbies are one category for me and I've always got something going; since I'm doing historical research for Valour Advances right now, that brings in continuing education as well. If I expand #12 as "spiritual and psychological growth" I've got that covered. Tomorrow I'm going to get a new prescription for occupational therapy and add physical fitness back onto the list in a formal way, but I've informally been doing fairly well at it (picking up a 25-pound toddler is great for building upper body strength). About all I'm missing is activism as distinct from service to the community; my Twitter and DW PSAs, and my Story Hospital posts, fall into the latter category rather than the former. I do wish I could do more direct political activism but I'm coming to accept that I can't right now, not with everything else I have on my plate.

[personal profile] siderea proposed a 13th category of "recovering from catastrophe". I'd add a 14th of "coping with oppression, marginalization, danger, and/or abuse". I feel like the secret to doing everything I do is that I don't have to manage assholes in pretty much any part of my life. My spouses are great, my friends are great, my family drama is minimal, my boss and colleagues are great, I'm not being targeted by trolls, etc. I'm a queer trans polyamorous weirdo, but I'm in a place where it's pretty safe to be that way. I don't have to worry about my home being unsafe for me, or about being kicked out of it. I have health insurance and a savings account. Safety is what lets me get a ton of shit done. I'm not having to manage my safety. If I were—I know from experience—it would be the other 13 categories' worth of work all in one.

So I suppose this list represents my political philosophy too: the job of society is to take on category 14 for everyone. Reduce oppression, marginalization, danger, and abuse in order to enable people to lead fulfilling and satisfying lives in every possible dimension. I live in a tiny magical bubble where I've made that possible for myself and my family, and it's great. I want it for everyone.
gingicat: drawing of me based on wedding photo (Default)

[personal profile] gingicat 2017-05-29 11:53 am (UTC)(link)
Well, some of these are interdependent for me.
eustaciavye77: (Default)

[personal profile] eustaciavye77 2017-05-29 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Great perspective on this. I have definitely noticed the same general issue in my life with similar results as I eliminate drama, asshats and unsafe situations.
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

[personal profile] ironed_orchid 2017-05-29 11:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I find if I am coping with #1 and #3, the rest mostly fall into place. But I don't have a demanding family life, my job is a form of community service and social activism, and my downtime includes creative hobbies.
yarrowkat: (Default)

[personal profile] yarrowkat 2017-05-30 10:07 pm (UTC)(link)
i concur wholeheartedly with your statement that society's job is to solve for everyone's safety (in all the ways) so that we can each attend to the rest. i feel very lucky to have been given and to have created a place safe enough for myself and others to do that!

that list leaves me feeling really good about my life -- i think i'm doing fine in all those categories. as others said, several of them are interdependent -- and i live with my chosen family on a small farm where we grow a ton of food with which we feed ourselves, preserve for later, and feed others -- farm volunteers & family first, including anybody who comes down for an hour now and then, whom we will load up with veggies & fresh eggs, then what's surplus we sell to our friends & to a couple local cafes. we do a lot of small acts of food activism as part of our routine farm process (like, giving a flat of tomato seedlings to some folks who are getting gardens into elementary schools, or donating the remainder of our lettuce crop to Food Karma Cafe. so i feel like activism & community engagement & physical fitness are all rolled into the farm, with an on-again/off-again side helping of healing/ fun social life/ fun hobbies.