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Grieving, and acceptance without oil

rainey_wilson

Grieving, and acceptance without oil

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Some Netizens have been noting the similarites between the five stages of grief and the way people have been reacting to the oil shock. Like many of you, I have recently been racking up grief experience points. (Oh boy. ) Turns out, I'm not the type to dwell in anger or bargaining. I take that back. A lot of my grievy mindset is spent bargaining that I could skip all the depression for the good ol' days of denial.

When I wasn't scrambling in survival mode & conducting experiments in community, I spent the first half of our 9 month adventure feeling down. First because my longtime kitty companion perished, and then because the grimness of the really bad time, when chaos hit hard & was overwhelming. But somewhere in there acceptance hit--this is our life now, high high gas prices and people coming out of the woodwork to participate in meaningful workarounds. And World Without Oil serving as the central meeting point where we could all report our progress. There has been a certain motivation, a certain fire to fuel, in working for WWO to help keep us all buoyant and active. Now it sounds like it's closing down as an active site, and so is my volunteer stint helping netizens get their contributions posted & updating you-all via podcast. Sounds like the next week is our last.

I feel a fresh round of grief coming on. I will miss this meeting place, and the people who breathed life into it.

This is a familiar feeling, actually. And it's a particular brand of grief. I call it Adventurous Disaster Let-Down, or ADLD. "Addled." I've felt it back in my automotive days, when one car died and I needed rides & public transport till I found the next car. There was a special crackle in the air, Something was Going On.  I've felt it every winter, truth be told, when some shallow-rooted tree tips in the soggy forest soil and blocks the road out to civilization, or knocks out power lines. It's not rare for the power to be out a few days or a week, and I start foil-wrapping potatoes dotted with garlic & butter to toss in the glowing coals of a fire, and fish out my special pot for fireplace hot buttered rum. Then, when the power comes back on, or the usual way to work is restored,  it's sort of a drag to go back to business as usual. Life looks a little less interesting.

We've just had the longest adventurous disaster I've ever experienced first-hand. It was long enough for the sense of adventure to come, wear off under struggle, and be restored in a "we can do it,"  steady-pace form. (That's like, what, energy flagging & coming back as euphoria while jogging a marathon. I hear. Not having jogged one.)  And I'm heartened by fellow Netizens who say our work will continue now that we know better. Ahh, optimism.

But I've also racked up some experience points announcing new projects and convictions. I can do *anything* I set out to--for a few weeks. And for much much longer, it turns out, given the right supportive surroundings and motivating circumstances. But I've seen countless Big Plans of mine dwindle and fade away. It will happen, invariably, when I am answerable to no one, or a default path becomes easier. Now that gas is coming down in price and this site is going into archive mode, I worry that I won't be the only one vulnerable to drifting back into "business as usual."

So, here's a mission from me, worth a Carboneer: share with your fellow Netizens what you will do to keep the progress we've made sustainable. Without WWO to report to, without this site as a motivating resource to cheer you on, how will you keep your life less oil-dependent? How can we keep encouraging the people around us to do the same? (Without lecturing them--CeeGee is right about the folly of lecturing people.) Dessum9 tells me we'll be able to facilitate your contributions just for the next week, so hurry! Respond in a comment to this post now, so all your great ideas will be in the wwo archive for as long as we can keep the site on the web. I know I'll need them!

And an extra carboneer to anyone with a good idea for how to use their carbon offset credit as a motivator-- for yourself, a friend, or a company that could use a carbon offset...
  • (Anonymous)
    Hey Rainey-

    Good to see your post- it's been an amazing 32 weeks.....
    You raise some good points- it is hard to keep the momentum going once the immediate crisis ends. Gas prices skyrcket and people start taking the bus or train- then they ease off OR people just get resigned to the price- and they start driving again. I don't know- maybe it's human nature? We're programmed biologically to respond to the immediate threat- the mountain lion waiting to pounce- we get the adrenaline rush going and react, and then once the danger is over, what's for lunch? It is hard to just stay ever vigilant. Hard to make real changes and keep them going when it's easier not to-

    I know that some say that if you make a change and stick to it for 30 days or more- it becomes more of a habbit and is easier to continue. So maybe that would help. Plus, it's the everyday things we do that really do make a difference as I wrote about the other day- so maybe if we tried to pay attention to those it would help as well- who/what am I supporting when I buy this for instance?

    I think this is the challenge though- not to just slip into business as usual- and after each oil shock, just accept the reduced circumstances of our lives until......

    So maybe the alternative is to determine that we want to try to have as much control over what our lives look like and how we live them- and that we will need to choose to live mindfully-instead of just reacting as things happen.

    To do that I think one needs to look into the future and try to envision where/how they would like to be living given what we know about energy- and then try to get there.

    Be well- Blueski
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