Lately, I've been recognizing the importance of simplifying my life as much as possible. I have a lot of junk. And I overload my schedule (although at the moment, I do have to do so, to an extent). And I recognize that part of my waxing and waning in consistency concerning my not-so-daily spiritual practices stem in part from my lack of living out my beliefs, particularly my Druidry, in my everyday life. So I've begun making some steps to gradually make my spirituality a more conscious part of my daily life.
To start with, I began using more public transportation when I go to my internship. I don't utilize public transit here very often because it is so inadequate compared to bigger cities. But since I am interning at the local major hospital, I have two options for getting to work: I can drive from my house to the student parking lot (about a 45 minute drive with rush hour traffic), and then take a 10 minute hospital shuttle bus from the parking lot to the actual hospital (the campus is very spread out). Or, I eventually discovered, I could take the 5-10 minute drive from my house to the local K-Mart parking lot, which serves as a Park-N-Ride station, and ride the express bus (the only public transportation here that actually seems to be effective, as their regular buses are regularly late to stops, and a 20 minute trip could take at least an hour) for free with my hospital ID badge. This obviously saves on gas. In addition, it takes me right to the hospital, shows up on time (usually), and gives me a chance to read (either for pleasure, or homework) during the trip.
I have switched to a biodegradable bedding brand for my gerbil. With the aspen shavings, if they became too badly soiled they would begin to smell, and I would have to fill up grocery bags with the dirty shavings, and toss them in the trash. This brand is not harmful to the gerbil should he ingest any of it, and when I clean out the tank, my housemate and I have begun actually sprinkling it around the trees in the backyard to use as compost. The bedding is pellets though, which keeps me awake sometimes if he gets active at night, so I may try out a different type of similarly biodegradable bedding next time, which can still be utilized as fertilizer and won't make any noise.
Upon noticing the sheer amount of books I have - filling up my own bookshelf as well as overflowing into the bookshelf in the guest bedroom (including my textbooks), most of which I haven't even read in the 5ish years I've had them - I bought a Nook Color. Then I took several hours to catalog every book I had. I then went through my Nook, and repurchased the ones that had eBook equivalents, and threw all the books in trash bags, filling up three. I then got a big box, and sorted through the books one final time. In the box, I put the hard copies of the books I had just repurchased through Nook, along with the books I knew I would likely never get around to reading, keeping only the books that I use for my daily practice (when I do them), the books that have sentimental value, and the books that I know that I will read. The box, when completely full, will likely be donated to the local library. My bookshelf is still kind of full, but I plan on donating the rest of the books (aside from the aforementioned exceptions) as I finish them.
My next step is considering resuming recycling. My problem here is that recycling is HORRIBLE in my county. They don't even have curbside pickup, and the only place I've ever seen a recycling bin is for junk mail at the post office. However, I found bags such as these which are about $15, which look similar to the reusable shopping bags I use for groceries, which are made for recycling. I'm considering buying a set, and using those to sort out recyclables, and then just drive them to the recycling center (which, admittedly, is only about 3-5 minutes from my house).
It feels good to be finally starting to be more proactive in my spiritual life. I'm usually so tired that I don't, or I'm so caught up in day-to-day issues that I forget. I'm realizing, though, that particularly with the demanding field of work I've chosen, it won't get any easier, so I might as well start now.
My First Class at Cherry Hill Seminary
2 days ago