Tuesday, March 29, 2011


It was a week or so ago that I wrote about the experience of feeling "diminished" by all the "editing" we are doing in our lives, and our life together. All because we are moving into an apartment which has about half the size of our house, and has little storage space.

A lot of things are going to Village Green (our Mennonite-operated thrift or "goodwill" shop). A lot of paper is being recycled. All of this is good. 

It also means I'm engaged in a process of sorting out what is important.

What do I really want to do in this last stage of my life (my "psychosocial development"), where the virtue is wisdom, and the options are integrity (i.e., wholeness) or despair? (This, according to psychologist Erik Erikson.)

In addition to my personal introspection, I'll continue to work (in one way or another) on ethical projects. Those include health care and animal welfare. But they will also include a closer involvement in issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. I may not be able to walk as much at rallies, but my fingers move quickly, and my thoughts can be sharp. (Such things happen when you combine a journalist and an ethicist.)

I'm not changing my commitment to life, and to others around me. To change would mean betraying who and what I have been, and am. What is changing is the manner in which I live out my commitment. But I'm not changing that commitment.


Natalie said...

You will be wonderful, Bear. ♥

Rob-bear said...

® Natalie: Thanks. I think so, too.

Helen said...

I hear the Bear ... and he is roaring.

Rob-bear said...

® Helen: Oh, please! I wasn't roaring, that was just a gentle yawn. (Still haven't woken up yet; we had snow again today.)

Rosaria Williams said...

Whatever your life takes you, you'll be a shining example of committment and integrity. Wishing you a great future stage.

Natalie said...

Roaring is strictly for toddlers in these here parts. "cottadoodledoing' in mummy's ear as well. Should I send them to play at Helen's? :)

The Blog Fodder said...

"But they will also include a closer involvement in issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness".
Sounds like you intend to live on OAS. Oh, you didn't mean personally?

potsoc said...

Way to go Bear, keep on the positive side of Erickson. That 8th step you invoke calls for creative continuity in the psychosexual development of ourselves. So let's go.

Frances said...

I agree with you, Bear, that there are many, many ways to keep commitments and to be connected with each other in trying to do good.

Best wishes.

Rob-bear said...

® rosaria: Thanks so much for the kind thoughts! I hope to do just what you've said.

® Natalie: I understand your situation, and I agree. But before sending them to Helen's place, perhaps you'd best check with Helen. I don't want any fights breaking out in my bog.

Rob-bear said...

® Blog Fodder: We're only a few dollars above the cut off line of special assistance through OAS, so one never quite knows what might happen. Just in case, however, I've got my banjo tuned up, and am memorizing the words to "Over the Hill to the Poor House."

® postsoc: "Creative continuity," Paul. That's what we're looking for. Allons, mon ami!

® Frances: I am often reminded that, "All of us is smarter than any of us." Part of that smartness comes in working together to solve common problems. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bear, I'm glad to hear that your so committed to your principles and that you've found a new ways to be a "militant" (french for activist).
Good luck to you.

Rob-bear said...

® Dedine: Exactement, Dedine; l'ours militant. Et merci!

Darned trouble-making Bear! But being subversive by inclination, this suits me just fine.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rob-bear, this is my first time to your blog. I followed the birdseed trail from mine, and I'm so glad I did. :-)

It is really rather amazing that you are writing about this topic because I have been faced with "sorting" much of the stuff in our lives lately. Admittedly, I'm a packrat and am sentimental to boot (and I'm from sentimental parents and inlaws), so a lot of it is going to be sorting through sentimental things.

It's nice to hear about the way you are recycling yours. I have a tendency to toss it in the garbage if it's worn out or something like personal papers, but I'm going to think twice about the way I part with my papers and other items after reading this. See what you did? :-)

We're not moving, but we are at the stage in life that we don't want to be encumbered by possessions, where they own you instead of you owning them. So I'm trying to whittle my way through the life of a magpie who loves shiny objects and her mate who blessedly isn't a packrat. We're not talking hoarder, mind you, but a bona fide packrat.

I know what you mean about feeling diminished (that's one reason I've clung to things that belonged to my parents who are no longer with us), but I keep reminding myself that home for me, as a Christian, is ahead and that none of this stuff will matter when I finally get there with "there" being for keeps and forever. What an amazing thought!

As a lover of history and genealogy, though, I've had this image of me being Lot's wife at times, and I don't want to be so busy looking back (particularly as I have lost so many loved ones whom I long to see) that I fail to look to the wonders ahead and end up a pillar of salt. Lately, I've had an ephiphany of sorts, and I'm actually pretty excited about getting older as it's one step closer to seeing the Lord face to face and my family again.

Sorry to ramble. In addition to collecting shiny objects, magpies love to chatter.


Sheila :-)

Rob-bear said...

® Q-Magpie: Thank you so much for dropping by. And thanks for your observations. The thing about pack rats is that the real ones leave something behind every time they pick up something new. Or so I'm told. A fine antidote for hoarding!

Speaking of being "encumbered by possessions," the thing that comes to mind is the image of Marley's ghost in Dickens' A Christmas Carol. He comes dragging this huge chain of possessions. Dreadful.

Diana said...

Where you hang your hat is your home! You can do anything that you want to no matter where you roam!
Love Di ♥

Rob-bear said...

® Diana: Yes, indeed. The limits to my activity are the ones I set myself.

Rob-bear said...

® Diana: Yes, indeed. The limits to my activity are mostly the ones I set myself.

Anonymous said...

I was actually visiting one of your other blogs and wondering why you hadn't posted....then I saw the date: August 2010. Still feeling stupid over that.

You might notice an odd thing happening to you after the move. I still feel discombobulated. It's hard to focus my thoughts, and I'm in a constant state of bewilderment.

I'd say a LOT of it has to do with (1) things aren't where they used to be/should be, and (2) at our age, being uprooted is traumatic, I don't care WHOSE idea it was to move!

Anonymous said...

Rob...one comment: your new "bear" is hard with no "cuddly" to him. Loosen up the bear, Bear. I want to hug you all the time and this new bear says: "no hugs".

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

It's been too long since I visited but I have been overwhelmed with work and not been to the blog-friends. I am glad that you are doing better, my friend. I read the comment above and think that I need to find you a softer image. Personally I like the one of you as I was standing right there next to you when Holly took it.

You are in my thoughts as you start this new adventure into the unknown. But, isn't that what we do every day?


Lydia said...

Oh, Rob-bear, do tell the secrets to this editing of one's life. I am at my wit's end with paralysis to move through the boxes in our storage unit(s), and in one of our upstairs rooms that is only half useable when, in truth, it wants badly to be an exercise/yoga/project room. This is not to say that I have not sorted ad infinitum to get to the position we are in now. When my mother passed in 2000 I got it all...her lifetime, plus her parents' lifetimes of stuff (some treasure, some not). Truckloads have gone to the Humane Society Thrift Store and Goodwill. About that much has been tossed. Some has even sold on ebay. But I still have so much to sort through.

I even started a second blog two years or so ago, called Clutterquake, that was going to be my chronicle of clutter clearing. It has become something different but I do think it helps me mentally affirm that less is more.

See? Even this comment is cluttered...how fitting.

Withy Brook said...

I am glad I came over to see you and have found out about your 'spring-clean of your life. I am just very sad that you are leaving the place where I got to know you. Do not forget that you can always come back.
Give Sadie a big hug from me.

About Last Weekend said...

Interesting post as I always feel I would like to cast off all our wordly goods (not my shoes though) and live more simply. Maybe later on in life when the kids and their endless amounts of effluvia leave the house. Mind you, I couldn't do without their broken ceramics and art projects