The 7:00 To the Best of Our Knowledge was a show that really got me thinking. It was ostensibly about "green" lifestyles, but it had a lot of stuff that really resonated with me. I feel too tired for coherence so I'll try to just blurt out some thoughts. Hopefully when I read this, I'll actually remember more than I can put into words now.
It talked about how actually living according to the principles one believes in is very important for feeling happy. I make the effort, when I have a fairly easy choice, to minimize packaging and throwaway things. I feel uncomfortable using paper plates and plastic silverware. I'm not willing to go as far as the guy they profiled who lived in New York. He refused to use electricity or carbon-powered transportation (even the elevators in his building) and wouldn't use anything that created trash. He supposedly didn't use toilet paper. I wish they'd actually pressed him on how he cleans himself after he takes a dump. But I wish I could find the courage and fortitude to say to friends when I'm visiting "instead of putting out paper plates and forks, please use real plates and silverware, and let me help with the dishes".
They talk about how our lifestyle has us rushing and stressed all the time. I wish I could simplify my life so that I didn't have to do the things that force me onto a schedule where I'm always feeling rushed and I never have time, but it seems like modern life is a package that's all stuck together, and I can't see how to cut out one piece without that meaning that I also have to cut out the next. I think I could give up a lot of my stuff; I could probably handle having just a room in a shared space. And if I didn't have to have a house that's a big part of the reason I have to have a regular job. But the one piece that really scares me about trying to break out of the rat race is health care. I have to have a real job or I get to find out experimentally if my asthma is cured or just in long term remission, by dying if I stop the Flovent and it does come back. Without a real health plan, that one prescription costs more than I spend on food.