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How to stay young - post-carbon style

David MacLeod revised an inspirational homily ("How To Stay Young--Lumby Style") for a post-carbon lifestyle . The original is from an anonymous source that he received in a forwarded e-mail. (Original e-mail is in itallics.)

1. Try everything twice. On Madam's tombstone (of Whelan and Madam), she said she wanted this epitaph: "Tried everything twice...loved it both times!"

1. Try different things, and share what you learn.
In preparing for an energy constrained future, work cooperatively in your local community with local government, business, NGOs, and educational institutions to put theory about living with less hydrocarbons into practice while sharing knowledge and experiences with the global network of people working on relocalization. Projects taken on by local groups are experiments for a hydrocarbon constrained future; we are almost as eager to find out what doesn't work as what try everything, and share what you learn.
(adapted from

2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down. (Keep this In mind if you are one of those grouches).

2. Keep cheerful friends who lift your spirits.
Remember, solutions lie in community, and not in isolation.

3. Keep learning.
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

3. Keep learning.
Learn more about practical preparations - self sufficiency skills, understanding permaculture, being involved in community projects, and so on – it's an excellent way of dealing with some of the emotional pressures of living in these unpredictable and 'historically interesting' times. (adapted from 'The Heart and Despair of Peak Oil -
Greening the Apocalypse

4. Enjoy the simple things.

4. Enjoy the simple things.
This is the single best answer to the twin hydrocarbon problems of Peak Oil and Global Warming. Dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels and instead enjoy the simple things.

"Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life. It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose." - Duane Elgin, Voluntary Simplicity.

Or, as Dave and Allison Ewoldt like to say - "think and act the way the rest of nature works--in mutual support and reciprocity, with no waste or greed, by increasing diversity, and self-organizing attraction relationships that support the whole."

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and Lots of time with HIM/HER.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
In times like these, maintaining a sense of humor is essential.
Examples: "Gloom and Doom with a sense of humor" -

6. The tears happen.
Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourself. LIVE while you are alive.

6. The tears happen.
Difficult times are a part of living, and a part of every life. As we transition to a post-carbon age, we can expect more than our share of difficulties and trying times. Be prepared for these times, and when they happen allow yourself to experience the grief. Enter into it fully, and when the time is right, move on. "The divine can be found in the darkness and nothingness, in the silence and emptiness, in the letting go and letting be, and in the pain and suffering that constitute an equally real part of the spiritual journey."

7. Surround yourself with what you love,
whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

7. Surround yourself with what you love.
Not with possessions, but with family, friends, community, music, dance, and other creative endeavors. Your home may not be much of a refuge in the post-carbon transition, but your community may very well be.

8. Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

8. Cherish your health.
In the post-carbon world, your health will be your most important asset. Do all you can now to preserve and improve it. Take advantage now of modern medicine's conveniences, but learn alternative healing modalities that do not require high tech procedures or petroleum dependant pharmaceuticals.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county or to a foreign country, but NOT a guilt trip.

9 Don't take unnecessary trips.
Ride a bike. Live close to where you work. Carpool or Rideshare or Carshare. Use a push mower, or don't mow your lawn.
If you feel like you drive too much, don't take a guilt trip, but start where you are and bring awareness to your driving habits. Unfortunately most of us are still driving too much, but let's find ways to encourage each other to combust less fossil fuels.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them at every opportunity.

10. Love people, love life, and love this earth that we've been blessed with.
At every opportunity put your love into action and work to make it a better place to call home, and a place that will continue to sustain the people, plants, and animals that will come after us.

Editorial Notes: Angela MacLeod did a similar adaptation: Oil-Aholics Anonymous: A 12 Step Program -BA

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