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Monday, March 24, 2014

Conscious Frugality: The DGAF Edition

I'm starting to wonder if the forties shouldn't be renamed the DGAF Years. I've certainly mellowed with age, thank the sweet Baby Jesus, and have found that things I was once incredibly passionate about have turned into...well, a bit of "meh."

Age? Health issues? Being tired as hell at the end of most days? Who knows. I have found myself saying fuckit more times than I can even count recently. Here are a few things I actually care about that have somehow managed to get wrapped in DGAF:
  • CAFO meat is the devil (I still order meat off the menu when out a restaurants I know damn good and well don't source their meat responsibly)
  • Toxic chemicals in my body care products (Pretty much everything I use has a storm of ingredients I can't pronounce)
  • Toxic chemicals in my cleaning supplies (Still using the toxic shit my former cleaning lady asked me to buy. Ain't going back to vinegar and water until these neuro toxins are gone!)
  • Fast food companies are run by sociopaths (when I am running late from work and the thought of cooking makes me want to weep, I go to Carl's Jr. The most misogynist piece of shit chain on the planet)
  • Freaky endocrine disruptors in my food  (Bought some pre-made pie dough this weekend with, yet again, tons of stuff I can't pronounce in it)
You get the idea. The kids call this Not Living With Integrity. I call it Shut Your Face You Punk Ass Brat, I'm Tired. I suspect we're both right.

It's hard to be frugal when you're in a DGAF state. The pre-made pie dough, for instance. Not only does it have "natural flavor" on the list of ingredients (urine! The most natural ingredient of all!), it was $4. Do you have any idea how many pie crusts you could make from scratch for $4? Neither do I, but I suspect it's way more than the two I purchased. 

Frugality, particularly of the "conscious" kind, requires energy, planning, and a hefty load of GAF. I'm allowing myself a slow re-entry post Crap 2013, accepting that I will purchase some pre-made stuff to help with cooking at home (onion tart, yo!) over spending more money eating out, or pleaseforgivemesweetjesus, getting grub from Misogynist's Jr. I will allow myself the too frequent dinner out, and I might even use the valet. I'm also going to allow myself to get comfortable with some areas in which I may want to be more frugal, but not enough to push past the DGAF inertia, (guarantee: hate spending money, but always gonna use the valet).

Previously, I would have railed at myself for not being more stringent with my choices. Even the small stuff matters, dammit! Yes, yes it does. But right now, calming the fuck down matters so much more.

15 comments:

misha said...

I totally hear on NGAF - it took me a sec to get your abreviation. I struggle similarly and at some point in "Crap 2013" i had an epiphany: "I am immersed in a culture in which the vast majority of what I may choose to do/injest/get is harmful in some way either to me or the planet or others. I know I do the best i can but sometimes have to make the "wrong" choice, but the thing is - i didnt make this fucked up system - i did not authorize the 1000s of insane harmful chemicals to be put everyfreakingwhere and in everything and I would never have allowed that shit in the first fucking place. When i realized that something changed for me - the quilt just faded away. Of course, I still try - I choose to practice frugality, etc, but I am not gonna take the blame or feel personally responsible about what essentially is a situation that the corporations and their purchased politicians have INFLICTED on me/us.

thank you for a good rant! Remain calm and rant on! ;-)

EcoCatLady said...

Right there with ya on this one. I recently had a little meltdown on this very topic. But here's the thing - Misha is absolutely correct. We cannot hold ourselves personally responsible for a situation that we did not create and over which we have EXTREMELY limited power. And your first responsibility is always, ALWAYS to take care of yourself first. Remember the whole airplane spiel about putting on your own oxygen mask before you try to help others?

I'll paraphrase something I wrote to another blogger who was struggling with the same thing recently. What one person does is largely irrelevant when it comes to responsible living. It's what we collectively do that counts. That being the case, the main responsibility that those of us who care have is to inspire others to change - even a little.

None of us can be perfect and when we try, I think we do a disservice to our own cause, because who wants to join a movement that's all about suffering? The reality is that if the whole world made a 1% change for the better it would have vastly more impact than a few of us hanging ourselves on an organically grown, sustainably harvested, ethically and locally produced, non-toxic cross.

Kris T said...

Wow! I really needed this post today. So glad you are blogging again. Thank you! KT

oilandgarlic said...

what is DGAF??

oilandgarlic said...

Oh, Don't Giva A F#^@&*#!?

Demandra said...

Sorry, I assume every speaks in Teenage Acronyms. Yes, DGAF=Don't Give a Fuck, GAF=Give a Fuck. I know I'm nearly 41, but I still speak like a kid.

A reader sent me an email, noting that forgiving ourselves makes it easier when we do GAF. Amen! Hadn't really thought of it that way. This really is an act of forgiveness for not being perfect. I am so willing to embrace Good Enough these days.

Anyhoo, MISHA!!! I am giving you a standing ovation over here! AMEN! HALLELUJAH! I so often forget that this machine is so much bigger than my individual actions. I'm not of the either/or belief--what we do matters, but I'm not delusional either. I can't control industry. Collectively we can motivate, but...yeah. Oy.

ECL--girl, PREACH. "None of us can be perfect and when we try, I think we do a disservice to our own cause, because who wants to join a movement that's all about suffering? The reality is that if the whole world made a 1% change for the better it would have vastly more impact than a few of us hanging ourselves on an organically grown, sustainably harvested, ethically and locally produced, non-toxic cross."

I AM YOUR CHOIR!

And <3 to Kris. Thanks for the love, love!

Mary Younkin said...

YAY! You're back, my friend. :) Cut yourself some slack. These are awesome changes so far for you this year. You can do this, forgive and move forward.

Or as a wise friend once told me, follow the good ol' 80/20 rule. 80% GAF, 20% DGAF (ok, so I added the acronyms, but you get it. ;)

lizzie said...

You have hit such a nerve........I suffer from total burn out on this stuff. I even went to McDonalds after dropping my MIL at the airport, just by way of celebrating. Do you know what is in that stuff, DO you.............?
Glad you are posting - have missed your pithiness..
god bless ya......

Demandra said...

Mary! ADOPT ME. Even though I'm older than you. ADDDOOOPPPTTTT ME. I want to eat at your house. waaa

Anyhoo, I think right now I'm at about 50DGAF/50GAF. That might be generous. We shall see. But yes! Perfection is for suckers. Or people with OCD.

Lizzie, let's not talk about what's in our fast food. Let's just celebrate that your MIL went back home! I will grab some booze that was not made in a sustainable way and fuckit, let's drink. :P

Lines of Beauty said...

Amen sister.

foxrunstudios2 said...

Exactly...it's called "pick your battles". Glad to see you writing, for us, again.

FreshGreen Kim said...

It must be my advanced age. About 6-7 years ago I embraced the 80/20 philosophy that Mary mentioned. I give myself leeway to get it "wrong" about 1/5 of the time. It doesn't mean you DGAF (yeah took me a while too), it means you care about your sanity more.

Plus, I'm still not brave enough to take my own containers into a restaurant for the leftovers.

Janeen said...

Eco Cat Lady, this was brilliant:
None of us can be perfect and when we try, I think we do a disservice to our own cause, because who wants to join a movement that's all about suffering? The reality is that if the whole world made a 1% change for the better it would have vastly more impact than a few of us hanging ourselves on an organically grown, sustainably harvested, ethically and locally produced, non-toxic cross.

Janeen said...

I could relate to this, because I'm in the "middlin" camp myself.

I throw my hands up sometimes -- like at church on Easter Sunday when we put out paper plates for the Easter Brunch because (WE DON'T USE PAPER DISPOSABLES!!). Yeah - and I'm supposed to stand in the kitchen for two hours scrubbing your mother lovin' dishes while my family is at home waiting to get together (and I probably need to cook for that too...) Sometimes you've got to people people over principles. Geez, we didn't put pesticide residue in the coffee...

Stridency just bugs me....

I'm not a lover of fast food and can't remember the last time I had a McDonald's fry (but God love em, they're tasty), but I do eat it once in awhile because dammit, I'm human and I'm imperfect. I get tired. I have other places to be.

Demandra said...

Ha! My line is "I've got shit to do, people." :P I think perfection is a good way to stay stuck. DGAF ain't the worst thing in the world.