On organic living

25 August 2011

If you think I am going to talk about happy vegetables and content cows, sows, piglets, chickens and their free-ranging eggs, you are mistaken. This post is about LIFE being organic (or you might say chaotic) versus planned and organized. I spoke to someone the other day who complained about a teenage boy visitor who had been super-chaotic, not knowing where to go, forever losing/ forgetting money, travel itineraries, train tickets, etc. I listened to the lament and thought to myself: “Yes, I know people like that, in fact, I have some close relatives who live in such an organic state of pure dependance on serendipity to find their way home”. To me, this sounds kind of normal for a teenage boy and although I am not THAT chaotic myself, I have empathy. What really touched a nerve with me was another conversation I had with a German teenager of 14 about life and his plans for the future. He put me to shame. He knows what he wants to study at which university and what he wants to do with his life as an adult. Now I consider myself sort of grown-up (worse still, I am definitely hitting middle-age) and I still have NO definite idea of what I am going to do with the remaining 20-40 years of my life. Is this a generation thing? Has the hippie spirit of the 1970s ingrained itself into my very being so that I can’t help but live an organic/ chaotic life, and try to make the best of the opportunities that present themselves as I bumble along? Or is this just the humble wisdom you acquire when you have lived 4+ decades of life and realize that things happen unexpectedly? I don’t know. But then I guess there are two types of personalities. Those who plan their life and stick with their choices and those (like me and approximately 1/2 – 3/4 of my dear little family) who are not so sure what they are supposed to do on this planet and who just start afresh when they realize that work, for example, isn’t as great as it used to be.
There is something to be said for both, I guess. I know so many people who stick with their choices and live a planned life that certainly offers a lot of (perceived) security. You know where you stand and where you belong, and so do your children. On the other hand, there are people who have a crazy patchwork of work and life experiences along with the insecurities of infrequent payments into pension schemes, slow to no advances on the housing ladder and no idea of where they want to grow old, let alone be buried. I don’t know what’s better. One life just isn’t enough to find out which option gives you more happy memories and pleasure. It’s too late for me to choose an organized over an organic life and I wouldn’t want to live the organized option, to be honest, although sometimes, just sometimes, it sounds rather tempting… but never for too long :). But then it might not matter after all. Life events get dished out and you only have limited control over what you’re getting. So here’s to all you organic-chaotic and well-organized people out there, because what it all boils down to might actually be just as simple as this:

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
Mark Twain

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