Iowa IPL is working on a new program to be piloted in the fall of 2016, called, “The Good Life Redefined” – how our cultural obsession with stuff is driving climate change, and how our faith traditions call us to reconnect with what is meaningful and live in harmony with the earth and each other. Laurel is helping with the development of this program.

“Does this bring me joy?”, Blog by Laurel Fraser, IIPL Intern

As I return to blogging, it is fitting that I plan on posting a lot about my journey of reevaluation. Initiated by my commitment to help with a new Iowa Interfaith Power and Light program, I am going to spend the next several weeks looking into the consequences of overconsumption not only on my own life but on the world.

To start, I’m grabbing a Kindle copy of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo. I haven’t started reading yet, but I know that part of this journey will involve looking through all my possessions and asking myself, Does this bring me joy?” If yes, I keep it. If no (or if I hesitate), I release it.

Another resource I’ve been asked to look into is the book/blog by Bea Johnson, Zero Waste Home. She lists 5 Rs (expanding on the usual 3 of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle):

Get your 5Rs right: Refuse what you do not need, Reduce what you do need, Reuse what you consume, Recycle what you cannot Refuse, Reduce or Reuse, and Rot (Compost) the rest.

I’d like to add two of my own: Reevaluate. Release.

Reevaluate what I want out of life.

Release my hold on things in order that I may more fully grasp life.

Reevaluate what my role is in improving the world.

Release the anxiety I have about not being able to do “enough.”

Reevaluate what it means to do/be “enough.”

Release the tendency to overthink and just do it. (Thanks Nike.)

I did some reevaluating on whether or not I should continue blogging. I asked myself “Does this bring me joy?” And although I have not published anything for weeks and months, I know the answer is yes.

So I will reintegrate myself into the world of writing and blogging by chronicling my attempt to reevaluate, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot, and release. Stay tuned.