Thursday, May 22, 2008

What Makes You Happy?

My book club decided upon Deep Economy by Bill McKibben for our June 2008 meeting. It's my first McKibben book and, 45 pages in, I'm on fire. Intelligently written without too much doomsday (yet), with a hint of hope unfolding in the form of solutions to the problem. Although the book is only 232 pages long, I can't read more than a few pages without wanting to form a set of cards of wise sayings to share with everyone I know. Not everyone I know reads this blog, but for those of you that do, here are some choice words that make you think (hopefully out of context they still wield power and contemplation of the basic question "is more better?"

"You can't get richer, at least for long, by impoverishing the world around you." This thought is inspired by economist Eban Goodstein's Economics and the Environment, where he says "Ecological economists argue that natural and created capital are fundamentally complements" that is, that you actually need to think about the planet."p.29 Deep Economy

This quote resonates so clearly in my mind, like the perfect pitch I always desired. The rate of consumption, the insane drive for more more more that inundates us day in and day out does more harm than good. You may argue that all that consumption creates jobs and keeps the economy going, and just plain makes people happy. But at what cost, and at what illusive definition of happiness?

Aha! Onto another inspiring quote from McKibben. In a passage where he discusses people's reported measures of happiness in relationship to increased wealth, he says the following: All that material progress--and all the billions of barrels of oil and millions of acres of trees that it took to create it--seems not to have moved the satisfaction meter an inch. (p.35 Deep Economy). He goes on to say that "In 1946, the United States was the happiest country among four advanced economies; thirty years later, it was eighth among eleven advanced countries; a decade after tht it ranked tenth among twenty-three nations, many of them from the third world. (Stats garnered from "Happiness" by Layard).

Okay, its too late in the evening for me. Barry, if you are reading this, know that I plan to follow the instructions in your email about your video short (very cool!) as soon as I get another block of time!

Good night, but Good luck is over rated. How about belief in happiness as something that can't be bought, but that resides in time with friends, family, meditation, contemplation, viewing of art and Happy Hour with friends? Okay, so maybe a $3.50 pint accompanying a group of friends and good conversation is a small price to pay for a lot of real happiness :)

Noelle Aguayo

Monday, May 19, 2008

How Many Places Do you Live?

I rarely visit FaceBook, because I just don't get the appeal. I have my GMAIL, and email my friends occasionally, but better yet, I like to see them in person. FaceBook is an effective connection tool for friends in far flung places, and it really does give you a sense of the networking capabilities of meeting friends of friends--but really, where are people getting all of this time? Last time I checked, there were still only 24 hours in a day, and sleep is still essential, as is the work day, and then for those of us with family, there's family time, then hobbies, reading, friend time, etc, etc. So HOW do you all keep up?

I suppose I also have this bloggy presence, and my work email--so I live in four places online. No Avatars yet. Does anyone I know have an avatar? Come on! I want to know if you do!

That's my mid day rant!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I've been memed and all the bloggers I know have already been tagged!

Here are the rules:
A) The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
B) Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
C) At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) Ten years ago I was...

Hanging out on the banks of the Metolius, watching someone I didn't like much fly fishing.

2) Five things on today's to-do list:

Read "Good Night Gorilla" again.
Buy a t-shirt in Santa Barbara that was made in Honduras to send to our sponsor child in Guatemala for his 6th birthday.
Cook dinner
Respond to my emails
Research Java

3) Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:

Save a small portion of the world (or large if a billion goes that far)
Design and build an ecovillage
Cook dinner at leisure
Enjoy oodles of time with Ezra & Arie Jan
Write a novel or five

4) Three bad habits:

Whining (and not in the good way, like George does).
Checking my email at work
Leaving the peanut butter jar on the counter in the morning (but I'm getting better)

5) Five places I've lived:

Hilo, Hawaii
Waltham, Mass.
Bend, Oregon

6) Six jobs I've had in my life:

Newspaper reporter, Farm stand girl, Marketing Director, International Travel Assistant, Mom

And now to choose five people: Who's left?