Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dreaming off the Grid

There it was, the conversation about getting off the grid again. It pops up in between conversations about politics and summer vacations in Colorado. And usually on a Sunday night prior to a Monday going back to work after a four day weekend.

Funny how that works. I hit the ground running yesterday, after having been off work for the most part, and after having spent some really good time with people I love. Our family is small, so we have to poach some of our Friends family goodness in place of our own. By visiting we incorporate their family stuff into ours, as part of our own, rather than sit in our big house watching yet another football game on our own, just the three of us.

It kind of makes you think that, at this age, (round 50), good friends are very important, very hard to find, and more relied upon than ever before. We count on our friends to do certain things with us, experience things, to be a certain way, to compliment us in a way that, should we need to hear something or we to to say something, well there is an understanding, a reciprocation, unconditional acceptance. This doesn't work for everyone, just the good friends who truly understand each other.

What does the grid have to do with this? I talk about getting off the grid because of the pressures that I have an issue with complying with just about everything put forth by our condition. It's because I have fought tooth and nail, learned to navigate the demands of getting ahead, the positioning of my brand, aggressive, unscrupulous at times and, with collateral damage. There is a thing our two that I regret in relationship to some of my friends, by me, just being me.

There are rules that we have to live by that creep into the fabric of who we are. This while trying to get ahead, while trying to carve out our position in the system. The rules of business, the bureaucracies that enforce things in our community, the societal competitions, the competitive nature of being a man. I think a lot of this just sucks. Who the hell am I to tell it like it is?

Somebody posted an article of a guy who builds miniature homes.
Seems a little drastic, living in a house you can pull around with your hybrid all over the country. It has basically everything you need, costs less than 100 bucks in utilities each year. This "Tiny House" thing seems to be catching on, for those wanting to step off, into the fringe, live a little less conventionally, more on the edge, less conforming to the popular standard. Watch the video and see how happy the guy is.

I have written about this before, stepping off. I have also written about how admirable the heroes in our small business world are, how entrepreneurship is truly the last horizon for our country and without the things necessary to help us invent, provide, create and purvey, we are incapable of doing much as a country. Such a contrast to the way it is with our current situation, a "perfect storm" of federal regulations, lack of available financial opportunities and a polarized economy due to the fed screwing up the housing/lending industry.

It has become increasingly harder to get a new business off the ground. It's straw grabbing by everyone and anyone, including the people whom I come in contact with daily, some of my friends who are a little down and out, looking for work, having a tough time, coming to me for some answers. While I have to navigate in this current economy, I certainly am glad we are no longer in start up phase. Even though i have other businesses that we are trying to move forward.

Oh sure, we can adapt to a downed economy, make adjustments; down size, change how we go about doing things, bootstraping etc. But don't forget for a moment, the fed is hungry too, very, very hungry, and fueled by years of adaptation in order to fuel an institution that has power, money and advocacy far greater than we can comprehend. Because of the gridlock, there is very little that can get done in the short term in the way of making it easier to rise up out of our current economic situation, creating prosperity, jobs, the future.

Without changing the Fed, without radically leveraging our liberties against our current political system, we as a thinly bound group of aggrigated business owners will continue to lose our ability to navigate. We will work for the man, just like the others. Sad.

So if it becomes important for me to get off the grid someday, to give up, to take the plunge into non-conformity, become less aggressive, less concerned about the future of small business, less about money and prosperity, less about material things, less about motivating others to get on the bandwagon and be the best that they can be. If it becomes that important, it basically means that we should all roll over and quit trying. Because I have lived this crap and suffered through the fleecing of our country by the Fed.

Perhaps I could be a better person, a better friend? Perhaps there is a constant that I don't yet understand? A centering that I am in need of? Perhaps this is destiny, if I were to believe in destiny? Gad I hate the concept of destiny.

Honestly, I think 60 days would go by and I would begin to get a little restless, a little anxious, a little pissed off. The ephiphany would happen one night, like a beacon, a light would go off, in the woods, at the end of a long row of other Tiny Homes with their gardens and solar powered showers, I would rifle through my tiny home and look for something that I had hidden, what was stuffed away for good reason, just in case. I would pull the small box from its hiding place, and I would look upon that which represented the fight, the awful but true spirit of our american culture, our system and values. In a drawer, hidden deep within my tiny house, in the attic, where nobody could find it, I would pull from the bottom that small box, wrapped grocery bags, sealed tight with biodegradable duct tape. I would carefully open what should never be opened unless it was intended for good use.

A dark grey suit, a white shirt and a red tie, with a name tag that said "Senate Shit Disturber".

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