nomeatbarefeet

a vegan couple: eating; running; living–minimally.

Why I (Finally) Subscribed to the New York Times

This past election made searching and weeding through news an almost full time job for all of us (or, at least it should have—if it didn’t then maybe you should look at your own viewing habits more closely). I found that I had buried myself in my echo-chamber bunker—my free echo-chamber bunker—and was getting my news from only a few sources. Yes, The New York Times was (and remains) one of them. I would max out my 10 free stories in a few days, and then have to subsist on headlines. I eventually found the hypocrisy too much to bear: I would click and click and click, accessing story after story horizontally through the News app on my iPhone, all while not contributing to the organization that was digging and interviewing and pushing back.

To that end, I have pledged to get my news from a diversity of sources in order to help curtail the possibility of “fake news” infiltrating my brain. (On a side note, “fake news” must be the word of the year by now, right?) This means looking at (gasp!) news outlets that are more “conservative” in nature, because god forbid we see something there we don’t like. (FYI “I don’t like it” does not equal “Is not true.” Facts are facts people; facts are not opinions.) But, I also pledge to actually SUPPORT news and those who go out and report it. We cannot hope for an honest, open, in-depth are press without contributing something (anything) ourselves.

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See where your news outlet stands.

News outlets get things wrong. I understand that. That just means they should look at their failings, figure out how they screwed up, and do better next time. Failings shouldn’t negate all the important, hard work they do; it shouldn’t negate the stories, interviews, imbedded dangerous firsthand accounts, and muckraking that is so desperately needed. Free press is a right, but it is one that must be claimed by the people. To be a lazy, unread, uninformed citizenry is to allow injustice, oppression, and the silencing of voices—no matter their gender, creed, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity—to occur. So go out and actually pay for your news. I don’t care from whom, just support journalism. Because judging by the recent events it is clearly under attack.

return of the LDP (2017)

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Starting in 2013 we began a project dedicated to living deliberately, to acting and consuming in a conscious way. In this the Living Deliberately Project, or LDP, was born. You can see the criteria from the 2013 LDP and from the 2015 LDP.

We did not do the LDP in 2014 or in 2016, and I can personally say I missed having the constraints and criteria that come along with the LDP. Yes, they are self imposed, but there is something psychologically motivating in setting, writing down, and self-monitoring a set of goals. It helps to keep you honest and accountable, which is why I felt it was important to get back to doing the LDP.

This year’s attempt will follow the general format of previous years, but it will also try something new: it will include a variety of lump funds as well as a monthly stipend for “extravagances.” In this way will take a different approach and try to set aside money up front that we know we will probably spend.

LDP 2017 Criteria


Yearly Discretionary Reserves
$300 (each)

We have decided to allot each other $300 for the year for any purchases that we might need or want. We can spend it all up front or in small amounts. When it is gone, it is gone.

Monthly “Extravagances” Stipend
$75

The stipend is meant to cover those items that we don’t need but which we really really enjoy having. It could cover meals out, muffins at the local cafe, or those luxury snacks we just throw in the cart. For instance, Miyoko’s cheeses. Do we need it? No. Do we really really love it? Damn right we do.

The Hattie Fund
$200

We have a kid. Kids grow. Kids need new things. Now, this doesn’t mean new toys or fancy gadgets or fancy-shmancy kid electronics. It could mean water shoes, new pants, or a lunch box. We want to acknowledge that unexpected things will occur, and we want to allow some leeway to accommodate those unpredictable events.

Caveats


Christmas

We usually stick to the formula: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. We will not be including Christmas 2017 in our LDP expenditures; just note that these gifts will be their own money not accounted for yet.

Experiences

Limiting monthly spending is important, but we know that there will be times that we want to go and experience something, go see something, hear something, drink something, revel in nature…That is what the entire LDP is about, really that is what life should be about. That said, we will allow for those times to come and not fret about spending money if need be.

Tattoos

I (Jon) started work on a half sleeve this past summer. I have been saving money to  continue work on it this summer, so the LDP will need to make room for my tattoo.

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