Changing my mindset

I think one of the biggest battles with changing to a greener lifestyle, or indeed any lifestyle change can be to change the mindset. It can be hard to remember all the do’s and don’t we apply to our desired lifestyle choices, particularly when first we make those changes. It’s hard as a smoker when you first quit to not automatically ask for the deck of smokes at the supermarket, or indeed to not grab them as you leave the house. Even now, over 6 years after quitting I still think “wallet, keys, smokes and phone” as I leave the house.

I find that despite trying to lead an environmentally responsible life I still automatically jump in the car when I head into town or anywhere, no matter how local. 😦 I’m naturally lazy so the idea of walking everywhere lacks appeal and yesterday, whilst making plans to attend a permaculture meet up in Ballan I was planning to drive. I amended that decision though when I realised that the address was MUCH closer than first I thought (800m) and also, Martin needed the car. I changed plans to head there by shanks pony.

Last night I said to Martin that every time I have a kid-free 5-minute errand to run I jump in the car and head off but almost always afterwards I wonder why I didn’t just jump on my bike. 😦 I have a bike thanks to a very kind friend so I really have no excuse.

Today, as I’m loading a plate of slice into my bag in preparation to head off to the meet up I had a very wild thought. Why not ride instead of walking! The thought carried great appeal so out came the bike and on went the helmet and off I went. I think it took me 3 minutes to get there! 😀 I was profoundly grateful for the bike helmet I was wearing too as I received my first ever magpie swoop (I swear I heard his/her wings whistle as she sailed overhead with a squawk)! Riding home was even faster with more downhill (the hills were pretty marginal really) and no cars when I crossed the main road. I consider it a great success and hope to remember to ride my bike more often.

He might look all benign sitting up there surveying his kingdom but that beak and my ears are not destined to meet… This time!

Sure, there are times it won’t be practical due to time or weather but the reality is that when the oil decline reaches critical levels and the fuel simply isn’t there, bikes, horseback and shanks pony will be it! Changing the mentality now will make things a lot easier in times to come. 🙂

On ya bike. That’s if you can find which one is yours.

What lifestyle changes have you found difficult to implement or to remember?


Photos are again courtesy of morguefiles. 🙂


24 thoughts on “Changing my mindset

  1. Lisa Sleep says:

    Does this mean soon we will need a new wardrobe yewww. HEALTH BENEFITS as well. Good on you babes tbh i am tired at the thought and was tired reading me = lazy but major thumbs up to you you crazy bike riding lady … i mean that in the nicest possible way.. yeah i went there sorry

  2. Lynda says:

    Big Smiles.

  3. Gavin Webber says:

    Well done bike girl! I bet that helmet looked dapper on you. Ben and I love going for our weekend rides, and if we can fit in an errand, then all the better.

    Keep up the great work Jessie. x

  4. Sonia says:

    I would love to no longer catch planes anywhere. However, as my parents live in Sydney, and we go to my uncle and aunty’s place in Tasmania for Christmas every couple of years, it’s kind of unavoidable at this stage. I think there’s much to be said for family sticking in the same place, but it’s difficult with modern jobs etc.
    That being said, I’ve decided not to travel overseas again, unless it’s to move to a different country for a strong reason (e.g. to be with my in-laws in Iran, if there comes a time in the future when the Baha’i community is no longer persecuted). Not that I was ever a big traveller at any rate, but you do see a lot of carbon-conscious people living frugal lives until they go on a whirlwind international holiday every summer… Personally, there’s so much to explore even in Victoria alone, let-alone elsewhere in Australia, I’m happy staying put & going on road trips 🙂

    • I am absolutely gagging for one of those big trips at the moment. Bali or Phuket, poolside, sunshine and service but I know what you mean about the hypocrisy. Besides, my body isn’t the bikini body it was last time I was in Bali, I no longer drink and the other activity one does in those locations, shopping, no longer appeals. It’s the mindset that I need to change further I guess. 🙂 I keep reminding myself that 200 years ago it was only the rich and wealthy who took holidays. Average Joe and Jane Doe married and settled into their new house without a honeymoon and then worked until they died or became too old to do so. I often wonder if we are a spoiled and pampered generation to need annual holidays, even if it’s just time off spent at home. Still, time off from the grind does make for a happier life so it’s not all bad. 🙂
      Travelling to see family is a hard one. My husband is from London and his mother, brother and SIL as well as many friends are still over there so a trip is on the cards at some stage. I guess we will look into offsetting carbon miles when we fly but as you say, families aren’t close by to each other any more and for those of us with intercontinental relationships…

  5. Jean says:

    Just make sure you have a bike basket/bike rack with pannier and bike lock. Have a rain jacket for inclement weather.

    Then you’re good to go on bike. Seriously. Initially cycling to do errands feels like prep. work at the beginning. Then it becomes 2nd nature.

    • I have 2 bikes, 1 is just a standard mountain bike and the other is a trike! It has a large basket at the back and I would love to be able to fit Orik’s baby seat to it or get him a trailer. The other 2 are almost old enough to ride along with their balance bikes or bikes with trainers on now. I definitely see some exciting family rides around town now.
      And yes, I have the fold up rain jacket too, left over from my pre-kids early morning still hungover fishing trips. Oh the memories there!

  6. narf77 says:

    Better get ourselves a bike each as shanks pony is a bit different to those of us living 50km away from the city and 5km away from the nearest IGA ;). Must admit, the local store will do a ROARING trade come the revolution 😉

    • I work 4km from my house. When we first moved here I cycled to work. It didn’t take me long to think better of it – the traffic, the lights; and it was all over too quickly… I felt like I lived at work! So, I swapped the bike in that instance for Shanky. I much prefer the walk. It takes 25 minutes instead of 9 minutes. It allows me to ‘wind into’ the day a little more gradually, and to ‘wind out’. And I don’t have the stressed of the road to worry about. I keep that for other times. Best of all, by walking, I can listen to podcasts like Gavin’s fabulous offering. 🙂

      • I know what you mean. When I worked in the city pre-kids I didn’t like driving (unless I had an evening shift but even then) as the train trip was an opportunity for me to wind in and out by diving nose-first into a book. That time, particularly after work gave me time to let the angst and frustrations of the day melt away in another world.
        The other advantage of riding ones bike or walking is the money saved. Less insurance/fuel/registration costs and no gym membership! 😀

      • narf77 says:

        I walk everywhere out here (Sidmouth Tasmania). I walk the dog every day and love it. I used to be a couch potato but through necessity I learned how wonderful it is to get out there and “feel” nature coursing through your veins. We aren’t designed to be inside cars, houses and watching televisions for long periods of time and you are right about listening to podcasts etc. I used to walk with my mp3 player but I prefer to listen out for approaching traffic now ;). I rode a pushy for fitness a few years ago but would rather walk. MUCH more rewarding (and cars don’t hate you 😉 )

    • Viva la Revolution! 😉
      50kms might take a bit on the bicycle but if it’s flat, not so much of a problem I guess. Given that you live in Tassie I guess you’ve just snorted your cup of tea reading that comment about the lack of hills. 😉
      Bike and a trailer or one of those kiddy trailers for carting home a tired dog or 2 and/or the groceries. 5kms is a LONG way to walk with the weekly (or monthly) groceries.

      • narf77 says:

        Or we harness Earl and Bezial up…and learn to swim ;). Seriously though, 5km is what we walk every day with the dogs. Adding another 5km on for the return trip wouldn’t be too hard if we built up to it in increments and the local shop isn’t that far away. “Come the revolution” the little local shops are going to boom. We are going to NEED our shops closer to us and just like little towns in the U.K. there will be tiny little hamlets springing up everywhere and butchers, bakers and candlestick makers will all be able to make a living. It’s not all bad ;). (note to self…better start upping the walks Earl says YAY! 😉 )

  7. You’ve seen the light! My work here is done. Haha.

    No, no. I’m glad you have discovered the benefits of cycling. Not only is it more friendly to our poor planet, it’s a great way of taking in the environment. Cars just whizz through the environment – giving the occupants little opportunity to appreciate the moments. Cycling slows you down to a more human speed.

    People get confused how I can possibly move to the country and continue to use a bike as my primary mode of transport (public transport comes in a close second). The reason I am so confident about it is because my life is built around it – always has been. I know how to ask for assistance if I need to do something that I am ill equipped to do (e.g. collect timber from a hardware store) and it’s amazing the services out there, and how cost effective they are; if one just puts in a little forward-planning. The town I am looking at buying in hasn’t any services itself. Actually, I lie – it has a post office. The next town over – about 20km, or an hours cycling – has a supermarket and it does grocery deliveries twice a week. Why wouldn’t I embrace that?

    • LOVE it! You’re right about using the services available. However, once oil reaches exorbitant levels and becomes unaffordable to all but the filthy rich, many of those services will disappear. Still, an hours ride with a trailer behind and your weekly/fortnightly or whatever groceries won’t be too bad… Unless you’re buying icecream 😉 And anyway, there will surely be plenty of financially astute people who will start up general stores in smaller towns, much like there used to be
      As for experiencing the environment more on a bike, I completely agree. I got to see the truck back beehives a lot closer and I’ve now had 3 up close and personal experiences with a magpie. I think the magpie experience I could do without though. 😉

  8. Jo says:

    My husband and I will often say to each other WWCD, “What would Costa do?” . He is so enthusiastic about recycling stuff and not creating waste, it has rubbed off on us.

  9. Jo says:

    Hi, the other Jo here! I keep thinking about the bike. It’s ALL hills where I live. I might need another couple of muscles… and I haven’t ridden a bike for about 25 years… still, I’m training myself to walk instead of drive to our local shops. It seems pretty silly when I think about it to go for a half hour walk for ‘exercise’ then hop in the car to drive three minutes to the shops, when I could incorporate exercise and errands at the same time.. you know like people have done throughout our entire history..

  10. Alicia says:

    I do dream of the day that cars become too expensive to drive, and take great joy when petrol prices go up! I know times will be tough, but lives of luxury (as standard) has to stop. Shanks pony is my main form of travel, and I really enjoy getting out in the fresh air. I’ll take up bike riding when there are less cars on the road- love to get a cargo bike! I tallied it up the other day, and I walk at least 9 hours per week. I absolutely agree with running errands at the same time as getting exercise, I thinks it’s funny when people drive to the gym, do a workout and drive home. Why not just go for a walk, run, or bike ride?

    • Wow, 9 hours! You shame me! I too would love a cargo bike but they are rather pricey sadly. Worth it though I’m sure. 🙂
      I too laugh at society with its gym memberships where people pay a small fortune to work out yet drive to and from their gyms. Running the distance of home to gym and back would in many cases be as much of a work out as needed. I must admit I lived VERY close to my gym (back before kids) and used to drive there at times (blush). A little organisation and time management would have gone a LONG way. 😦 Still, these days my exercise is sorting out animals and gardens and running after 3 kids.

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