Clean Living 10/16/22

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

There will always be critics.  Always.  I try to live a pretty clean life.  I drive a hybrid (usually) to save on gas (and I hope my state’s efforts to switch to renewable energies is making progress in my area), I set my thermostat to 76 in the summer, and 66 in the winter, I recycle, and generally just do what I can.  The other day, I saw a meme saying, “Darkness is a habitat, turn off your porch lights”. 

Wow, really?  Something else I need to do?  Something else people can find to criticize me?  I’ll be honest, I’ve been wanting to get motion sensors anyway, but I’m not sure a motion sensor would work on either my front or back porch.  My back porch is too high, so while a light illuminates the area well, a person walking under the motion sensor may be too far away to trigger it.  On the front porch, the light is in a decorative lamp, so I don’t think I can adapt a motion sensor to it.

So, what?  I guess I’m just a worthless hunk of crap for not using a motion sensor, and because I don’t live in a good neighborhood?  Sometimes, it just becomes too much.  I’m not saying I agree with those who argue that they don’t want to be “woke”, but we have to pick our battles.  Sometimes, if somebody is making an effort, letting that effort be good enough is a great way to encourage them to keep up the effort and continue the fight. 

Some years ago, the big issue was conservation of energy.  The energy crisis was in full swing, and it was how to save electricity, and most people were doing their parts, but there’s one thing that, like so many other people, enjoyed “cheating” on.  I love standing in a hot shower, letting the hot water wash over me.  A hot bath isn’t the same; the bath cools, and once it does, you can’t really bring that temperature back up, or at least I never could.  So, in the midst of the energy crisis, yes, I allowed myself hot showers.

Driving is really no different.  Last night, driving home, I was on a road with a speed limit of 35 that had a passing lane.  It was very late as I was driving home from the drive-in theater, and sure enough, I picked up a dingleberry.  I call him (assuming the driver was male) a dingleberry because he hung on my butt for the entire drive and was annoying.  He was driving a large pickup, so the headlights were high and right in my rear view mirrors, and they were on bright.  When I took driver’s education, we were taught that if somebody is tailgating, you should slow down in case they are trying to get around you.

Okay, that wasn’t why I slowed down.  It was me returning the passive-aggressiveness.  I knew I wasn’t inconveniencing anybody because we had the passing lane, so I drove at least five to ten miles per hour under the speed limit, and accelerated from stop lights annoyingly slowly, waiting, just waiting, for him to pass, which I would have gladly let him do.

But he didn’t.  And I mean for miles.  I’m guessing at least five miles, and probably closer to ten, he was right there, literally tailgating, never passing.  He didn’t honk, he just tailgated.  I have no idea why (or what he was on), but if he was comfortable driving so slowly, well, I was in no hurry.  I have no wife waiting for my return, so I went ahead and just took my good, sweet time.

This is kind of the opposite of why I bring this up.  Usually, tailgaters are upset because you’re driving too slowly, but the thing is, you can never drive fast enough.  Somebody will always be angry with you for the speed you’re driving, because there will always be somebody driving faster who is irritated that they have to go around you.  So, why bother trying? 

I guess the point to this blog, if there really is a point, is to be happy with yourself and not worry what other people think.  If my neighbors complained that my light was too bright, well, for them I would try to do something, but if people on my social media page are upset because I’m disturbing the nighttime habitat, well, too bad.  I do so many other things to try to help Mother Earth, and other people, that I’m okay with this one.  Someday, I might look into a motion sensor for the light.  It actually would be good because it would save me money on my energy bills (not much because they are both LED lights), but I’m not going to try to accommodate people on my social media page.  If they complain about it, well, they just don’t know everything else that I do.  I’m happy with who I am, I’m happy with the efforts that I make, and that’s enough for me.  I hope you’re happy with what you do as well.


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