I consider myself one of the privileged: I live in country in which there is a form of social welfare, I have an education which allows me to work and when (oh so soon) I retire I will have a moderate but possibly inadequate income. I don’t have to clock in for my job and I am able to make my own decisions about my work. I am, I know, exceptionally lucky. And yes, as a student and young person I did work in conditions that would make a Kiwi’s hair curl. But perhaps not a worker from Indonesia, China or Bangladesh.

And yet I have a complaint.

I have a landline. It is a conduit to the world.

While my friends, acquaintances and family communicate via Skype, Facebook, text, email and indeed face to face over coffee and dinner and on the foot of my bed, my landline has become a repository for unsolicited calls. Mostly about money and impositions on my time. “Do I wish to contribute?” ” Can I stay?” ” Do I care about…..”? “Do I wish to pay for my funeral now?”

Getting rid of the landline affects the alarm so I’m still wary.

The sub text of all this, however, is a bit more important for me.

What are the important things in our lives and where do we put our money to support them?

Friend Stephen says we need to think about our carbon foot print in terms of a budget: “I spent 40000 whatever this week by driving my car and flying to Wellington so I’ll walk to work and drink only coffee from home” or “This year I have flown to ……and so I’ll bike to work and walk to the swimming pool and supermarket’. It’s great idea.

For me the questions are:
what’s important?
where can I have the most effect?
which of my friends need my help?
is my help effective?

So this year my energy will go to :

The Save the Waitara group who were/are trying to save the pohutakawa on the river and indeed the river
Plastic free nz  lobbying my local council to become plastic free

Fracking – the bane of our lives.
Women’s Refuge such a great bunch of people who do so much for the women in our communities

Truly, it’s all I can do apart from lobbying friends in the USA to not vote for Trump. But they are intelligent. They won’t.

And still there is the friend in Greece who may perhaps need some help. But only a little.

And yes I’m moving along on getting rid of the landline.


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