Sunday, July 4, 2010

When I retire

When I retire from my day job in a few years , I think I want to be a hippie. Back in the sixties and seventies, when I actually could have been a hippie, nothing interested me less. I felt uneasy with the drug scene, the people who celebrated it, and if anybody ever referred to me as "Mother" or "my old lady" I would have . . . well, it wouldn't have happened because I just didn't do the scene.

Forget the drug culture - I won't be growing marijuana plants in our back yard, nor will Ian and I be heading to the Burning Man Festival in a painted VW van. The part of the hippie scene that I finally found some respect for is the embracing the mystical, the turning one's back on materialism and looking at homegrown solutions. I've become softened to this by critically looking at the way pharma creates imaginary diseases to sell its products, but I've also had my eyes open to the true magic in this world, thanks to the journey I've been on. Call it new age, or hippie, that's where I'm headed.

I will no longer buy products that I don't need or where a cheaper substitute can be found. It's not just pharma that creates an imaginary need. Today I was admiring the geraniums on my balcony and see that they're doing just fine without fertilizer. I no longer have expensive, partially used fertilizer bottles cluttering up the place. I've been conditioned to feel that balcony plants need this stuff, just as I was conditioned to believe that the one and only prescription pharmaceutical product I take needs to be taken twice a week. After pestering my doctor, I learned I could take it once a month or less. (She lowered her eyes as she whispered this trade secret to me.) Now there's a tip not in the product literature. I also found out rather late in life that Vaseline is the best all-round moisturizer.

Maybe what I'm talking about is not actually being a hippie. Perhaps I'm just getting old and wising up. But, I am forever grateful to hippies for understanding certain things early that I picked up on rather late.

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