Although, as one of my Dharma brothers noted, as I'm transitioning back to work, I'm spending a lot of time thinking about transitioning out of work again. That's no surprise, though: my horizon for the current job was about 18 months when I started, with a view toward starting an MLIS or doing a practice period at Tassajara. It occurred to me also that my brother has a farm in Minnesota, and if I offered to work a season for him maybe he'd feed me and let me camp out in his backyard.
I've been reading The Long Emergency, which details a lot of not-very-uplifting ideas that I've been thinking about for a long time, all surrounding the question no one wants to ask, which is: what happens when there's no oil left? Which will happen, in my lifetime. Oil underlies everything about the life we're accustomed to: transportation, food, computers, cheap shoes, books, education. And renewable energy technologies. We need oil to make solar panels and their necessary batteries, wind farms, biofuels. We can make biodiesel without petroleum, but we'll be hard-pressed to make diesel engines to use it--steel, aluminum, rubber, plastic. It looks pretty grim in a lot of ways, where we're caught between the end of oil and global warming, since the end of oil will push us to coal, except that coal won't do half of what oil does.
So this is ultimately the articulation of why I'm drawn to learn about all this pre-industrial stuff: ceramics, blacksmithing, archery, engineering, and it's one reason for studying martial arts. If the world changes, what can I be good at that will be useful? How can I support and protect myself and others? I appear to be a warrior-engineer-monk, which I think it multiply useful for a time of great change.
Anyway. Life is short, and while we have all the time we need, I also need to think about what's really and truly important in my life, and whether I am best serving that with my life of lay practice and aikido supported by writing software, or whether the immediate future is the time to make some different choices and do other things.