Riot Fatigue: I Feel Like I’m Slacking

Riot for Austerity fist with Thermometer

This is only our third Riot month and I feel like I’m slacking already.

I realized this when last week I volunteered to drive Amie and a preschool buddy to their field trip. This was legitimate, I think: the preschool needed volunteers. On the way back – just Amie and I – I decided to stop off at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which was legit too, as it was on the way home. It was too cold and windy to go for a walk, and then the officer told me about this great Visitor Center at the Assabet River Reservation, only a couple of miles away. She gave us directions.

Only a couple of miles away – back up north, though, with our home to the south. And the directions turned out to be faulty. And there turned out not to be a Visitor Center. Just a kiosk.

After driving around in circles for many miles, almost getting the car stuck in a snowy lane, with a grumpy child in the back who needed to pee, and seeing the miles tick-tick-tick away on the dashboard, I was very upset.

But it was my own fault. After so many months I was on the road, you know, and I used to love road trips, and getting lost in the country, cruising by the farm houses and going bumpety-bump through dark woods. So I left our “legitimate” route for some pleasure driving…

I’ve been leaving the big computer on all day, letting it sit there, munching on electricity. The screen saver isn’t even on.

I’ve been leaving lights on in unoccupied rooms.

I’ve been wasting water with longer showers, and sometimes boil a full kettle, to forget and then have to bring it to a boil again.

Most of the hay box is finished, but I still haven’t brought myself to put it all together and to actually cook in it. This though I’ve made several soups and stews in the meantime.

We spent too much at Whole Foods on Saturday. Too many exotic luxuries.Y Yesterday  I forgot to put an opened can of tomato puree in the fridge and had to throw it out.

Etc. Etc.

To some of you that may sound uninteresting, but to me these mistakes hurt. I do recognize them as mistakes, and regret them. So why did I make them? Is it Riot fatigue?  Is it winter?

Will the numbers at the end of the month jar me awake?

Join the Conversation


  1. Habits take time to develop- the lights and computer will come with practice. For other things it’s okay not to be perfect all the time! A trip to the wildlife refuge is a cool experience that is worthwhile. It may not have worked today, but it wasn’t just a waste of gas, it was a good intention and your child got to see the value you place on nature.

  2. Hi Tina,

    I agree. I guess my Riot had become comfortable to me, a routine almost, so it was off my radar. But not yet a habit. So little things start slipping and I just need to be keep them into my conscious mind a little longer.

    We are blessed with a lot of interesting natural places in our neighborhood. In summer we’ll bike!

  3. I think it’s habit and inertia and cold and “the norm” around us day in and day out. I’m falling apart on the length of my showers – it’s just so COLD out there and it just feels to GOOD in here that I lose track of time and my auto use vs. bus use on these horridly cold winter days in the snow belt. Waiting 15 minutes in 0 degree F weather, with a windchill of -15 F just doesn’t induce me to keep the car in the garage. All I can do is keep on trying, keep on learning and keep on remembering what my ultimate goal is. And now, it’s time to find a way to measure my time in the shower without the use of batteries…

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