Today I was thinking back to the day of the passing of Tim Russert several years ago. I remember very well that it shook many of us. He was so young and full of life. I knew him as most people did, through his shows and his books about fatherhood.

After his passing, I watched a lot of the discussions of his life and what amazed me was the passion he had for his life and everything in it. His passion for his job, his passion for his family, even the passion for sports. That’s A LOT of passion.

It made me think, is that attainable for the rest of us? Should that be our goal so that we can also live such a full life? Not necessarily. I mean, I’m not opposed to living your life with such passion…if you can do it, all the power to you.

And I’m sure some people are lucky enough to feel that powerful energy for everything in their lives. But I think it’s something that most of us can’t imagine attaining for all the areas of our lives. And maybe that’s OK.

It’s hard to “passionately” go to work every day, “passionately” make dinner for your family every night, “passionately” run the numerous errands that need to be done, and “passionately” deal with day to day struggles that come your way.

It’s also hard to remember to be grateful day after day and live your life with gusto no matter what obstacles come your way. And to think that somehow you’re not living your life to the fullest if you don’t have this constant stream of passion can be damaging.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in passion, I believe in the power of positive energy and I think being grateful for what you have is one of the best tools in achieving happiness. And I practice all of these.

Sometimes they don’t come naturally to me but I still try and I’ve seen how they can work. But I also think it’s important not to make these the markers of a “full life” because most of us don’t have all of these, all the time, for everything in our lives but we should still be able to see our lives as full and successful as long as we are doing our own best to live our lives completely.

I don’t consider myself a Green person or someone that is out there actively trying to be Green, as my friends will attest. In fact, I didn’t start using the famous yellow bucket (it’s yellow in our neighborhood) until a couple of months ago…I know, you are shocked and appalled.

Don’t be. I don’t think the judgment part of the Green movement is productive or fair. Not because I don’t think people should do what makes sense both for themselves and for the world but because some of the judgment is based on things that are more superficial and about perception and feel-good dressing than reality.

Here’s what I mean. Even though I didn’t recycle with the yellow bucket and the bottles and paper (I have questions about the recycling market because of all the resources it actually takes to recycle which is counter to the entire notion of saving resources but that’s another whole ball of wax we can talk about another day!), I would argue that I (and probably a lot of non-GREEN-perceived people) probably am more green than a lot of people that have been using the bucket for years and love to preach the Green word.

Well, like a lot of people, especially in our parents’ generation, I am always looking for ways to save money which translates to being GREEN! I turn off lights constantly, I use a fan, we have a manual lawn mower, I make sure we eat all leftovers, I don’t throw food away without doing everything possible to use it for my family, we reuse plastic, paper and glass containers and bags for other uses, we keep the heating and air conditioner down and I keep almost everything with the thought of making some use of it in our lives (it’s actually a problem…I gotta start throwing stuff out!).

I also love the farmer’s market so I try to go and get as much of their products as possible, the food is delicious and it’s a great support of our local growers.

Don’t get me wrong, I support the spirit of the green movement but I think the message might be better received by a lot of people if it was more about doing what makes sense, being practical and frugal than just being GREEN! 🙂