By Kathryn Eklund
My workweek here in Red Lodge has become pretty stable. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays my dog comes to work with me. On Tuesdays I volunteer over my lunch hour at the Middle School, and Fridays top off the week with Power Hour yoga from noon to 1 pm. Now that we are finally getting some good snow, I take powder days as necessary and make sure to cram in extra hours during the winter so that I can take long weekends come summertime.
One of my favorite things about my Energy Corps position is the ability to make my own schedule and take time for myself when I need it. The work that Energy Corps members do across Montana is highly important, but also draining. Especially for young environmentalists like myself who are seeking to strike a balance between saving the world and finding space to enjoy it. In my second term I have found a schedule that works for my host site and I, and have discovered the transformational power of deleting the email app off my phone. I hope I will always have a job that allows me these freedoms, but in the meantime I will work hard, play hard, and refer to Edward Abbey often.
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast…a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” – Edward Abbey
Excerpt from Monkey Wrench Gang