Saturday, April 23, 2011

Is Simple Living Really Simple?No,But It's Worth It!

One of the blogs I follow is "Our Slice Of Heaven" by Rina,from Australia. She has a quote front and center on her header from Doris Janzen Longacre which says it all:"The trouble with simple living is that,though it can be joyful,rich and creative,it isn't simple."

I wholeheartedly concur.

The thought of living more simply is certainly fun,trying to live as those before us did as best as we can. Imagine making your own soap,or dying your own wool? And growing your own food! How liberating! And knitting socks! It's like being a pioneer (well,sort of).It fills ones head with images of days gone by,of folks working the soil and carving out a life together against all odds. Sort of romantic,isn't it?

We are lucky. We get a monthly pension from the VA. It's not tons of money,but there is enough that we can live without my having to work. We have no credit cards,our vehicles are paid off,and the only debt we have is our mortgage,which includes our property taxes and homeowners insurance. We can actually put an extra $25 a month towards the principal. It's not much,but every little bit helps. This being said,what we do is not necessarily because we have to for survival,but because we want to.

Why? Why would folks want to grow and can their food,raise chickens and turkeys,tap maple trees,learn to knit,and make their own soap when we could just go to the store?

Because we want to eliminate that need where we can,and doing it yourself,for your family,is far more satisfying than running to a store.It's also work.

Last year when we built our turkey pen,our garden,and our chicken coop were some of the most tiring days I have ever had. It was WORK!  I did think a few times how easy it would be to get in my car and head down to the supermarket for eggs and veggies. Why were we going through all this? It also isn't inexpensive. One can be lucky and find some free materials, but for the most part,you have to spend money to get started. And let's face it-buying a dozen eggs a week is cheaper than buying the wood and fencing for a coop,let alone purchasing the feed and the chickens!
However,it is very satisfying to walk into your own coop and gather your own eggs,or stroll into your garden and pick fresh- from- the -earth veggies or fruits.You don't have to use gas,or wonder how fresh is fresh(which,as we know,veggies and fruits are usually a couple weeks old,at least).One can get lots of food from just one seed that was a few cents. Compare that to the grocery prices!!! When I can our harvest,I know I am saving money in the long run. It's great to open up the cupboard and grab some food that we grew ourselves!

It's hard work,but it also has brought our family together. Last year,I had an A-Ha moment. The boys were working on the chicken coop,and I was weeding in the garden. I stopped for a moment,and had this overwhelming feeling of unity. We have always been a close family,but this was different. We were working together towards the common goal of bettering our lives. We were using our land. We were carving out the life we want to live,that we want to share together. Perhaps that is goal of "simple living". Not that the work is simple (because it isn't)but that doing something as basic as growing your own food can bring such unity and teach what is really important in this world-working together to achieve your dreams. It doesn't happen sitting in front of the TV. It happens by striving to live the life you want to live and give to those you love.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. There's nothing simple about simple living. It's just about the simplicity with which we surround ourselves. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles. Just peaceful simplicity...