Sunday, 12 October 2008

Simple not easy...but possible!

I was so pleased when Rhonda asked me to participate in this writing coop. I've been reading her, and I think her I, pretty much since the two of us began the process of documenting our journeys online at very nearly at the same time. It's an odd dichotomy if you think about it; using high technology to allow us to communicate and build communities, across oceans and borders, that are based primarily on the idea of living a more fulfilling life by embracing simplicity, frugality and sustainability. And yet here we are.

The timing of this blog's arrival couldn't be better. As Rhonda mentioned previously, the times they are a changin'. Our global economies have been shaken, food supplies have been shown to have significant holes in their health and safety and people have lost faith many of the things that we've been told our whole lives were sure signs of "progress". From this turbulence has come a desire of many to retake ownership of their lives and return to the land, whether that means relocating to the country or, as we've done at our place, maximizing the 1/4 acre we already have at hand. It's a noble idea, and one that I personally believe in wholeheartedly, but not necessarily always an easy one. I decided to share for my first post here, a posting that I originally placed on my personal blog earlier in the year. It holds true today as it did then, and I hope it helps to frame the discussion to a degree.


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This weekend we did a lot of work around the house. Cleaning out the garage, pulling weeds, double digging beds, harvesting and canning spaghetti sauce, pickles and beets and making more progress toward our garden expansion goals for next year. It wears you out some days you know? As I was working the garden beds this evening I was thinking to myself that this decision that A~ and I made last year to simplify our life together; to take more ownership of our food supply and to live a little lighter is a complex one. To say it plainly, it's called "simple living"...not "easy living". Oh we could just go about our way like everyone , maybe just have a little kitchen garden for some fresh tomatoes and peppers, you know, a hobby garden. But we chose to go big. Last year we headed off down a path that I don't think we really know where it ends and is a hard one to follow. We do, however, believe that it is what will be best for us and our family in the long run. Are we 100% in all of our goals? No. Are we improving every month? Yes.

I see around us, both in the neighborhood, and in the online communities, a surge in interest in this way of living. I want to make sure that, amidst pretty pictures of garden harvests and homemade goods, I give a realistic perspective on this stuff. It's a lot of hard work. There are times when we're tired or have an ache, or really just aren't motivated to get out and do what needs to be done. Plenty too are the times when we, or more specifically I, have to talk myself into completing the project I'm in the middle of because I'm just tired. This isn't our living, that takes the first half of the day. This is extra.

The rewards are plentiful though and are what really makes it all worth it. The surprise of gathering in fresh eggs everyday, taking our "garden walk" together every night after dinner or watching our boys learn responsibility and work ethic through caring for our animals and working in the yard. A~ and I enjoy exploring this journey together and learning what we can do and produce on our own and I think we're constantly surprised at just how independent we really can be. So be realistic if your thinking about taking these challenges on, but be optimistic too. It can be done, it can be enjoyed, but it will take effort and a measure of dedication.

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I hope more than anything, more than the reality check on the fact that this is work and is sometimes difficult, that you will come away from this knowing that it is possible. It's an idea that you can look forward to hearing regularly from me. If you put your mind to it and believe it, all things are possible. If you're curious, you can learn a little more about me here.
Be well!

P~
A posse ad Esse
(From possibility to reality)