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3 June 2008

Working for a life

Although I live a simple life and I am free, on any given day, to do as I please, I find that work is an part essential of my everyday life. Work partly defines who I am now, it's part of how I live. If I want to live outside the mindset of endless consumption, working in various ways help me reach that goal.

When I think of work I think about what I do at home and what I do in my community. My home work gives me the lifestyle I want, my community work helps make me the person I want to be. It's a tough juggling act sometimes. Now as I'm aging, I don't have the strength and endless energy I once had, but I toddle along and get by.

I'd hate to live in a world where I didn't have work
to do. Sitting around all day would be a nightmare. Work gives me a feeling of self worth, it fills my hours with meaning and it gives me reason to sleep well every night.

There have been very busy times where I work lately but that has made my time at home even sweeter. The work I do here makes the kind of home I want to live in and come home to. It might be the modern romantic view of home life but in my home we really do have soup cooking on the stove, bread baking in the oven and the sweet feeling of satisfaction and loving warmth in the air. Work gives us that.

There was a time when I hated housework
but I've moved on from that limited view. I know now that the only way I can make my house a home is by the work I do in it. I came home from work yesterday through driving rain, stressed by my day and the drive home, but as I walked inside with my husband and dogs pleased to see me, dinner already cooked and with a clean house waiting to be enjoyed, I knew deep down to my bones that I am one lucky woman. Funny thing is, the harder I work, the luckier I get.


  1. Rhonda Jean,

    You are a delight. To actually know and realize how lucky you are is quite a blessing. I would think that your faithful readers also know how lucky we are to be able to "gather" here.

    elaine from PA

  2. Rhonda - I too enjoy work outside our home as well as around the house and in our community. Work gives me such satisfaction; being my day job that provides a paycheck every other week or the work I do around the house. However, I love my home so much that sometimes I hate leaving to go to my day job :-)

  3. I agree completely!

    Even though I have a rather long "to do" list at home right now, I can do it all within my own time.

    Sigh... I remember when I could do three things at once but that was long ago. I think I enjoy life more now, I actually take time to think through what is going on each day.

    As usual, great thoughts!

  4. Once again, thanks for such a thought provoking post. I too enjoy working around the home, but sometimes i tend to try to do too much then i feel quite overwhelmed. i am really making an effort to do one chore at a time and only thinking of that chore instead of always thinking of the next chore to be done. Like Brenda, I am finding as i get older, it is getting harder to keep all the balls in the air. I too remember back when i could manage several things at once. I have just come back from looking after my granchildren (6yrs, 3yrs, 16months) for a long weekend and I am so tired. We had a lot of fun and I love it but the older I get, the harder it gets!!!

    sophie in New Zealand

  5. Hi Rhonda
    I think if there were more people with an attitude like you, Australia would work like a well oiled machine - no-one whinging and complaining because they don't have this or don't have that - everyone should just get on with the job of living the best life they can.
    Cheers - Julie South Australia

  6. Hi Rhonda,
    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog.
    I come by here every morning to see what you've written, and I've had the greatest time reading through many of your older posts and I've learned A LOT, too!
    Thank you for being such a blessing and an inspiration. You've touched a lot of people. :)

    Tacoma, WA

  7. Work and its meaning is another fascinating subject to me. In the modern western setting what we seem to derive from work has a lot more to do with status in society (not forgetting money and power of course) than any sense of deep satisfaction from what we do. I know there are some who love what they do for a living but if the status were removed from the equation it might make us think more about the real meaning that work can bring to our lives.

    I found it curious when I was nursing, in my youth, how highly thought of my profession was compared to what I did as a stay at home mum later on. The similarities between the actual tasks involved were very similar at times, yet one was rewarded and one was often denigrated. It all seemed to come down to status. Status is fine but does it give us that deep dense of satisfaction that comes from finding meaning in the work we are actally doing?

    The great shame of denigrating the " keeping of hearth and home" is that it can create a gap in our very souls. Surely hearth and home is such a strongly deep rooted archetypal image that to not explore the richness it can offer is to lose something very fundamental. It's heart warming to me to continually read your blog (and comments) that so eloquently describes how to find that enrichment in daily life. And surely, as you say, the more we put into our efforts the more we are enriched.

    Regards, Marilyn

  8. Hi Rhonda I too work outside the home and look forard to coming home to just be me and do all the things I love and enjoy.
    I know exactly how you feel.
    Hope the torrential rain up your way has not caused you any problems. rain is good but too much can sometimes cause havoc.
    Look forward to reading your blog every day.

  9. Exactly. I am nearing 40 and it honestly took me this long to figure out exactly this. Our society has missed it by a mile. Our families seem unhappy and overweight. Our children out of control and overweight. Both parents work, children are raised by stranger, but we have all the toys one could want...and for many all the debt one doesnt' need. It's time to turn the tides and hopefully one step at a time, things will make a turn to the better.
    Thanks for being one driving force to make people think straight.

  10. You hit the nail on the head everytime! When I was growing up, I was constantly asked "what are you going to do when you grow up?" All I knew at that point was anything but sitting at a desk all day. I knew I could not sit at a desk 8 to 5 and do "busy work." Now I stay at home but work very hard. I get paid in hugs, kisses and beautiful smiles! And the sense of accomplishment for each completed job throughout my days can't be beat.

  11. fabulous post!
    I couldn't agree more with Elaine. she took the words right out of my mouth!

  12. I've never had all the energy young people are known for. As a child i remember i needed some more rest then other children and when i was 16 i had Pfeiffers' disease. I never fully recovered from that and had chronical fatigue syndrome ever since.
    When our children were small that was very tough. Especially while they had many diseases such as allergies, astma, all kinds of virusses.
    I was hoping i would get better one day, and when the children grew up i did some educations (medical secretary, bach flower therapy) but i haven't had the energy to have a job outside.
    That was difficult for me. Almost all woman have a job outside, can do sports, see friends in the evening. Do all these things that costs too much energy for me.

    I've learned to live with it and i'm still learning to accept it. I've a wunderfull husband and two wunderfull sons (19 and 16). They find it a pleasure to come home and see i have always time to listen to them. I bake bread, cookies, make syrups and jam, tea from plants of our garden, homemade meals. All kind of things that make a difference, and i love to do all those things.
    Your weblog is a great help for me to see how important all those cosy and budgetting things are for a family and the environment.
    In the morning i always read your blog and get some more inspiration for the life i live.
    Thanks very much for that!

    Annikka (from Holland)

  13. Eloquently written, thank you, and thought-provoking. Why is it that 'house'work is considered so demeaning and worthless, when it has so much value and impact on our daily well-being. I really enjoy the work involved caring for my home, and mostly, I embrace it positively (not always!!) Home has such a gentle rhythm, and I like that. Often, I don't want to go out! Diana x

  14. Hi Rhonda,
    You totally speak to my heart...This is how I feel about work and my home and have felt that way for many years...the problem I have encounter over the year are my well meaning friends who do not understand this way of living...being that I am only 40 and have been this way since my early 20's( they would call me weird)...they think something is "wrong" with me and that I should want to be out in the "world" doing "worldly" things and socializing more then I work...Working my plots, canning, being with my children...bring me the energy and happiness I need ..I do socialize but not like alot of people I know who keep themselves busy at every moment socializing and being "out there"...I do not know anymore how to respond to this with my well meaning friends...I guess that is why I come on this site and other sites I visit...a place to feel "normal" in a world that is not so "normal"...
    Thanks Rhonda for sharing your thoughts with me...they help me lots...
    Have a great day!


  15. Well said, Rhonda! We often get so caught up in trying to keep up with everyone else that we forget how truly blessed we are with our simple living! We need to step back and look at our lives and be truly thankful! Take care!

    Kristina in Nebraska

  16. That's how I feel - I'm one lucky woman, and the irony is that the more I'm thankful, even when things may not be perfect (whatever that means), the better my life gets ;). Pretty amazing ;).

  17. Oh, I can relate to this! I, too, am a very lucky woman!

    "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have
    into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos
    to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast,
    a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes
    sense of our past, brings peace for today,
    and creates a vision for tomorrow."
    - Melody Beattie

    Wishing you many blessings!


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