Life can be hard sometimes. We're working towards our big event this weekend. Hanno's done a lot of gardening and preparation outside, I've worked inside and that will continue until Saturday when we get the most wonderful pay-off for that hard work by seeing our son marry right here in our own home. You rarely get the good things without the work. It's like the simple tasks of soapmaking and composting - you put the ingredients in, add the energy and out comes something much better than what you started with. The hard work pays off, in soap making, composting and life.
I'm a working class woman. I might not slip easily into that category in terms of my education and previous earning capacity but in my mind I am, and will always be, working class. It is my heritage and my inclination, and I wear the badge with pride because I believe I have become the person I am because of the work I do. I have to tell you though, I don't enjoy all the work I do, but I enjoy most of it because I can see the rewards it brings, and it makes me who I am. I would be a lesser person without the work.
Maybe that was one of the reasons I was drawn to this simpler kind of life; maybe it was the work that attracted me, because there certainly is a lot more to do living this way. But I see that as a gift. Having productive work to fill the hours is not the hardship some make it to be. It is simply what it is - the work of life. I would rather spend my energy sweeping my floor, hanging the laundry on the line and gardening than walking around a shopping mall looking for things to buy, and then battling traffic to bring my bounty home. I would rather work to help provide a warm and loving venue for our family wedding than pay someone to do that for me. Our work this week is part of the wedding and we won't have the wedding we want without it.
I had an email from a young woman last week who wrote that she wants to live simply but she doesn't like the work and is there an easier way to do it? I'm not sure how to answer that question because for me, no, there isn't an easier way to do it, but my way won't suit everyone. I've said this over and over again, there are many ways to live life - simply or not, and you should all live how it suits you. There are role models that you can learn from but in the end it is your life and you should live it as you see fit.
But I encourage you all to try this coat on for size - this simple life coat may not fit all comers but if it does sit well on your shoulders it is a fine way to live. Of course, not everything I do will fit into your life, and some of the things you do wouldn't fit into mine. But that's good - that is part of the whole idea of it, that we are all different and we live accordingly. Don't be hoodwinked into believing that fashionable clothes or household goods are the answer. You will be forever buying the newest must have and paying for the privilege of it. Don't look at your neighbours with envy because they've just installed a pool or drive that new car - they probably have debt as big as their egos. And don't feel bad because you're working hard - it might be the making of you, just as it has been for me.
And for those of you who can't work as hard as you would like, do what you can and be pleased with that. We all know there are times, for all of us, when you just can't do the work ahead of you and if you are at that point now, accept it and do what you can, when you can. But if you are capable and healthy, embrace the work you do, either at home or at your paid job, and know that what you do not only produces it's own reward, it makes you stronger and will, over time, change you for the better.
How do you feel about the work you do? Is it part of you or do you see it as a necessary evil?
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