I am not always the sensible and relaxed person I appear to be on my blog. Sometimes I am stressed by the pressures I face during the course of my normal week. I see families at times who break my heart; I meet people I want to help, but can’t. When Hanno is sick I do his work and mine and hope that tomorrow will return to our normal. When I am sick I wonder if I'll ever return to how I used to be and that maybe this is our turning point; the time when we go from being capable and hard working to letting go a bit and relaxing more. I always think I can do more than I can. My mother used to call that biting off more than I can chew. I've always done it, I doubt there is a cure for that kind of self belief and optimism but doing it all through my life has rewarded me with interesting and exciting times, full of challenges along a road less travelled.
Work in progress - various dishcloths and a jumper for Hanno.
Overall, the life we have built for ourselves here runs along smoothly. I surround myself with like-minded souls and I reap the benefits of that. I shield myself as much as I can from advertising – even now it can create an unhealthy yearning for material possessions. I remember the kindness and generosity of my mother and try to walk the path she did. As often as I can I read blogs and books that enliven me and urge me on, I collect photos to use as virtual wallpaper to remind myself of my goals. I try not to meet too many new people and I stick to what and who I know. I do everything I can to stay on my chosen path. Sometimes that's easy, sometimes it's not.
The outdoor sink with celery, cosmos and sweet potatoes ready for planting.
There is a simple kind of wisdom in being with your own kind. You are given the support you need and in turn, give it back, you have people to bounce ideas off and sometimes you see someone do something you want to do but believe you can't. That kind of example is as close to inspiration as I get and when I see difficult or complex tasks being done, it gives me reason to believe that I can do it too.
The pecan tree is bursting into life again.
I have been really heartened to see the Down to Earth forum build as it has. I hoped for a place where we could all find the support and affirmation we need, it's there. I wanted members to contribute their ideas and stories - that is happening. For my own sanity, I needed it to be a peaceful place where respect and generosity featured in abundance, and where members could be anchored, feeling secure, in a safe haven. Tick.
Quentin and Quince having an afternoon snooze near the back door.It was a risky business leaping forward into the unknown believing that people who are living simply, even though they are unknown to me, would combine into this wonderful and interesting community of friends. It's paid off though. With the help of Sharon, devonia, TammyJ, LashyLashla, Hibiscus34, BarbInGA, guenhwyvar, katheek77, KimberMama, Darroch, Whacky, LeanneNZ, happy2bme and all the members there now, we have built a meeting place that affirms the values of simple, green and frugal living and supports those living true to those values.
One of the aspects of the forum that I love is that those new to this way of life are fostered and encouraged by those who have been living it for some time. We may not be able to raise a barn but we can endorse the ideas that support such a great enterprise and we can gain the strength and confidence to live as we wish and to go into our own real communities and help them towards a sustainable future.
Thank you for another week full of interest and sharing. I hope you spend the weekend doing what you love.