Thank you for your generous and beautiful comments yesterday. We both loved them. I'll be posting our itinerary as soon as it's ready. I know for sure we'll be in Melbourne for The Circle, Ballarat, Canberra, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains. The rest of it is not quite ready yet but when I have it, I'll post it.
~~~~~**~~~~~I have written quite a bit about change in the past six months but those changes have been more about a move towards simplicity and sustainability by many people, right here in Australia, and all around the world. I think that's a wonderful change, and when I was slogging away on my blog in 2007 and 2008, I never believed that we would be at this point just a few years later. All of it was pushed along by the GFC and while that was a disaster for many, and continues to be now, it is also the pendulum swinging back towards thrift and prudence after years of rampant consumerism.
Today my topic is change, but it's about a change of attitude. When we were starting out, I found that adjusting my attitude made the difficult changes that were to follow, much easier. We all change in different ways, but many of us have to come to terms with our debt and to become more frugal in our habits. That often means giving up things you're used to having and sometimes doing that is painful. We gave up pay TV, our second car, buying books, magazines and newspapers, eating out and other things along the way. When I look back on that time I remember wondering if we were doing the right thing or if it was pointless. Now I know that for us, those first small steps not only gave us the strength to dive into bigger changes but they also made money available for things we needed, not wanted.
Okay everyone. Stand up, face the wall and don't move.
I was over-ripe. I was ready for change and nothing could have stopped me. But I think our changes seemed (now) to be easy because I was absolutely convinced that sacrifices were necessary. I had thought about how I wanted my life to be and when I visualised the future with nothing changing, I was saddened to see much of the same - waste and joyless shopping. I was disappointed in myself. For me, a change of attitude was vital and it helped all the difficult adjustments that followed.
Homemade oven fries.
If you haven't had that change of attitude yet and you're occasionally slipping back into old habits, take some time to think carefully about why you want to live sustainably and simply. You want to move from "I deserve/want this." to "It would be great to have it but maybe I shouldn't." to "No, I want a better life. Let's get on with it." When you identify what you and your family will gain from the changes, something will click, you'll see different possibilities and you'll be in a different frame of mind. There is no doubt that being at peace with your reasons for change will make it easier for you. If you're not quite there yet, do some more reading, stop going to the shops and watching advertising, think about what your life could be and go ahead again. There is no one way to do this. We're all different, we want different things and we all come from different circumstances. A change of attitude is common to us all though, so if you can get there, it will be easier.
There will be passionfruit soon!
I know now, with certainty, that our simple way of life will never come unstuck. This is us now and forever. We grow vegetables, bake bread, work hard, connect with our community, live easily with thrift and do as much for ourselves as we can. It's not a burden. We do it with open and generous hearts and all these things, have become our normal. It can be your normal too. It can all start with a change of attitude.