Speaking out in the communities
I'm late today. We slept in. We're still in Toowoomba after spending the time here yesterday speaking at a couple of events at the Toowoomba Library. Both events were booked out with 60 people. It was really wonderful for Hanno and I to meet so many like-minded people and to, hopefully, give them some encouragement towards this simpler way of life.
Hello, I've been reading back through some old posts and also the details of your book. I wondered if you've found that the success of your book now detracts from your ideal of simple living. I don't mean in monetary ways (although I'm sure this has made an impact too) but by doing book tours, being interviewed, all the trappings that come with some degree of fame. Do you feel that in a way you've returned to some of the things you originally yearned to get away from?Joyce
Joyce, one of the few things that I don't like about what has been happening since the book was published is that people know me. I am the most ordinary person you might ever meet and I like to go about my life quietly. But having this higher profile helps me with one of my goals. I made a commitment to myself many years ago that I would carry on the tradition of older women passing on what they know to younger people. I think that is one of the reasons we haven't held on to many of the old ways of living that still work for us in the 21st century. I could easily have given up the blog after the book came out and let the book speak for me, but I still enjoy writing the blog and it gives me a great platform from which to connect to so many people. The book is another way of doing that, so is the Down to Earth forum.
Every time I go to a community to speak, I am there because someone contacted me and asked me to visit them to speak about simple living. When I go to these places, there are many people eager to be encouraged in their new life and supported by someone who has done a similar thing. Often the questions are really simple things like "do you think it's okay to grow a garden for one person?", or "can I let the chickens in the vegetable garden?". People just want to speak to others about things that aren't spoken about much in general life any more. They want to know they're on the right track. If I can encourage one person to continue in their version of a simple life, or to start it, I'm happy to be there.
And yes, it does take away from the time Hanno and I have in our own home but if I could have had an Australian book to read on simple life or someone to talk to who knew the ins and outs of it when I first changed, I would have been so grateful. I cannot be selfish with what I know, Hanno can't be either. I don't want to sound too above myself but if we can make a difference, and if we are capable of making the trip, we'll be there. This phase won't last, so while the interest is there, we'll respond to it. And, I have to tell you this, we are enjoying meeting all these people and when I was working for a living, the word enjoyment didn't come anywhere near me.