DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are about 7000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

30 October 2012

Embrace your work, it will make you stronger

If you decide to take the big leap of faith and turn your back on this consumerist society we live in, often you'll produce some of your own food, move towards a local community based economy, or you'll have a combination of the two. If you decide to make a less drastic change and simplify at home while earning a wage at work, your change will probably be governed, to a certain extent, by the amount of time you have when you're at home. Either way, there will be changes, and change is sometimes unsettling. It seems like such a big step at first but as you get used to it, and move into your change, a feeling of calm takes over as you begin to take charge of your life. When you think about it, the consumerist model that we all know so well, takes much more than it gives. It takes away our ability to look after ourselves, unless we have access to money and a shop; it removes us from our traditional skill set - the skills our great grandparents held close and passed on; and it takes away confidence, a sense of purpose and pride in our own productivity.


I created this little sampler many years ago. If you want to stitch it yourself, there is a pattern you can print out here.

When I first made my change it felt right almost straight away. As the days grew into weeks, then months, I realised that this feeling of calm and comfort came about because the work of simple life and self-reliance is nurturing work. I felt empowered by it. All that organisation, cleaning, fluffing nests, repairing, recycling, cooking, knitting, sewing and gardening - this work brings us together, it supports us and develops our spirit. When I put on my apron in the morning, I think of the work my change has brought me and I smile at the thought of it. This work has helped make me what I am today.


Living as we do is a gift and a privilege. To outsiders, what I do might just look like housework, but to me it's a daily decision and ever-evolving process to make the life I want and to create a home I feel comfortable and settled in. This is not passive cleaning and organising. It's a proactive and conscious process. I have taken charge of my home and worked out what I need to do to give us the life we want. It always involves work, if you're lazy, or expect things to be done for you, this is not the life for you. This life requires involvement, intelligence, dedication, patience, generosity and work - lots of hard work.


As I work through my day, I think about what I gave up and what I gained because of it. My change shifted my focus from things and money to people and feelings. I went from thinking about making money to looking for ways to save money. If you keep your eye on the prize - the prize being a good relationship with your family and that feeling of constant contentment, this life will give you someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to. You can't go far wrong with that.


Our days are fleeting and even if you're in the middle of raising a brood of small children and you wonder when you'll ever get a break, most of what we do lasts such a short time. Slowing down enough to enjoy each day - whether it is spent working in your home, in the garden, with your friends and family or away from home at a paid job. Embrace your work, it will make you stronger. Whether it is home-based or commercial, or a combination of the two, the work you do will equip you for life and enrich you. It might not seem so at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight, you'll see that those hard working days turned you away from some things and towards others, making you a different person in the process.


If you're new to all this, step up to it with enthusiasm. Rely on traditional ways but modify them when you have to and do your work your own way.  If you have a good day, build on it tomorrow. If you have a bad day, go to bed early, have a good sleep and get up ready to get stuck in again. Every so often, think about all the changes you've made and be mindful of how far you've come. It may not always feel like it but you're building a new life and going against the tide to do it. That not only takes strength and resilience it also builds character and confidence.  And if you build your life with all new those values, there will be no stopping you.


50 comments:

  1. When we firts started to live like you do Rhonda, I used to worry about what people thought of the way we live. Now I don't as I think it's a great way to live and I think that people that still live in their 'materialistic worlds' are the fools..not me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good morning Rhonda,
    thankyou for the lovely reminders. A quote that is helpful to me in embracing this non-mainstream life is "People sacrifice the present for the future. But life is available only in the present." Thich Nat Hanh

    Have a beautiful day, Madeleine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this today, I am busy reaffirming many things I do in my home and deciding how to adjust what is not working or can be improved. Stepping up here to the call....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Funny. I feel this way about my thermomix business and teaching. By doing what's in effect two full-time jobs at once (though I'm going to part-time with the teaching next year) I've never worked harder in my life; I love it because I know that I'm doing everything in my power to become mortgage-free and will then be able to provide my family with complete security.
    I want to be able to set up this place with water tanks, more solar, lots of wicking veggie beds (because so far the ones I've got are working magnificently) so that when I want to slow down I'll be able to do so with minimal cost of living and I can puddle around doing whatever I please.
    (But first I'm going to Europe for a quick look-see.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy your journey to Europe! Are you coming in the European Winter?? Don't forget to bring your knitwear!!
      Cheers,

      Jeanneke.

      Delete
    2. I have no doubt you'll carry out all your wishes.

      Delete
  5. Such a great reminder of how a simple life can be rewarding. Always look forward to reading your blog, I recently discovered it and I can't get enough of it! I'm young (in my early 20s) and I find all this information very helpful. Living a life like this is my dream. Thank you.

    xxx Sabrina
    http://bbutterflybrain.blogspot.de/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Rhonda, the rolls on today's post look absolutely delicious. Can I have the recipe? Many thanks, Claudia

    ReplyDelete
  7. I needed this reminder today. Thank you x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for the sampler, it looks perfect for my little kitchen! I may no longer 'keep up' with some of my friends but I feel that I'm playing a completely different game. Many of them are striving to meet society's expectations (or what they think they are) whereas I've reassessed and now simply strive to meet my own. It's very freeing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your
    intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog
    when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?
    Check out my website : nat sherman cigars

    ReplyDelete
  10. We are in the process of effecting change on 4 acres on the Tamar River in Tasmania that we we inherited from my dad. We are turning this neglected weedy overrun garden/bushland into an edible food forest and we are trying to live as sustainably as we can using whatever means 2 middle aged penniless student hippies can find. The net is a wealth of information and there is no substitute for bums up and heads down and getting stuck in. I love this blog. Reminding us of community over cash is a wonderful thing to remember. We have more time than others and I have been thinking about sharing our homesteading/permaculture way of life with others...perhaps meetings at the local community centre to ease into community living? No idea where we could start but what I DO know is that the net has all sorts of networks, ideas, forums etc. to help us deal with it all. Thank you for this lovely post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. G'day narf. What a great place to have your 4 acres - the beautiful Tamar River. I'm going a bit green here. There is a movement in America now where established folk with a bit of know-how get together with greenhorns to teach them what they can about farming the land sustainably. Check it out here:
      http://thegreenhorns.wordpress.com There are lots of resources there. I thought of putting out a call to a family or couple in my area to see if they wanted my help but with Hanno still sick, I'm really pleased I didn't do it. Maybe it's something for the future.

      XX

      Delete
  11. I just found your blog today. I really enjoyed your post. I am trying to move toward a more simple lifestyle, but often feel like I take two step forward and three steps back. Thank you for reminding me why I want to make these changes in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Rhonda, thank you so much for this reminder, I have been feeling very low and lazy and your post is just what I needed to get my mind set back on track...I am a 40ish empty nester and finding it hard to find my self!!..But, I have it all.. the shabby little cottage, the veg patch , the chickens and the time to make and bake... Now I just need to get my sulky lazy self up and realize how very lucky I am,
    Thanks again for the push.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Many moons ago when I first started reading your blog, which I might add has become part of my daily routine, I made your embroidery. It now hangs in the bedroom our grandchildren use when they come to stay and they know those words off by heart. It is Nannies rules.

    Cheers Rhonda
    Anne

    ReplyDelete
  14. what a lovely blog this morning, we made our move a few months ago & are eating some of our gardens produce (a first for us) already, while we still have to work in paid employment it is such a joy to come home & continue our chores @ home, cooking, mending & looking @ ways to use what we have before buying something have become a very rewarding way of life, thankyou for your continually inspiring blog, it is a joy to read, deb m

    ReplyDelete
  15. Love to know what you are knitting...any ideas for knitted Christmas gifts.

    ~~Renee

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks Rhonda for the gently push ha ha have a great day

    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  17. People like you Rhonda are inspiring me to live the way I want. I will admit that before I get there I am going to have to put in hard yards, probably doing things that I don't like so much. But the results are going to be very sweet.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Being in my 50ties a simple life is the only way I live. I also believe it often comes with aging, we slow down the mental challenge to begin to find our place when we are young is gone. There is more focus on things around us, the advantage of aging brings so many marvelious wonders.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Rhonda, I have stepped back over the past 2 years, doing more at home veg, chooks etc and working part time. My daughter 11 loves the step back my son 15 loves material life, has caused many conflicts, so for the time been he is living with his material life father. Teenagers just want and want, and expect to do nothing. This makes me very sad, but I know the simplier life is for me. Maybe he will wake up and maybe he won't. Thanks for listening Di

    ReplyDelete
  20. i am one of those lazy ones too, i do want a simpler life & i kind of have it, though things aren't growing like they should & my arthritis is driving me nuts today which is making typing difficult. i like to potter to do the things i need to do around my house & yard, even at this late age i am learning 'housework' doesn't need to be a headache or a deadly chore but can be pleasant, i stopped fussing years ago over it when all it gave me was stress. your blog has certainly made me see that it can be pleasant & so i take 'baby' steps to achieve what i need to do each day, it's so much easier that way for me. i thoroughly enjoy your blog & forum.
    thanx rhonda for your ever inspiring post

    yes, i'd like to know what you are knitting in that picture too? it looks lovely & simple

    have a wonderful day rhonda & hanno

    selina from kilkivan qld

    ReplyDelete
  21. Just what a needed to hear - like taking a big, deep breath. Thank you for the gentle pep talk :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. We spent a good deal of yesterday cutting and stacking wood for the woodstove. I was so content. The day was nice. Matt and I worked side by side. And we worked on something that really matters to us--our home and the life and sanctuary it provides.

    If 10-years-ago-self could have seen this day she would never have believed that such contentment and pleasure could be possible from such a task.

    Thanks for the needlework pattern. I shall like to go and make such a delightful and simple reminder for myself of this great life I lead.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a lovely and charming sampler! I saved the page.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Rhonda... I have been following your blog for some time now and have read your book from cover to cover twice now... so inspiring! So inspiring infact that at the age of 29 i have decided to teach my self how to knit! yes.. I have never really thought that knitting would be a new hobby of mine or something that i would like but I LOVE IT! I am on my second scarf and it is due to you that i have found my new passion!

    THANKYOU !

    ReplyDelete
  25. An uplifting post Rhonda! I'm sitting here a little unmotivated during Violet's nap time. But I'm a bit more motivated to mop that floor now :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Beautiful post Rhonda. Reading or hearing people talk about the happiness that comes from a simpler life always bring a lump to my thought. I have been watching a tv series about the Amish, watching with a bit envy at richness in their lives, and felt the same lump form.

    My family and I are on the simpler road, growing our own food, reducing our belongings to only those that we love. A large chunk of our consumerism has been removed to the point where I am now the only person working for money. I too would like that reduced or working for a business that also values the down to earth principles. My biggest hurdle is the mortgage, which holds me in fear of taking the next big leap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason, you're right to be cautious with your mortgage but when that's paid out, there will be nothing to hold you back. We paid off our 20 year mortgage in eight years. Good luck to you and your family. I hope all your dream become reality. xx

      Delete
  27. You have a lovely blog Rhonda. I especially enjoyed your post today. Your comments are so true - - Thanks for sharing them!

    Have a lovely week; God bless you!

    Mitzi

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for this post Rhonda, I needed it today! I'm at home full-time with my two young children. My husband and I decided that I wouldn't return to work not just because I wanted to be home with my "babies" while they were young but also because I wanted to create a safe, nurturing home for all of us. As you say, to some people it is just housework but we know it is so much more. I can't tell you how offended I feel when people ask what I do all day. Having done both paid employment and full-time housework I actually sometimes wonder what my husband does at work all day! I picture him enjoying coffee breaks and long lunches, sometimes with envy even though I know it's not a realistic picture :-)

    One thing I have learnt to do recently is give myself a break. Being a Mum to two small children is a full time job in itself. If the mopping or dusting doesn't get done for a week or two, so be it. My eldest is off to pre-school next year for 4 half days so I know the time will come all too quickly when they're both at school and I'll appreciate having taken this time to enjoy them...and when the day comes that they're both at school I'll appreciate the quiet time to complete the cleaning and enjoy an uninterrupted cuppa!

    Thanks again,

    Sara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sara, not only will the day come when you'll appreciate you took the time to be with your children, they will too. When people ask what you do all day, tell them. It's a waste of energy to be offended by ignorance. Just explain and leave them to digest it all.

      Delete
  29. I would also love that bread roll recipe! Thank you x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jadelaf, it's my normal bread recipe, you can search for it on the blog.

      Delete
  30. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video
    to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?
    Feel free to surf my site payday loans bad credit

    ReplyDelete
  31. My husband and I have become so excited discussing what we will do with our 1 and 3/4 acres of land our house sits upon... a mini farm is our dream. Putting our time and effort into that seems so rewarding. xx

    ReplyDelete
  32. A wonderful post Rhonda, each and every word from the heart and so very true.

    Simplifying our lives has been the best thing we have ever done, and at first the chores can seem overwhelming and you get the feeling that they must be rushed through to accommplish more in each day, when you realise that the day is enriched by the chores you slow down and work methodically through them and enjoy every sense of completion and every job done.

    Looking back on the day is the best reward. There are always steps forward to be seen and more importantly ....enjoyed.

    Sue xx

    ReplyDelete
  33. Rhonda, Because We live a simple life here in Michigan, I have no worries about feeding my family during the horrible storm that is hitting the States this week.
    Please pray for us as we ride out the worst storm in history.
    Susan from Michigan.

    ReplyDelete
  34. It's these types of posts that keep me feeling motivated - thanks Rhonda Jean :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love your pep-talk posts, they are such good reading at an end of a long hard day!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have found a balance for my current situation - married with no kids - in working four days each week. This gives me extra time to create, grow, connect and be that I didn't have before and I am pretty sure I wont go back to full time work again.

    ReplyDelete
  37. A beautiful and timely post, thank you! In a few weeks time I am packing up my things and moving north from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne to the beautiful hinterland of northern NSW. I'll be learning how to grow a veggie garden, how to build a composting toilet, and how to live with limited solar power. It is both scary and exciting but I am looking forward to learning these new skills, and connecting with the local community of the area. Thank you for sharing your inspiring words! Shannon.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is just what I needed to hear. Today I am so tired. And so often I feel overwhelmed. And I think why is this when I am a stay at home mom? But here I am 9 in the evening just finally having a tea and relaxing. Society is always screaming at me that the work force is where I should be and anything less is not...civilized? I don't know, maybe just plain weird. But I so value the simple way of life and the extra effort of it can be so tiring. But like you say you can really take pride in your work. And thank you for reminding me that. I know what I am doing in my home is hard work for the good of my family and first for the Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Such a timely post for me: I gave up my "wage job" a month ago to be at home and help my partner develop his small business. It's not been anything like I'd expected and I'm still trying to develop a routine, but I suppose I'll get the hang of it eventually. What I have found, however, is that there is always something to do: I despise being idle and in my last job I was so often bored to tears (quite literally) for the lack of work to keep me occupied. At home there is always something that needs attention and I seem to be forgetting what the word "boredom" actually means. Doing something constructive every day feels fantastic and knowing that it is a benefit to our life experience as a whole is an added bonus. :)
    Have a lovely week!
    ~S.

    ReplyDelete
  40. gosh i love hearing this! it's just what i need when i'm exhausted after a full day rearing the small children. i love your philosophy on life and living simply. thank you so much rhonda. you inspire me to want to create the home i really want. :) xo

    ReplyDelete
  41. What a delightful post, Rhonda - we all need to be reminded how short our time might be and the need to embrace life whilst we can.

    Seventeen years ago I changed career from a hectic life in the fashion business to become a full-time gardener which involved a salary cut of two-thirds. I've never regretted it (although sometimes wonder how I've managed to survive financially which, I suppose, proves that it can be done). I look forward to each day, I am in the fresh air working with living things and just over ten years ago it brought me to one of the most beautiful parts of England imagineable, the 'secret valley' of my blog.

    For those still considering it, take the risk for it is well worth taking. Life can be rich in very many ways, not just financially.

    Johnson

    ReplyDelete
  42. So glad I found your blog. It's so inspiring. I retired a year ago and struggle with what I call the "not going to work everyday syndrome." It is an adjustment that is for sure. Thank you for your insight and encouragement.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

A link to your blog will be automatically added to your comment. Please don't add another link to your blog in your comment. Those comments will not be published.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...