Thank you all for the good wishes and prayers sent yesterday. My high temperature didn't rise or turn into anything worse. I started feeling better and things only improved after that. It's lovely to have friends who drop by and share their concerns. Thank you for taking the time to send a message or write a comment. Even though we're sometimes a world away from each other, this community is always a close and caring one.
As most of you know, I'm coming to the end of my book writing and have just started on the last chapter. It's been an intense period of sitting at my desk all day, almost every day for the past five months. I have only baked a couple of loaves of bread during that time and I haven't done much pickling or preserving either, but almost all the other culinary tasks I carry out have been done in between paragraphs or when I needed to get off the computer and think something over.
Soap and laundry liquid have been made, I cook from scratch every day and I enjoy time well spent in the garden with Jamie. Hanno has been a great help with washing up, grocery shopping, peeling vegetables and doing whatever I ask of him. But it is this life itself - simple life, that has help us through these busy months. If we weren't living slow and simple, I doubt I would have attempted another book, and I know I wouldn't have been able to do it in that timeframe. I sometimes hear people say that as soon as they get busy, they don't have time for simple living. I feel the opposite, it is because we live simply that I can cope so well with the busy and frantic times.
Simple life builds reliability and organisation into every day, it makes people who live this way resilient and strong. It does seem like more work and often it is but the work itself is its own safeguard. Our bills are paid on time because we've organised our money and created a budget, we have a stockpile of food on hand so we don't have to shop every week, we're healthy because we're eating from scratch and have rid our home of harsh chemicals, menus are planned, work is driven by easy routines, we're relaxed and accepting of everyday life. We know where we're headed.
I'm not sure if I would have been able to commit intellectually or psychologically to such a rigorous writing timeframe if I was living as I used to. But since I slowed down and came to understand myself a whole lot more, I knew I had the strength to do it, a family who would support me and a way of life that would help me cope with not only this, but anything that came my way. This life has made me much stronger than I used to be, and that has given me the confidence to say yes to so many things that have enriched my soul.
And so to those who think you can only do all those simple life things when you have the time to do them, I encourage you to dive right in and just do it. Don't underestimate simple life, or yourself. You'll be surprised what a great support it becomes around you - from the practical things like a food stockpile to feed you when you can't buy what you need, and routines that help you get through your work, to the strength you need to move forward with confidence when things look shaky. Instead of thinking you can't have the life you want, just start doing things that will sustain you. Stop mindless shopping, create a budget, work in your home, develop a generous and kind attitude, let this new life create itself around you and then rely on it. It may not look like anyone else's life but that's fine. Genuine simplicity is a unique, flexible and moveable feast.