DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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3 June 2015

I should not complain

I should not complain. I know that. But here I go again. I want my old routines back. Once upon a time I had this very comfortable routine where I rose early, did a few outside tasks, had breakfast, made the bed, cleaned the kitchen and had bread on the rise before 9am. Starting each day with that unremarkable jumble of activities set me up for the day and seemed to launch me into hours of productivity and, occasionally, creativity.

Work was done, ordinary days were lived, life was simple.


Let me say before it's too late to include it that I know I'm fortunate to have the extraordinary opportunity to write a book. Knowing it's going to be read by a lot of people all over the world still makes me think: who? me!!  My publisher, Penguin Random House, is incredibly supportive. And yet I can hardly wait until the writing phase is over and I'm back to what I think of as my real life.



I long to get back to ordinary days just doing what needs doing around my home. I want to use my sewing machine to make what we need, I want to clean up my green house and repot baskets and pots and increase the number of plants on my front verandah until we can hardly move out there. I want to sit, read and talk to Jamie. This beautiful age will be over soon and maybe I'll forget that he makes me laugh by saying: "that's marvellous" or "it's bad news, grandma." He's so wise as his just turned four year old self, I want to pick his brain for more unforgettable things. I have much to tell him too.



I'm glad there is only a short time to go. In four weeks I'll be finished. Four weeks and my written message to you will be at Penguin with Jo and Andrea and they'll send it to the designer, send me samples and I'll become excited and proud once again. So maybe it's okay to be an old curmudgeon this one time - get it all out and then settle in for the final four weeks. I am really happy I chose a short writing period and met every deadline. And soon I'll have that book in my hands and know that putting my routines aside for six months was a small price because it will give us the chance to travel around again, talking to people and hopefully encouraging everyone to work to routines and be happy doing it.  ♥︎


26 comments:

  1. As we say in the southern U.S., You're in the "short rows" now! Farmers used to plant crops on an angle in a field, so when you got down to working the short rows, you were nearly done. Looking forward to the new book!

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    1. This is a lovely snippet of culture, language and history! Thx for sharing :) made my day :)

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  2. This is hardly complaining, you should hear some folks!, but I understand wanting to get back on track and just bask in the simple everyday achievements. You should be proud. You are leaving one hell of a legacy for your children and their grandchildren. A Mrs.Beeton for the modern ages if you will. :)

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  3. I completely understand the feeling. My morning routine started at 6 and finished at 9 and it always left me with a feeling of success and contentment and time to do everything else I wanted to do including working for money.. Every year when I ran my own business we had that one really busy "season". Not enough hours in a day and not enough days in the week to do what needed to be done in the time allotted so my real life got put on hold. This made me very cross and frustrated. In the end I added time to my day. Got up an hour earlier so that my home work time was from 5 to 8 and then I settled in to do my committed work. Of course I had to give up doing many of the special things I loved to do but working for money was important as well. Losing an hour of sleep for a set period of time is not so bad especially when it can be offset by the satisfaction of doing some of the things you love to do. And I admit when the weather was particularly nice I would reclaim that extra hour of work time for me time and disappear into the garden for an hour in the afternoon. I think this helped me be even more productive.

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  4. Hi Rhonda,
    Well I think that you should give yourself a pat on the back for committing yourself to another big challenge and sticking to your deadlines - WELL DONE YOU!!
    It will all be worth it when you have finished and as you say you can return to your simple way of life. I can't wait to get the book into my hands and savour every word.
    Hopefully I can buy it from Amazon as I live in the U.K and had to pay lots of pennies to get your Down To Earth book shipped over. But it was well worth every penny :-)
    Four weeks will soon be up and there is light at the end of the tunnel!!
    Keep going Rhonda!
    Eve x

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  5. This is a lovely post Rhonda about how important the day to day rituals are and how much routine is a part of who we are and our happiness in our home. You are very fortunate to have the gift of writing and your words give so much to so many people. Congratulations on your new book. I have your 'Down to Earth' book and still enjoy reading and learning through your words. Ann

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  6. Rhonda - Please know how much your hard work is appreciated. You have taught me to slow down and love my home. I used to "shop until I dropped", and now I look forward to baking a batch of cookies. Who would have thought?!

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  7. Congratulations dear Rhonda ~ Hang in there,this next 4 weeks will go by fast.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

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  8. Dear Rhonda,
    I read your blog since a few years and went through almost all your posts. Once that English is not my mother language, I feel everytime a bit "unconfortable" with the idea of leaving a comment with mistakes... but this time I have to do it. Just like a public THANK YOU for all hat I receive from your words.

    You cannot imagine how much you have inspired and supported me in my journey to a simple life. Without your tips, experiences and sharing of your everyday routine, I think I would not have made it, because I've been walking alone - everyone I know is too busy to think about basic values, if you know what I mean.

    So, just like you did, I also decided to show to my husbad how we could do it. Not much conversations required, just showing by doing. Guess what, it worked ;)

    It tooked us a few years,but we went from zero to having a vegetables and herbs garden, using rain water, mending, cooking from scrap, eating healthy, recycling, producing cleaning items, buying many things in 2nd hand, consuming much, extremely much less. We settled both feet on the ground and since then it's impossible to go back to what we were some years ago.

    When my husband saw me reading your books, I told him about your blog. He was quite impressed and said to me, "well, we are on the way to become the new Rhonda and Hanno (my husband is also german), and that you have to say to Rhonda and thank her for " :D

    Fair enough, so here it is: a BIG thank you. Mostly in your words I find the "fuel" to continue on the way that I felt was rigth. Today, I am sure it is rigth, because somewhere and somehow during this process I have the feeling I also found me.

    One hug from a portuguese reader in Germany,

    Paula

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    1. Hello Paula, thank you for commenting and don't worry about the mistakes. I can understand you perfectly. Teaching by doing is the best way, so well done to you and your husband for making all those changes. It can be a lonely road but it's much better if you can share it. My very best wishes to you and your husband. I hope the future is very bright for you both. xx

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  9. I've not long discovered your blog, great stuff! I've a lot of reading here to catch up on. Good luck with the book, hope you get your life back soon

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  10. It is us Rhonda who are fortunate to have you sacrifice your daily life to inspire and encourage us. In modern society people often relegate older people into the "had it" basket. However Titus 2 in the bible tells us that married older women have a wealth of knowledge and duty to share and train younger women. So thank you for your sacrifice and commitment. Look at this final stage of writing like the last month of pregnancy, it's long and laborious to get through but when it's over you'll be happy with the fruits of your labour.

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  11. Routine is a fascinating thing. It always intrigues me how people follow routines. My Nana had great personal routines and routines around her home and for my adult life, I've tried (without much success) to emulate that. Now I see my brother-in-law living his routines and wish I was able to slip into a flow like he does. I'm reading a book called Better Than Before - Mastering the Habits of our Everyday Lives which is revealing some of the secrets to creating better routines but I think it is something that will always elude me.

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  12. Simple life is most satisfying. Have you ever noticed some not all people with heaps money and so many possessions whinge and aren't really satisfied as they seem to be chasing the next thing.

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  13. Thanks for taking the time to write another book, Rhonda. I know you'd be the last to have those dreams of grandeur, but it is what it is, and please know you have made a difference. I do hope your writing finishes soon so you can have precious time with Jamie.

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  14. Rhonda, I cannot wait until your book is finished. Thank you for taking time away from your daily routines to bless others! It is much appreciated.

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  15. I used to work 14 hour shifts at a hospital, and there were times during those stretches of days where I just longed to do something simple, like make a slow meal or mop the floors; instead of work, sleep, work some more. Sometimes I even read about housekeeping during my breaks LOL! So I truly know what you're saying - intense work for a period of time makes you appreciate the "normal" anew! Happy Home Stretch!
    -Jaime

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  16. I didn't read this as complaining so much as wistfully thinking of what life was like--and will be again soon!--when you don't have a book deadline hanging over your head. I feel the same when I'm on an editing deadline, as I am right now--I'm grateful for the work, but find myself wishing I had more time to putter. I still get the basics done--homeschool, meals, laundry, etc--but the rest goes by the wayside and the house shows it. Can't wait to finish up so I can give our home some TLC, and enjoy a summer with my littles. :)

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  17. Four short weeks and you will be back to normal. Now my children are married and off living their lives people ask me why don't I go back to work. I tell them I just don't have the time. I'm busy living a simple life. It was because of necessity at first. Now it's because it's what we love. And that's the best reason of all

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  18. It can be frustrating when even good things get in the way of our routine for too long.

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  19. Not long now, but, i don't think you are moaning, more yearning for your 'normal'!
    I really wish I had my own property and land, a bit further away from neighbours (all mortgage free of course!), and could live my life the way i want to. It's easy for folk to say, 'make it happen' though when you haven't got the where-with-all to get moving on that life lol!
    Thanks Rhonda for your vast knowledge,experience and wisdom. xxx

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  20. I know, I do indeed, routines are the cornerstone of my everyday life.

    Diverging slightly: in the second photo, is that a knitted hot pad the teapot is on? I had never considered that! (or seen a pattern says Ms Non-Creative)

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    1. Yes Rose, it's a hot pad but I think it's crocheted. One of the readers sent it to me. I'll have a look in the morning to check.

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  21. We'll complain together Rhonda, because I want my old routines back too. Now that I am back at work 3 to 4 days a week (and bringing work home as well), I am really missing the time I had to myself earlier this year and last year. But I am very glad I recognised at the time how precious those hours and days were and I relished them.

    I am really looking forward to seeing your new book in print Rhonda.

    I am so glad Paula commented, I really enjoyed reading what she had to say.

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  22. I'm really looking forward to the new book, can't wait!

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  23. As I always say to my husband, it's not complaining, it's explaining! A world of difference. And I, too, see the "yearning" in this post, and understand it. Good luck with the next four weeks.

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