These things give our lives meaningOctober 06, 2015
Yesterday Meg wrote a lovely and much appreciated comment:
This post kind of sums it all up for me, this idea of simple living. Making what you can, finding better ways of doing things, giving back to community and recognising the beauty in the simplicity. Reading your book earlier this year set in motion a whole string of changes for me. I was raised to frugality and resourcefulness so was nodding in agreement with most of it, but your writing reminds me to take pride in what I do and to enjoy it. And I made my first batch of soap, which I have been wanting to do for years but have been too daunted by the caustic soda aspect. It was so easy and so much fun, thanks to your instructions. So really, this is my thankyou letter to you. Thank You!
When comments such as these arrive, I am delighted my work has helped someone and that they take the time to reach out and tell me that. I like to be appreciated, it gives me reasons to carry on. Meg's comment encouraged me to write today about how simple life is a multi-faceted diamond. It's making what you can, finding better ways of doing things, giving back to community and recognising the beauty in the simplicity. When lived well, this life isn't just about the physical work we do, although that is an important part of it, it's also about feeling valued and enjoying your productivity.
I think we should all be proud of the continuing stream of work we do in our homes. I'm not talking about the boastful pride you sometimes see. This is more a calm contentment that for you, for today, this work made a difference and it was enough. There is loneliness attached to our work sometimes, because often our days are spent alone or with small children, or out in the workforce, and there isn't anyone to say we're doing okay. Many of us also deal with families who don't express their appreciation. And some of us get so busy with the daily chores, or the combination of chores and paid work, we don't stop to think about our role in the family home. But there is a reason we are working as we do and while some of our motives are connected to thrift, health, sustainability, productivity, ethics and values, there is also generosity, acceptance, kindness, appreciation and pride in work well done. These things give our lives meaning.
Life isn't about working till you drop, we all have to find purpose in what we do. When we find that, it's the eureka moment - much like Meg's, when you feel the need to change and then continue that change every day in many ordinary and extraordinary ways. If you can see passed the work and always be mindful of the reason for it, you'll find it easier to continue. And I hope you feel proud of your achievements and enjoy what you do because how you see your work can make or break you.