10 December 2007

I’m not perfect, people!

I get the impression sometimes that some readers think I’m a perfect angel who works away without a word of complaint, making no mistakes and with everything going perfectly to plan. I doubt anyone can claim perfection every day. I am as flawed as the next person. I have things I don’t like doing, I make mistakes – yesterday I forgot to put the yeast in the bread. Please don’t think that my life is perfect and the ideal life that all people living simply should aspire to. This is just my version of simple living. I’ve custom made my life to suit how I want to live, you should do the same. Even if our goals and values are similar, our circumstances, our capabilities, the way we work, the time we have to give to our work at home, all these factors make the outcomes of simple living different. And that is the way it should be.

There are days when I don't feel like baking bread or sweeping the floor and only do it because I push myself. I could easily buy bread, already sliced and presented in a plastic bag for "freshness", I could vacuum the floor, or simply leave the mess for another day. I am not perfect, I have those days too.

I also make mistakes and forget or refuse to do things. When I first started to knit again, I undid my first item about 10 times before I got it right. Some things are difficult for me to do. I do most of my work in the morning because in the afternoon I feel tired and work then on gentle tasks like mending and sewing. Last month I couldn't be bothered feeding the worms for a week. They survived, and so did I. Yesterday I was supposed to do all the ironing, but it was hot and I didn't feel like doing it. Did I soldier on and complete it all? Nope! I did about half and left the rest. I did that because I have the same weaknesses as everyone else and sometimes I'm lazy ... and hot.

I suppose that other retired women who live simply would have similar days to mine, but all you younger girls, those with babies and toddlers to care for and love, and all those who work outside the home, your days would be different. That is okay – I am not the ideal. I’m just here writing about what I do. And while I hope that some of what I write is used to modify fragmented and stress-filled lives, if you’ve got your own version of a simple life or are working towards it, own it, respect it and be proud that you’ve made a custom built life and haven't fallen for the one-size-fits-all consumers' special.

We all need role models. I think a lot of the problems we now live with are because we model our behaviour on people who live celebrity lifestyles, and not real people who live as we do. One of the reasons I write here every day is that I hope I am a positive role model and that what I do will show others the varied possibilities of a simple life. A lot of my life is wonderful and even on the bad days I wouldn't change one second of it for any other kind of life, but I do make mistakes; I am not perfect, nor do I try to be.

I am just one ordinary woman who is making it up as I go. I make my own rules, and break them too, but I always try to live according to my values. I am honest with myself, I try to make what I do as easy as I can and while I thoroughly enjoy all the positive outcomes of my work, I gladly accept the negatives too. Life's like that - for every ounce of gold, you have at least an ounce of soil you have to sift through to find it. So if you're struggling with your life and if it's not the way you want it to be every day, accept that as part of living. Always try to be your best, but don't expect perfection.


  1. hi Rhonda,how refreshing to hear that you're not perfect!But guess what ,you come pretty close in my book.!!!LOL.You do come across to me as someone who is very content and grateful, and i think that is something we should all aim for in life, then (almost) perfect would probably follow....I am finding my daily dose of "Down -to -earth" a real inspiration, to help me live a different life, and i have great plans for the new year. how about doing a tutorial about soapmaking and candlemaking?? I would love to try it ,but there is so much information availble, i'm just looking for a few simple ways that are not going to break the bank, any ideas? Thanks again, take care Dorte, england

  2. I really like what you have said here Rhonda and it ties in with some of my thoughts this past weekend.

    While I was happily handwashing some clothes, making bread etc. I was thinking how lucky I am to be "time rich" and able to take the time needed to do these chores the way I like them to be done. Then I began to wonder how different it would be if I still had children to care for or a job to go to.

    My youngest sister is tackling this problem at the moment and has reduced her working hours so that she and her family can live more simply and with less stress. Her days will be very different to mine but she too will be living the simple life she craves - her way.

  3. Rhonda,

    I hope you don't get up set because I never see you as perfect. I do see you as lady that does have it together.

    Now days we are all so scattered. It is nice to be reminded to slow down a bit. We need to take sometime to bake some bread find time to knit. (relax a bit)

    I read your blog because it helps me to slow down and to start paying more attention to my time and money.

    I thank you for keeping your blog "real". I like reading about
    your day. It helps me see how I can make my days better:)

    Blessings to you,


  4. Rhonda,

    My mother died some 9 plus years ago. Whilst she didn't major in housework, so what? she loved and cared for my daughter when she was a little girl, in a way she wasn't able to when I was little. It doesn't matter, I still miss her.

    So you are my role model, for all the things I didn't learn and want to know. I'm pretty good at the homemaking thing after 30 years, but I still need my role models to tell me it's ok to bunk off once in a while.


    p.s. naughty hen. Funny, but naughty!

  5. Rhonda,
    Not that I thought you have ever attempted to be perfect or state that you are, but nonetheless it's nice to hear about your imperfections too. I think that is when we most can learn from others - we can relate when others share their weaknesses.

    There are many many days I don't have an ounce of motivation and make myself get up to do whatever tasks I must to keep things going (some days it's the minimum!) and cooking, I have just absolutely detested of late. I'm not sure why, other than that it is never-ending, and with food limitations I have to know what's in everything I eat, which gets quite tedious at times. Once in a while, I just would like to go and have a quick burger & fries, a sandwich or even a frozen meal, and I can't.

    Don't mean to complain - I do thank you for being transparent. To me that is always an encouragement to see that in others.

    Blessings, Lyn

  6. Oh my goodness! That is precisely what I love about you... you come across as anything but "Perfect". You are "Helpful", "Intelligent", "caring", "generous" and "willing". Those are great qualities, and if you came across as "perfect", I for one would not even frequent your blog nor would I take anything you say seriously.
    Hardly a day goes by that I don't glean a bit of wisdom from you!
    Blessings to you this day,

  7. Thank you for your honesty. I struggle daily with caring for a toddler, my home, my husband and myself. I feel I often fall very short of "success". But it is encouraging and inspiring to read about others trying to live a simple life. It reminds me to get back to the basics as much as possible.

  8. I love what you have written here Rhonda! A lot of people, especially teens etc. seem to think that their role models are perfect. It's lovely to be reminded that you're "normal" & "human" as well as an inspiration :)

  9. Great post Rhonda (as usual) I need to be reminded of this as I so often look at others as perfect and find I never measure up to my perception of them. It's nice to know that you are human too, but it's nicer to feel that you can share that info with us.
    cheers Lenny

  10. Your blog has never given me the impression that you feel "perfect" or even an expert in any particular area. You sound very, well, down to earth. Isn't that what you aspire to? Your sound as if you care and you share and you love life and our poor planet and your fellow humans. As others have commented, I too find inspiration here and new ideas to mull over. I'm 62 years old, live in Ohio, am recently widowed and trying to work on the reconstruction of my life. Your writing helps. Thank you.

  11. Hi Rhonda
    I love reading your blog and that's because I find you a great role model, a human role model.

    All the best

  12. What a great post! You are such a great inspiration, we all need to do what is best for the way of our own household, and I think anyone who reads your blog walks away feeling like they have learned something. Something to simplify, something to be grateful for. I so enjoy listening ( reading ) to what you have to say!


  13. Like Renee said, I enjoy your blog because it reminds me to slow down and appreciate the little things.

    With children aged 3,5 and 7 it's impractical to think that I'm going to have the time to do all the wonderful little things that you do. But I feel inspired to find beauty in what others may regard as 'chores' and that is why I like to visit.

    In my life there are very few people who have values similar to mine, not even my husband, but it is so refreshing to stumble across someone like yourself, perfect or imperfect.



  14. I love that you are such a positive role model as wella s a kind and caring person. I hate the word "perfect" as it carrys so much baggage with it. I try to make sure that i tell my children that I don't want perfect, I just want them to do the best that they can - so in the end they will be happy with what they have achieved.
    Thanks for keeping your blog real :)

  15. Thank you for permission to do what we can... and that's enough for now. :)

  16. "Life's like that - for every ounce of gold, you have at least an ounce of soil you have to sift through to find it. So if you're struggling with your life and if it's not the way you want it to be every day, accept that as part of living. Always try to be your best, but don't expect perfection."

    Another gem. You readily put into words many simple thoughts I only struggle to let out.

    RJ, it's ok you're not perfect, and I'm very glad you know that too!

    And thank you for pointing out that despite sometimes needing guidance (don't we all?!), it is important that we each need to continue on our own personal simple-life journeys which may not always be cookie-cutter or set in stone.

    Hugs to you & feel good about put your feet up now & then! Like others have said, it is also nice to know you're human too.

  17. Hi Rhonda Jean. Your blog is so inspirational because you don't set yourself up as perfection. As others have said here you come across in your blog as wise, content, grateful, giving - all of the things your readers find inspiring.

    'Perfection' is off-putting. It leads to feelings of inadequacy and failure. But to watch and read about a woman much like ourselves living the life we aspire to helps us in our own journeys towards simple living, and lets us know that it is possible to achieve, so thankyou!

    BTW. On the egg eating front, we found when we had broody hens that we had to place food and water right in front of the brooder to get her to eat. You might find additions to her diet necessary too -slugs, caterpillers etc might give her the extra protein she needs, Good luck!

  18. A lovely piece Rhonda. I think a lot of us get caught up in what I call the 'Dallas' effect. Supposed to be able to run a world class business, have perfect houses, always dressed up to the nines etc. and all without breaking into a sweat!

    What's important is that the simple basic things are done, healthy food to eat, clean clothes (they don't need to be ironed) and that we have time to be ourselves and to be there for those who need us.

    Trying to be perfect is not good for the health as you can never relax and if you are like I was, you never can acknowledge that you have done enough. In my case it was a contributory factor to a breakdown.

    Now I do what I can and take great heed and strength from people like yourself who remind us what is really important - enjoying life.

    Many thanks again for another great post.

  19. Heheheh, Rhonda, what a fun title... and here I was thinking you're all of an angel... ;)))

    Naturally, we try to be positive and uplifting in the blogging world - but we all have our difficult moments!

  20. Dear Rhonda, you are so wonderfully 'down to earth'! :) Thank you for being such a good role model and for taking the time to teach us all that you do ~ that is so needed in our world today!


  21. Depends on how you define perfect ; ). I think that's the beauty of a blog: to discuss and work out ideas, to explore something from all sides, and to make those discussions and explorations personal and unique. (You do that very well.)

    Trying to be you wouldn't work very well - for one thing, I'd get stuck on the accent ; ) ! I learn from what you're doing in your life, and I interpret that so that it makes sense in my world.

    We all have good days and bad days, and we're all full of idiosyncrasies. But that's what makes us unique and interesting. And often we learn the most about ourselves and each other during the bad days!

    Anyway, feel free to continue to reveal your imperfections - it makes us all feel more human.

  22. Dear Rhonda,

    My family has only recently started on our journey to simplicity, and I find you to be a wonderful role model. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Barb J.
    North Carolina, USA

  23. You can only be your best and only you know what that is. Be happy.


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