3 September 2008

The change

The beginnings of a cotton nightie I started last weekend.

My simple life is a series of small changes. They may appear inconsequential to many but they add up to an entire alternative lifestyle to me. My first real change came when I closed my business to concentrate on living. That was a big change to many people who know me, but a small one to me. When I stopped working and had more time I was able to revolt against a lot of what I did in my life. It’s strangely comforting to look back on our old life now. I have rejected many of the commonly held values that my contemporaries still hold true, and every day I look at ways of changing and improving what I’m doing. Many women of my age group feel comfort knowing that their lives are ordered and planned, I have never felt that. I feel uneasy with subliminal messages that tell me to be like everyone else and to not question how I live. I thrive on change, and although my life is rock steady now and my changes are only small, it is enough to keep me motivated and sure about what I'm doing. I am, by nature, a non-conformist so living the way I do now sits very well with that.

It’s difficult when you start to change life-long habits and ways of doing things. You’re pioneering new territory for yourself and need to take it slow. But living simply can be done anywhere and at any stage of life, all it requires is that you start your own small changes and fashion your new life around sustainable values. I don’t expect many people would start to live simply by doing what I did - giving up work, it’s more about doing the things you do every day in a different way. How you spend your money would be a good place to start – shop in a different way, buy local produce, start making some things for yourself, be thrifty and try to cut down on the amount you spend.

Budgeting is the biggest surprise to me. I always thought only the anal, tight-lipped brigade found pleasure in budgeting, but even though my lips aren’t tight or pursed, I love my budget. It’s allowed us to live on a very small amount of money and yet know for certain that we have enough to allow us to do most of the things we want to do. And we don’t worry about money!

So today there is another simple change for me. I've given up working that third day at the Centre, from now on, I will work two days. I need more time at home now. Don't be afraid to change as you go along. Make sure that what you're doing is working for you, if it isn't, change it. As usual, I have a few things to catch up on today. I'll be baking biscuits later this morning and there is washing to be done and hung out. Hanno vacuumed yesterday so that gives me more time to concentrate on writing.

I have four little parcels to post. One is to my swap partner, Danielle, the others to Julie, Vicki and Sharon - who won the stitcheries. I forgot to take the parcels with me to work on Monday, yesterday I took them but left my purse at home. LOL! I'll post them today, they are sitting on the kitchen table and Hanno said he'll walk Alice over to the post office to post them this morning.

There are also a lot of emails to answer and I'm not sure I'll get to them today. I'm sorry if you're one of those waiting. I apologise and will get to them as soon as I can. And last, but not least, the matter of awards. I have been very fortunate to receive a lot of awards along the way. However, now I have to tell you all that although I am honoured that you think well of me and my blog, I can't accept any awards. I just don't have the time to deal with them and pass them on. I mean no disrespect to anyone, it is simply that the small amount of time I spend blogging, is spent writing my blog. But I appreciate the thought and thank you for thinking of me.


  1. Dearest Rhonda,
    You are one classy lady. I just love the way you follow your heart.
    You truly KNOW what joy is and that's so important in life.
    Thinking of you today my friend and as always, hugs to Alice.


  2. I'll just give you an award in my heart, Rhonda! How's that?

    It's so good to hear your reassuring words about change. As you know, I need to make some changes (!) and while the thought of change on one hand is scaring the living daylights out of me, on the other it seems so freeing. I thnk I'm moving closer - Jerry and I are toying right now with the downsizing idea. We're embracing it more with every day:)

  3. Rhonda,

    I do so admire you, you know what is important to you in your life and are not afraid to have the courage of your convictions.

    When I was in the free fall spending society, I often felt the pull of our home, at that stage in our lives, we had only just started to get our home together and did not have much money.....so I felt I had to stay on the tred mill......

    It was in 2005 when I was taken ill I realised that we could manage on less if we were less materialistic and I re-discovered what I had practiced 40 years before......We visited a friend today and whilst we were there someone came whom I had not seen for 2 years, he remarked how well I was looking, far more relaxed than he had ever seen me.....contentment in your life shows........

    You blog is the first thing I turn to when I put my computer on, and just occasionally I manage to link into it before I go to bed.....your morning is out night, next day.......

  4. Rhonda, you explain it so well. Be true to yourself. It's the only way to go. You owe no one any explanations, I'm just happy to take us along for the ride!

  5. Rhonda, I've been reading your blog for a while and really enjoying it. I recently read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara KIngsolver, and that and your blog have inspired me to make some changes. So I've started going to our local Farmers Market and restarted my vegie garden. I'm looking to make more changes a bit at a time, but I'm already happier about my life. Thanks for the inspiration. I particularly love your photos.

  6. Rhonda,

    I think it is great that you have sat back and found that three days was too much. I have always said you can have only so much on a plate:)

    I have been thinking a lot about how much is too much too. 1.I homeschool our girls that takes alot of time. 2. I try to get the house in some order:) 3. I try to find some stitching time. (Christmas is coming soon)4. We want to build a greenhouse and our chicken coop. I don't think it is possiable to do it all. So like you we need to sit back and see what we have on our plate and see if it will all fit.

    Thank you again for spending some time with us:) I am looking forward to your book:)I hope you enjoy your day!!


  7. Like Cathy, I admire the way you follow your heart and reading your posts encourages us all to consider what small changes we want to make in our own lives :)

  8. I am so glad that you are taking another day for yourself Rhonda. You'll still have the joy of volunteering but also time for your needs.

    We are still working five days a week but it's a strict 9.30am-5pm thing. Progress. :)

  9. Hi Rhonda, that's great that you have been able to drop back to two days. What night dress pattern do you use?
    love Jenny

  10. Rhonda,
    I just found your blog yesterday, and I absolutely LOVE it!!!! I spent ALL day reading posts and finding more information for Aquaponics! I'm embarrassed to say that I've never even heard of it till I read your posts about it. I've kept fish for 10+ years, but never realized you could grow vegetables that way too!!! I wanted to just share a couple things with you, I feel bad that I never found your blog sooner, but in dealing with fish I've found when you have algae blooms, not only do you cover it so no sun reaches it, but also putting non-iodized salt in the tank with help as well.
    I hope if you try to give it another go, you'll have better luck!
    In Christ,

  11. Hello there,

    No need to respond here, I subscribe to your blog in a reader and on the odd occasion I like to leave you a short message; like now: I thoroughly enjoyed this post!

    It left me feeling as though anything is possible, and it doesn't have to happen overnight. Slow change has a sweeter impact. I'm in my early 30's but from my early years have always looked to the future and believe that little positive changes made every so often can go a very long way. And your blog is proof of that!

    I just love your writing style - it's so easy to get lost in.

  12. I enjoyed your post today very much. It is about the small changes and being at peace with them and embracing more.

  13. I so enjoyed reading this post! You really seem to know what you want out of life and go after it. I so admire that and am trying to do the same. It's hard when people won't let you change,or should I say don't encourage you in the changes you want to make. I always leave here feeling encouraged!


  14. Hello Rhonda!

    I have learned so much from reading your blog. The archives are so full of info and instruction. This year I grew my first garden and am amazed at the results - fresh veggies - when all I thought I could grow were dying houseplants :). You have given me the confidence to reclaim my life, and actually DO and MAKE instead of SHOP and BUY.

  15. Simplicity is a wonderful aim to have. Our modern lives are far to complicated, not only do we perceive ourselves to be financially poor, but also time poor. Getting back to the simple pleasures of life is a lesson we can all learn from, especially when we have children.

  16. "Happiness is a place between too little and too much."

    - A Finnish Proverb

  17. Hello everyone. Your kind and generous comments really mean a lot to me, thanks to each and every one of you.

    Jenny dear, I don't have a real pattern. I find patterns, even simple ones, very difficult to follow. That's why I draw my own stitchery patterns. I have an older nightie here that I'm following by eye. It seems to work for me. :- )

  18. We recycle, thrift shop, repair broken things ourselves,,darn and mend things, scratch cook if it's cheaper, it isn't always....organic garden and only owe utilities and hospital bills. We paid off all our bills a few years ago. I don't think we can downsize anymore but I am always looking for ways to do it.

    I find you blog a good source of infomation and an intersting read. : )

  19. I thought I was living a "simple" lifestyle till I lost my job. Having no monies I became a true "down to earth" person. I had to learn, re-learn and even un-learn to make this transition. But in the long run I am in better health, better spirits and have come to be a more contented happier person. I have learned to do & to live with MUCH less, learned to stop crying the "woes to me"..., stop worring, be thankful, and to live ONE day at a time. I got caught up with the worlds view of what is happiness with contentment...losing my job was the BEST gift I have ever recieved. Oh yea...I thought I was going to die and I was so scared, so very scared...but in time, with lots of tears... I realized the "truth" of it all...it has changed me completely. Blogs like yours has helped me, to keep keeping on with a love, a laughter, a peace and real joy with the life I have!

  20. I just stumbled into this blog and I am so very impressed! What lovely little gem! Blog on!

  21. How good that tin of embroidery floss looks - makes me want to plan a new project, though I know I must finish my current WIP's first.

    I am currently changing the way we shop, as we backslid into the "get most of the stuff from one place" habit because we had other demands on our time. I am just not prepared to do that any longer. I am also supporting as many local shops as I can, and found out that the butchers are actually cheaper than the supermarket for meat, unless I go to the real high-fallutin' butcher a few miles distant - and the quality of the meat is SO superior.

    We have had the unexpected expense of bringing a much-loved pony back from an unsuitable new home, and it meant my husband and I going without the few nights away together (first time in 20 years of marriage/parenthood) we had planned. We had one night away, checked the pony, and drove home (slowly, across the moors) to sort out her homecoming. Ah well, it was obviously meant to be and we are fortunate that we can live out of the freezers and storeroom to cover the unexpected expense.

    Keep up the good work - your blog is the first one I click on in the mornings!

  22. What a great attitude! I keep coming back to you for inspiration as I slowly change my own life and I'm never disappointed.


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