4 January 2009

A self-made life

Regular readers will probably be pleased to know the white Christmas tablecloth is washed and back in the cupboard. ; - )

No one will hand you the life you want to live on a silver platter. The only life that is there for the taking, without modifications, is today's "normal" life of spending, debt, credit cards and never ending work to pay the bills. Most people, including me, usually fall for that one. A simple life needs work and requires that you step up and build, for yourself, the life you want. And because it is self made, simple lives are always slightly different to each other - anything home made and one of a kind is like that; it's one of the many charms of the unique when you don't settle for mass production.

When I envisioned what I wanted my life to become, I wanted to be as independent as possible from the shops and provide as much as I could from my own home. To do that I undertook a period of solo reskilling, usually with my friends telling me I'd gone a bit loopy. They didn't understand the need for sourdough, or any other kind of home baked bread, when there was plenty of bread available for the taking at the supermarket. They didn't understand making soap or jam or cordials or growing food and preserving it. They only started to understand when they were invited around and were delighted by the taste and freshness of what I served them.

When I stopped using cleaning products and started using vinegar, bicarb and washing soda, they really thought I'd lost it. I didn't care. I was on a roll by then, I knew what I was doing was good for us and saving a lot of money. I also started feeling pleased with the progress we'd made and that I didn't have to run to the shop for everything. As the months progressed into years, I could quite easily produce most of what we needed here in my home. It felt good and it inspired me on to keep going.

But a simple life can be many things. It doesn't have to include gardening, sewing or baking, there are many ways to build a simple life that suits you exactly. That is one of the benefits of it, you build the life you want to live.

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. You get it from your successes and by seeing other people work towards the same goals you have set for yourself. There will always be naysayers around and people who don't want you to change or succeed. Never listen to them, listen to your heart instead, it will keep you true to your purpose. I hope the biggest kitchen table will provide the inspiration and knowledge you need to take that next step, whether it be the first one in your simple life, or one much further down the track.

Linda, I think the gardening posts will work because gardening is the same world-wide. Yes, the severity of our seasons is different, but we will have many northern hemisphere gardeners taking part and I'm sure they'll fill in any gaps in my knowledge. And I will encourage them, and all others, to post about what works for them.

There is the facility in Blogger to disallow anonymous comments and after some recent anonymous comments I was tempted to use it. However, I am aware there are many people who read here who do not have a blog, nor do they want one. I am also aware that some people with blogs hide under 'anonymous' when they want to criticise. I have enabled comment moderation, and will keep it on from now on, but out of courtesy to me and to the other readers here, when you comment as anonymous, please add you name to the end of the comment so we have a rough idea of who you are. Thank you.

And now, with that unpleasantness out of the way, let's all work towards a better life for ourselves and our families. We have some wonderful people reading here and I know the biggest table will be a great way for us to share our knowledge, to support one another and to encourage all of us to live to our true potential.

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