Where to go from this day forward

27 August 2010
We all seem to be on the same page when it comes to retirement and we all know that if your 20 or 70, simple living will help you live well all through your life. I'm guessing you've made a decision to be more proactive with your reskilling and debt payments, or you're already on that road, so what now? Well, I think you should examine your own home, and life, and work out what skills you need to do what you want to do. One of the wonderful things about living simply is that it suits everyone - those with money and those without it, younger and older, and those in the city or country. So taking that diverse range of people and circumstances it stands to reason that there is no formula that suits everyone. But this is about independence, we don't want to be fed formulas, we want to work out, for ourselves, what is needed in our own home. Some people will already know how to cook but not how to bake, some will sew, some will have to learn how, some will know how to farm their backyards, others will have to learn about container gardening, some will have water tanks rigged up, others will still be wondering if they need to harvest rain. The time has come for you to decide how you want your own home to function, what it is you need now and in the future, know to the last cent where your money is and how it is being used and when you have a list that will customise and simplify your life, work out what skills you need to develop so you can carry out your plan.

Too many beans - some need to be put aside for eating later. I always blanch the vegetables I freeze. It kills enzymes that sometimes lead to spoilage.

I did a series on simply life skills called the Biggest Kitchen Table that might help you with this. If you go to my blog archives, they start July 2, 2009. I hope some of the information there will help you identify what you need to do right now.

Six little packs of beans for two.

I hope you find, like I did, that even the normal tasks of the everyday will gently move you towards your goals. Washing up, sweeping the floor and baking bread sets the rhythm to my days that carries me through my tasks as if I have always lived like this and I was born to do it. Learning how to stockpile saved me time and money and that time was spent more effectively out in the garden, or sewing. The money saved helped pay for straw for mulch or canning jars or worms to be farmed. Simple living is an organic system in that all areas overflow to other areas, each task leads naturally on to other tasks, and most of the time it's like a domino effect - one small thing will lead on to many others. For instance, when I decided to start grocery stockpile, I had to find the space, which lead to decluttering an area, with lead to budgeting in a different way. Eventually, when the stockpile was set, I had to learn different recipes to utilise what was in the stockpile and marry that with our garden produce. Recipes were developed which lead to a Home Management Journal to keep them all. There are not many things in our lives now that aren't seamlessly connected to just about everything else here. It's simple and easy, and I hope that type of home develops for you too.

Now waiting in the freezer, next to the butter, to be used.

And just a tiny piece of friendly advice, don't compare what you're doing to what anyone else is doing. You and your family are unique and you'll set your own systems. Don't think that everything we do here in our home is something you should aspire to - we are two people just trying to do our best and make ourselves happy with what we have. You must do the same. We are all different and that difference is just one of the things to be celebrated in living this way. Be kind to yourself and to others. Forget perfection. It's over rated and it will burst your balloon every time. Treat everyone as you want to be treated yourself. Smile. Expect to make mistakes, you will learn more from a gigantic mistake than from anything else. And draw your family and friends close - that little circle of people will be your shelter in bad times and celebrate the good times with you. Honour and respect all of them and try to be a role model, even when no one is looking.

I'd love to know what your plans are now. If you have time, please share.