Everyone deserves a bit of space

24 March 2016
While we were away travelling around the countryside, I don't know how many times I heard the phrases "you've really inspired me" and "you've changed my life", but it was a lot.  I feel grateful that people connect with my writing and decide to live more simply because that will eventually change them in many profound ways. I listened carefully to those stories. I heard about moving from two incomes to one, leaving a secure but unhappy corporate life for a simpler one, couples knuckling down to pay off debt, 20-somethings learning how to cook from scratch and bake, women and men being brave enough to go against what friends were doing and reject consumerism, people being made capable and productive by learning traditional skills, and being surprised that there is an alternative to mainstream life that many didn't know about. I was inspired by all of it. I've come back with renewed commitment, eager to settle into my home and live a life that I know is good for me and will see me through my days.

I thought a lot about those stories while I drove long country miles and they helped me put my own life into perspective. Sometimes it takes distance to see something so familiar up close. I realised that listening to those stories confirmed my own decision to simplify and gave me a renewed and stronger commitment. Now that I'm back here I've been reassessing the lay of the land, making sure that what I do is right for us, checking that not a moment is lost and planning for the right balance of productivity and slowness in my home.

The quietness here belies my plans. I have a deep freezer to rebuild and have started that already, there is a kitchen garden to plan and plant, passionfruits, chillies, rosellas and raspberries to pick and process and there are many sewing and knitting projects waiting. I have countless hours of grandmothering to enjoy. And in the years ahead I will live a life that will slow and then stop, so I have a death to prepare for. I won't write about all those things in books but I'll write about them here, because writing helps me grasp the superficial issues while understanding and coming to terms with the deeper and more difficult parts too.

Jamie's little cat Ekk, relaxing on my computer.  

I've been watching the ABC series Jack Irish. I had to catchup when I returned home and yesterday I saw the final episode. This wild, violent and chaotic series ended in a quiet natural setting with the main characters speculating about the fate of a racehorse. The last words they spoke could have been aimed at all of us - we people who choose to live outside the mainstream bubble.

"Everyone deserves a bit of space, something to chomp on and a bit of quiet time to do what they bloody feel like. There's not much more to it than that, eh."