The luxurious freedom of choice

I'm sure many of you feel this too, the luxurious freedom you have when you can do whatever you want to do, everyday. It's difficult to explain what a life of that feels like.  But I probably don't have to explain it to you, those who experience it, know, those who want it can probably imagine something close to it.


Outside our closed gate the world is spinning faster and many things no longer make sense to me. Its been so long since I took any notice of advertising or brands that now I no longer recognise what is popular. I don't mind that, in fact it's been good for me, but it does mean I move further away from, and possibly lose touch with, what most people strive for.

Photo courtesy of nannachel.

This happened yesterday.  Outside with Gracie, let the chickens out and noticed a live cane toad in one of their water buckets. Toad wrangling is Hanno's job so I just walked away. 😇 It was cooler than it had been for a week so I stayed in the garden and tied up the tomatoes that were starting to bend in the wind. Then I cut off all the lower tomato leaves that were touching the ground, pruned the roses, watered the vegetables and fruit before it warmed up too much and then noticed that we only have two cucumber vines left! All the others seem to have been removed by Gracie. She doesn't dig them up, she pulls them out by the leaves. Whenever she sees me handling any of the plants, usually the next day, it is missing. We'll have to work on that. 😬


Inside for breakfast, messages to friends, phone call to my sister and friend in Townsville and another cup of tea. I clean both bathrooms, check the kitchen, make the bed and check the blog, forum and emails. When I do all I have to do, I walked away and started cutting out the little dress I'm making out of my old blouse. I'll be making some little nighties soon too - some very plain pink lawn nighties for the hot nights here. They're for my grand daughter and I should have them finished this week.



Waiting in the wings are the ingredients for my Christmas cake, which I will make this week. Hanno asked when I planned on making it. I think he wants to feast on the cake well before Christmas. I need to make soap and laundry liquid fairly soon, Christmas gifts have to be created and sewn and I make time for reading most days.  My current book is Gay Bilson's Plenty. I found an old copy on ebay and bought it a couple of months ago. I'm taking my time with it and enjoying it very much - it's thought-provoking, intelligent and the ideal book to relax with on the verandah.


We have our main meal at lunchtime and after lunch, I usually have a nap in the lounge room. It feels so indulgent to slip into sleep when I know the busy world is spinning and most people are out working. But I've done all that. I worked out there for many years, paid taxes, helped out in the various communities I've lived in, done a lot of volunteering, raised a family and been the person I was raised to be. Now it's my turn to choose what I do, to sleep when I feel like it, to spoil a little black dog and to enjoy every day that dawns for me.


This is not the way I thought my days would play out. A long time ago I thought I'd work a lot longer and then travel, but my life changed in many profound ways and I'm much happier for it. And now it all sounds ordinary and simple because it is - these small daily tasks help me create the life I want to live. The freedom to choose is there every day and the good thing is that most days turn into peaceful, calm days full of homemaking, gardening, family, sewing, mending, reading and playing with a little black Scottie dog called Gracie who likes to bite toes.

38 comments

  1. Very good post! People try to "guilt" me into doing more with my time, but I have done been there and done that. I'm all too aware that my time here on Earth is quickly slipping away and that each day is a gift to be cherished. There is so much joy in ordinary days. Hope you have the most wonderful week!

    Hugs
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  2. A great post Rhonda. I know exactly what you mean and how you feel. I love my "life of pottering". I am always doing stuff but it is stuff I want to do.. when I feel like doing it. Slowing and simplifying has been astoundingly liberating. Cheers Jo

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's such a funny photo of Gracie...too cute!
    I really don't want to wish my life away, but I'm in that busy stage of life right now with 3 children (14,11 & 9) and everything that entails. I cannot wait for the day I can shut my front gate! Lately that day seems like it can't come fast enough!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely post. Doing what you want when you want is an absolute joy, and wonderful to have that choice AND have your priorities in the right order. By the way, I think puppy toe-biting has to rate fairly high in your list of daily pleasures right now!

    ReplyDelete
  5. That last photo of Gracie is hilarious!

    As long as I'm still needing to work I'm trying to make my weekends more like your days. I remind myself that there's no one standing over me telling me I have to do another load of washing, and I can leave it for another time and do what I choose to do. Easier said than done at times, but as the children get older I want to make the most of my time with them. I'm also aware that I'm setting an example for them - is life just meant to be about working really hard during the week then knocking yourself out trying to catch up on the house at the weekend? I hope that's not what they'll learn, and need to model a more balanced life that includes lying around reading a book or tea in the garden sometimes. I wonder how other working sole parents do it?

    Madeleine

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Rhonda... thanks for sharing your thoughts...the world outside often feels intrusive... especially here in the States. To much discontent and divisiveness. I, like you, like a peaceful and grateful place where I do as I please as well. Love your Gracie... she sounds like good company and reasons to smile.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your days sound like mine Rhonda and I treasure them with a content and thankful heart.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh but that face just looks so innocent 😇 Your day sounds lovely and as always your words are an inspiration to me. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rhonda if I was only allowed one extravagant indulgence in my life I would drop all others in favour of an afternoon nap. I have a few days off work at the moment and yesterday as I was lying down for my nap I wondered if I shouldn't be putting this wonderful skill to use by working for a sleep research centre? Please keep the photos of Gracie coming, she is too cute for words.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That last picture of Gracie is wonderful, what an expressive little face. I am also fortunate to be the master of my days, as my partner and I work for ourselves. I know, we are very fortunate and never take it for granted. I am also partial to a little afternoon nap, if called for. Such luxury.

    ReplyDelete
  11. One of my most favorite posts ever!! Something in your words---in the photos---made me feel warm, safe. With all that has happened in my country in the last few weeks, and continues to happen post-election, I'm not feeling very warm...or safe. Thank you, as always, for writing what my heart needs to hear.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a lovely post, a reminder of how lucky I am to enjoy such gentle days. Gracie is so cute and I often think I would like a pet of my own but I know I could not afford it so I just continue to adopt my friends pets. I cook and clean, then relax for the afternoon doing craft work, it makes my days a joy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes, I too thought I would work for longer and then travel. The fact is that I don't get my state pension for another 4 years (a long story that many 1950s women in UK might understand) but I am lucky that I do have a little tiny private pension, and I have a little business selling online. I don't have an official job as such, and my longing for travel seems to have disappeared: the thought of treking to foreign parts holds no interest for me now. It was as much as we could muster to get ourselves to drive down to Spain from France this summer, even though it was a free stay holiday (friend's flat in exchange for a couple of minor repairs for her). It was a lovely visit but we were oh so glad to get home! I love pottering about our home, just doing the sort of stuff you do - including a nap in the afternoons if I feel like one!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I feel guilty at times because I am young (early 30) and as a homemaker with no kids yet I can indulge myself with afternoon naps. I try not to feel guilty about it but with the world the way it is and our American society puts work above all else, it's hard not to feel like a failure or be constantly guilty for enjoying life pleasures. Gracie looks like a cutie pie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the benefits of closing your door on the outside world is that you can forget what's happening out there for a while and indulge yourself. When you're behind that closed door, you answer to no one and there is no need for guilt. Just relax and enjoy what you're able to do.

      Delete
  15. I remember two years ago when I retired to the Pacific Northwest. My daughter kept at me to go out and do things, meet people, become involved. She never understood that I was and still am quite content to just go through my days at my pace. I feed my critters (I have two horses, five goats, five chickens, two geese, four dogs and two rabbits) then come in and have my breakfast. I then decide what it is I want to do for the day. I am loving this life! (My gate is usually closed)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sounds perfectly delicious to me, Rhonda! While I am still working, I have a lot of time at home. I graded papers all day, but still managed to do things at home such as laundry, prepare healthy meals for us, sweep, wash up the kitchen, and do errands... I'll knit tonight and start again tomorrow -- having to be away for eight hours at work, but still having time to nest when I get in... Finding the rhythm is marvelous!

    ReplyDelete
  17. In the last photo of Gracie she has such a cheeky mischievous look in her eyes! She looks so adorable and cuddly. The tiny bunting above your craft area is so sweet, did you make it yourself? Do you use a pattern for the dress and nighties? I used to do a lot of sewing and hope to get back to making some dresses for my granddaughters in the new year. At the moment I'm doing some Christmas knitting for my family which I really enjoy doing. My Christmas cake is now baked and wrapped and stored ready for Christmas. Next thing to do is make some more laundry liquid, your recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sister made the bunting for me, Theresa. Generally I don't use a pattern. At the moment I have one of my grand daughter's dresses and I take the measurements off that. If it's a bit tricky, I draw it out on newspaper and cut my own pattern. And yes, Gracie is a cheeky monkey.

      Delete
    2. That's a good idea about taking measurements from clothing that fits and making up your own pattern. I shall have to try this. Let your sister know I think its so pretty!

      Delete
  18. Lovely soothing post Rhonda :-) As so often happens, you have put my own thoughts into words, and reminded me to remember this is my time now after the years of paid and volunteer work. I don't have to stick around and put up with rubbish from other people any more☺
    Just adore Gracie. You would like my Scotty dog quilt!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm very curious on what "we'll have to work on that" actually entails when it comes to Gracie's gardening efforts. Ha.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It´s a lovely place to be isn´t it? Master of your own time. The older you get, the stronger the urge to pare away all the unnecessary things in life I feel. I´ve always been rather obsessive with keeping up with current affairs - have a long list of newspapers, political comments I usually browse through. Now I am feel that´s a waste of my precious time. In a way I can understand the medieval tradition of old people withdrawing to a convent/monastery. I´m not at all religious but closing our gates, concentrating on family and close ones and "quality of life" is perhaps the modern equivalent. Never before have we had so much intrusion in our lives via media and globalisation so I feel the freedom is very welcome.
    That wee dog will make sure you both get a regular ration of laughter....
    Warm hugs from Sweden
    Ramona

    ReplyDelete
  21. You have a lovely life, Rhonda and have worked hard to get there. I too am working toward a more serene life. I still work perhaps three days per week; and still have time for my house, garden, and Sheltie. I loved how you said that the world outside sometimes does not make sense anymore It does not to me either, and a friend of mine has lately been saying the same! We are in our early sixties, and sometimes feel we don't relate well anymore to just about anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that's anything to worry about, hopflower, it's just how it is. When you don't bother to keep up with fashions, TV programs, advertising and the other movers of modern life, you do lose touch and when you eventually look around, there isn't much that's familiar. I think we'll all survive and even thrive as long as hour home, family and friends sustain us. xx

      Delete
  22. I wanted to ask, Rhonda, where you found your pattern(s) for the nightgowns; I cannot seem to find any good ones anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't looked for patterns. I either draw my own or cut out around an old nightie.

      Delete
    2. You know I saw that and must have missed it the first time I read your post this morning. Thanks for that; perhaps I can try it.

      Delete
  23. you have such a wonderful life! Simple is best. And your puppy is ADORABLE!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Your day sounds just fine Rhonda, similar to ours.The outside world really does seem to be spinning faster and faster..it must be an age thing.
    We are quite happy with our world but our kids seem to think we are just hanging around in retirement waiting for them to need us for somethibg (our day never stops) !! And when it does it by our choice....
    Your life sounds perfect, emjoy every minute whether its working or having that pm nap we too often enjoy.
    We have been blaming parrots for weeks for stripping the pigface and leaving the bits all over the verandah only to finally catch our beatiful old dog pulling the bits off with her teeth the other day(she looked up at us all innocent.
    Take care Rhonda

    ReplyDelete
  25. Caption for Gracie's photo...."who me, it wasn't me, I promise, Woof Woof (aka... haha).

    Love your words Ronda. The thing we love about living on the road is the simplicity of it and the freedom it gives us, not only with how we spend our days but in what location we spend them.

    At the moment I am making felt Christmas decorations. Have only completed three, so I had better pick up the pace a bit or maybe not, as the case may be......

    ReplyDelete
  26. Gracie is so cute and getting so big. I always enjoy your blog, it keeps me going
    and striving for a slower life.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Gracie is very photogenic, Rhonda:) I enjoy reading about her mischief. Wouldn't we all like to be that cheeky sometimes! I have done some relief teaching of late, Rhonda, and I have really missed days of just being at home with my blue gates closed. I love just pottering around and, although that can get busy with one thing or another, it's work that I choose and it nourishes my family. Meg:)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sounds like you've got it all worked out Rhonda...and your new little dog is just the extra love and happiness to enjoy. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    ReplyDelete
  29. Another lovely blog post today Rhonda.
    I do enjoy reading about your day to day activities.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you, just what I needed to read today. I am a newish reader of your blog Rhonda, a friend directed me to you and I'm grateful.
    Warm Regards, Kirrilli

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi I've started reading your blog a few months back. And I keep coming back I including reading some of your articles from years ago. I realise that I'm living my dream life through you. I live in the busy and crowded city state of Singapore. I long for the simple quiet life that you have. It is my dream.

    ReplyDelete
  32. This is a timely reminder for me. Thank you, dear Rhonda, for speaking such wisdom and calm into my life! You have helped me to remember that my days, even though full of home affairs and meeting the needs of my husband and two little boys, are my own rather than being dictated by the needs of the corporate jungle (as was the case for many years). This post has renewed my focus on the simple, ordinary loveliness that is our life here.
    Hugs from NM

    ReplyDelete

DEAR READERS, PLEASE NOTE:
Thank you for taking the time to comment today. I love reading your thoughts and ideas.
Comments containing personal or commercial links will not be published.
All comments in English, please.

Back to Top