Sunday, October 12, 2008

Living Simply?

I know it is no secret to most people that it is my ideal to live a simple life. And living a simple life sounds like it would be, of course, simple to do, once you decided to do it. But the problem I keep finding is that living a simple life, or at least my ideal simple life, isn't simple to do, and it isn't necessarily an inexpensive life either , at least not initially.

I'd like to have us all wear natural fiber clothing and only have the basics of what we need and to make most, if not all of our clothing. BUT, I have enough clothing for everyone right now with some small exceptions (like snow boots, and there again, do I have the kids wear leather boots, or do I get the ones made of with waterproof/non-natural material with plastic soles?) Does it make sense to sell the clothes that we have and only make about $50 and then buy cotton material and wool yarn, and patterns, notions, etc., which will cost much more than $50? Not to mention that I don't really have the time in my life to be making our clothes right now. Or do I just realize that it isn't really possible to live the ideal right now and just fill in with an handmade outfit or two here, and a crocheted hat or scarf there?

I'd like to be able to have a three month supply of food, including wheat, sugar, and salt. I've do have close to a three month supply of canned food, but that's as far as I've gotten, due to a) finances and b) available storage space. Now I could always do better with spending our money more wisely, but frankly, we are pretty frugal right now out of necessity and there isn't a whole lot left over to do a major purchase of food. And the storage issue? Again, I'm sure that I could do better with eliminating items and clutter from my home, but the only place that I see as being a real viable storage option is our downstairs storage closet (10 feet deep by 5 feet wide). However, it is currently housing holiday decorations, a few tubs of misc. stuff that I'm not willing to part with yet, and a tub of out of season clothing. These tubs could go in the garage, but then I'd have to either get some shelves or to shelving system like this, and we're back at the finances issue of not having money to get shelving. So do I spend money that I don't really have right now for shelving and for food, or do I just realize that I can't live my ideal right now and just pick up a pound of wheat here and a pound of sugar there?

I really want to be able to be more self-reliant when it comes to our food needs. I'd love it if we could have a big enough garden to grow all the food that we love and will eat, and be able to have a freezer to preserve some of the harvest as well as canning supplies to preserve some of the harvest. We don't have a huge lot, and it is sodded, but I could do more with square foot gardening, but I still don't know if I could do enough beds to live off of the food from our garden. And, of course, I'd need to buy the materials for the beds and the seeds, and gardening supplies that I don't already have. And I'd have to buy canning jars and canning materials. And a freezer. And a Kitchen Aid. With a food processor attachment. And a wheat grinder attachment. And a meat grinder attachment. And, of course I don't have the money for that. So do I spend money I don't have to get it or do I just try and realize that I can't live my ideal right now and grow a little more, and can a few jars, and freeze a few bags and borrow my sister's Kitchen Aid on occassion?

Of course, the answer is to just do a little more instead of doing it all right now. That's always the answer to so many things in life. But patience has never been something that I have done well. Once I decide something, I want to figure out a way to accomplish it. Preferably quickly. But I need to learn to enjoy the journey and all its ups and downs instead of just looking at the end goal. Simple, right?


AFarCryFromNormal said...

Patience my child! You will get there! You have the goal and that is great! You have made great strides to get to become more "simple". I too am trying to do the same thing but am finding some similar challenges and others too. Mainly I am trying to DE-JUNK. I thought I had done pretty good but am finding LOTS of things that we really don't "need". I would still just suggest saving here and there for some of the things that you want that would help achieve your ultimate goal. I am not leaving anytime soon so remember, there are things that you can borrow too to help. Isn't that part of being simple too. We can work together to achieve our goals.

I applaud you for ALL that you do. You just don't know how much respect I have for you... and I am not saying that just because you are my sister!

The Queen Bee said...

I always try to remember that there's a time and a season for all things. Sometimes it's really hard when you want something so badly. Baby steps, Baby steps!