I’m living the good life right now as I am still in my pj’s and in bed working on my writing with my Pandora playing my favorites, a half caf/decaf, and a husband washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I did make the bed as I’m sort of a stickler about beds made and clean kitchens. The rest of the house is already a mess even after a full day of cleaning and tidying. It’s a small cottage and doesn’t take much to make it look as though a great wind blew through here.
I will bath and dress at some point, print out the Target cards I collected from the bank by earning points on my one and only credit card and stock up on toiletries. I need to also exchange inserts for my big scheduler from JoAnne’s. I love my calendar book and even purchased those stickers to mark birthdays, holidays, paydays. I also use colored pens. Not that I have this bursting social life, nor do I want one, but with one child enrolled in an independent program through a charter school and the basics such as Chiropractic and the random doctor or dentist, all the birthdays I swore I would remember this year and send cards, and keeping track of allowances and good behavior, this justifies my fancy, stickered up, colorful book.
I have been decluttering the house, only to drag in other items from the garage and reclutter. I’ve also been getting rid of media in all forms except my YouTube Channel, email and this blog. I have no more FaceBook, deleted the account completely and boy did that feel good. I have had a love/hate with FaceBook for years and now I’m out! I deleted Instagram. I actually didn’t know I belonged until they sent me those “missing you” notes. I deleted Twitter which I never used, deleted LinkedIn, Tumblr, removed my blog from the mainstream. I have replaced it all with music, cake baking, attempting to grow things in my new little greenhouse despite this never-ending winter (which I’m grateful for, don’t get me wrong). I fill up on spiritual works or fun movies now.
Now instead of checking my media sites, my book stats, my YouTube comments, I read books, clean my house a little deeper, I sit and listen to my sons’ stories and ideas about life at ages five and seven. I have conversations on the phone…like, a house phone, OMG! I talk to myself while washing dishes, I create and play in my kitchen, making it into a cafe that is cozy and functional for my new adventure. I started the McDougall program yesterday and I’m relearning to cook without oil and fat. I am setting up my dehydrator to make kale chips today. We have a lot of greens in the kitchen garden, some unidentifiable but edible. I’m watching High Carb Hannah and Chef AJ right now to learn to eat without the sugar and oil…salt stays. So, cooking is being relearned and this is a very creative time for me. Not long ago I was vegan for a year and I learned how to veganize everything. It was so fun and the kids really got into cooking and baking with me. I even bought a children’s vegan cookbook that Sam and I still make cashew cream cheeses and granolas.
I also have a quilt to start and knitting to learn. I have some time to learn these winter sports before I will be busy out in the yard. Soon the days will be outdoors mulching, weeding, feeding, transplanting, reseeding…oh, and then the thrill of harvesting and canning. My summer is all planned out.
The outside world is nerve wracking to me these days. I don’t know if I’m getting older and weird or as my life at home becomes healthier and more peaceful, that the comparison of the rest of the world is an assault to my very being at times. I like to minimize my shopping and do it early with the roosters to avoid masses of humans. Now, I do like people, I love a good chat in the produce aisle and I’m very social, but only a few people at a time and I am very cautious of my conversations. Words have power and I take in all sorts of images, energy, and words to process for eons and if it’s a toxic product it could pollute my mind and spirit for years. I am careful about where I hang out, who I talk to and about what, where I go, what I watch, what I listen to and so on. I have created a bubble for myself and my whole family and we are thriving in our little greenhouse of spiritual joy and feasting.
At home I read Mrs. Sharon White and Connie Hultquist to remind me that staying home and nesting is not only fine but it is our natural state of being. In the old day’s families lived, worked, and played at home. Family and friends would stop by and there was Sunday church day, but other than that a homemaker would enjoy being at home tending to her chores, her garden, building up the pantry for winter, watching over her children and guiding them towards the light. There was a time to read the Good Book and a time to hang out the laundry.
I love the philosophy of Taoism. It is simply learning to flow with nature, the seasons, the inner hearts’ guidance. It does not preach or recruit, many of the followers of Taoism go off to the mountains to live in peace.
I have gone off to live in peace in my home. We live in an old part of town and it has its issues. I often desire to go off to the country and live again where it was quiet with a random tractor making its way slowly down the road. You woke with the rooster and the sunrise and went by the seasons. Life revolved around Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Kids played outside all day and sometimes business in the home was slow enough to devour a good book.
Until we can make that dream come true, I just create country life and homesteading right here in my suburban home with my small backyard. I have two kitchen gardens now, one in the backyard filled with winter produce and one in the front being made ready for a bountiful summer garden of melons and tomatoes. We have 16 fruit, citrus, nut trees, and grape vines in our tiny patch of city land. I started canning last year and have everything I need to can a full pantry of goods this year.
I fill the home these days with good smells from scratch cooking, sermons or rich music, and the warm glow of candles. My eldest homeschools and I sit with him at the large table learning to be the teacher. We all love to learn in this house. Arjan has a list of things he enjoys learning, Sam loves to cook and create recipes, I love anything to do with homemaking, fictional writing and homesteading. We read and talk endlessly. We paint and draw, color, and I make my occasional dream boards.
I have never had such a good life. I’m glad I worked so hard in offices, restaurants, and had awful commutes in my youth, it only gives me a great appreciation of what I have and how my life is today. I watch others around me struggle with too much work and stress, not enough time with children and friends. I see the traffic reports and I see so many unhappy people on the edge. I truly believe it is a combination of being heavily entrenched in the rat race of corporate jobs, unnaturally long hours in a cubicle, driving for hours in slow moving traffic, and all the crazy diets out there encouraging people to “starve” the weight off and eat packaged foods loaded with chemicals we can’t pronounce and our liver can’t process. We are all bombarded with terrible news, too much media, and plastic ideas of reality.
People work too much and not in the fresh outdoors doing physical and satisfying work. Children are being forced into schools and long hours of boring drills and test at tender ages when they should be outside making mud pies for their dolls and building secret forts. Children are being shortchanged their childhoods all in the name of preparing them for colleges and futures they may not want. Adults are being shortchanged time with their families and a true and meaningful life to build an empire for some suit off in a corporate building behind a secret curtain like the OZ.
When are people going to wake up and take their lives back? Don’t buy that McMansion cause you won’t have any time in it, you’ll be too busy being a slave to your corporate office job to pay for the monster shelter. If you must commute, do it by train or bus so you can at least read a good novel on the way to and from. And read that paper novel and shut off that toxic media. I heard on the radio that people check their cell phones 80 times a day. I also heard that cell phones are seven times filthier than a toilet seat. Yes, so clean it and put it away and take those 80 times of checking on FaceBook and do something that is productive; meditate, read a book where you must turn the pages by hand, sketch a portrait, carry art supplies in that backpack and do art on the train.
Do all and everything you can to downsize your house, your bills, your mental and physical clutter, your work, your hours at work, your commute, and all that busy running around. Pull your kids from that public school if they are depressed and not thriving, pull yourself out of that soul-sucking job, move where the wind blows you, listen to the inner guidance, allow God to lead and provide. Be afraid but jump into the unknown. It may be tough at first, every good story has the hero or heroine being challenged and tested, but there is a happy ending here.
It’s 11:34 am on a Friday and I’m going to finish my bowl of beans and rice on my bed, take a shower, start some homeschooling with reading and painting, I will go to Target for fun and to stock up, read from the stack of books on my little table, start another fiction book, help my husband with finishing the front kitchen garden and cooking some Punjabi mung bean soup. The day will end with good food, some sitcoms I just love, and nightly rituals of teeth brushing and baths. I will cuddle my wee ones and read fairy tales and we will all sleep soundly. We have a cozy home with no leaks in the roof, Amen, and all our bills are paid, our mortgage is tiny, and cars paid off. We have a full pantry and everything we could possibly need to learn, play, grow, and thrive. It all cost very little and the “sacrifices” have been forgotten with all the delightful blessings and gifts this simple life has given us.
Is it time to come home?