Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Call Me Irresponsible
The other day, as I hung the laundry out to dry, I kinda got to thinking about how much time normal, everyday chores take around here as opposed to people who say, don't line dry their clothes, have chickens, have a garden etc. Then I got to thinking about how many people view the idea of voluntarily having such chores and a few of the wildly erroneous ideas that they have about others that choose the "live frugally, work at home, sustainability" path. I think there are 2 main ones. 1. People like this lay around all day on the sofa eating bon-bons and watching TV because they don't have a "real job". 2. People like this are modern day hippie/ hillbilly types that rarely venture forth into the "big city" or any of it's conveniences, either because they can't afford to or they fear/ hate the fast pace. I think both are a bunch of hoo-haa, but back to the first one.
If constantly being frustrated and wishing you didn't have to work is what constitutes having a real job, then no, I don't have one. But I do have a job; one that takes a fair amount of time. I try to devote about the same amount of time each day to paid work as I did when I worked 'out there', but the only difference is this job means I am sometimes working on Sundays, late at night and on holidays. True, I can take a day, or two, off whenever I feel like it for the most part, but this job is similar to my previous one in that if I don't produce a product, I don't get paid. In fact, sometimes I produce a product and still don't get paid. That's one hitch with art; just because you made it doesn't mean anybody is going to buy it. Fortunately, my work is fairly attractive and does sell okay here. Now, I still have my regular chores such as washing and cooking but I am at home and can often do all these things at once, and often have to. That is a great advantage to working at home. Yes, hanging laundry out to dry does take longer than just throwing it in the dryer but I'm here all day. Generally I do a few gardening, house chores in the morning first thing and then go to my studio. Then, in the afternoon, I take a break from that and do a few house or garden/ animal things. I stay busy all day and rarely ever turn the TV on. I do check emails and such during the day though!
The second idea is one that really cracks me up because a lot of people think if you recycle and reuse, choose not to be a Consumer, then you must be poor. Pooooor, pitiful thing...shut out from all those wonderful, sparkly things that people kill themselves to buy and let define their lives. Actually, if people want to believe that I'm some destitute woodsy that's okay with me. Less chance of them running over here bothering me for stuff. But, the sad truth is Jack and I actually have quite a bit of fun, enjoy seeing new sites and even occasionally treat ourselves to a modern convenience like dinner out or a movie!! Normally, through work and just necessity, we end up going into town about once a week. Now, when I say town I mean a place large enough to have a variety of shopping, restaurants and movie theaters. I don't really care for movies but what I mean is that if the town is large enough to have them it's large enough for the other stuff. While we are in town we enjoy it and usually treat ourselves to dinner out and maybe a little window shopping or such and of course, you know we sometimes go to plays or concerts. I think we enjoy our times out more because of this, rather than feeling like we have to rush through it all because we've got to pick up countless items from 6 different stores.
I have trouble understanding why a lot of people find such a life deprived. Yes, we watch our money and don't eat out every night. I only have clothes and shoes that I actually wear. We grow a lot of our own food so that means I have to get my hands dirty. We use our local library instead of buying. Both our trucks are over 8 years old. But. We have so much freedom. I actually see my house and enjoy it pretty much all day. I don't have a clue what rush hour is like anymore. I don't owe anyone anything. It's true, I don't spend half my free time at the local mall buying crap that I'll discard tomorrow but I do spend half my free time creating prized objects that I and my customers will enjoy possibly for a lifetime.
But what really kills my soul...is when you explain all this to a few people and they say yeah, that sure sounds great and they genuinely seem affected by what you have told them... And then they turn around and hop in their new vehicle and head straight for the mall. I guess old habits die hard or it's just too hard to change that radically. I mean, I know Jack and I have some advantages, (no kids, he's retired) but we still have utility bills and insurance to pay and I can't grow everything and simply not everybody can work at home and live in the country. But can we all not enjoy our lives a bit more than what most people seem to nowadays? Maybe it's the aforementioned stigma, maybe it's the hard work, maybe it's just admitting there might be a better way. I don't know; what do ya'll think??