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??

14 comments:

ErinFromIowa said...

Living simple is rich in the important things in life to me. I do live smack dab in the middle of a city in a third floor condo apt. Yet my food is as healthy and from scratch as I can make it. Just a bit ago I started a new batch of Greek yogurt. Besides growing a variety of herbs for the first time ever I am growing heirloom cherry tomatoes in my west window garden. It is going quite well! I clean and maintain my home in a green manner. I have a large assortment of air purifying houseplants I tend to and keep healthy and happy. I find the work I put into doing these and more very satisfying at the end of the day. Keep living and blogging about your good life Annie!

Ed said...

Your lifestyle is a choice you have made and some people are unwilling to make. You just have to accept that no matter what you tell people, there are always going to be those who hop in the car and drive to the mall. They could no sooner convince you to take up that lifestyle than you can convince them to take up your lifestyle.

I love your lifestyle and also Ron's whose blog I read for that reason too but I won't be taking that lifestyle up right away. I have gone a different route. My plan is to immerse myself in the 9 to 5 job world, save up my wealth fast and retire early to a lifestyle more similar to yours but without the need to worry about money. I've just seen so many people in the blogging world living similar lifestyles who were too close to the edge and got bit and were forced to ask for money from other bloggers to get by some difficult situation. That is too close to the edge for me.

Ed said...

I just want to add that I applaud your determination to live out your lifestyle and I hope it works out. I also will never call you irresponsible because you seem as far away from that as you can get.

Caroline said...

I am thinking that calling you responsible is closer to the truth!
A real job is one that provides for you and your family, gives you a home that is a place of refuge, fresh food, fresh air. No irresponsibility there.

HermitJim said...

Some folks just never will know the satisfaction of growing some of your own food, sitting in the shade of a house you built yourself, and having the time to share something you made yourself with someone else!

I think you are doing just what you are meant to do, my friend, and we are a little better off because we are allowed to share some of it with you!

Coffeefreek53 said...

I am glad you get to live as you choose. Too many folks live as they think they should or how others think they should. Just this morning a co-worker commented about what was wrong with her that she "had" to have 3 rolls of paper towels under the sink in her kitchen!! Heck, I have 20 rolls in the garage! I don't think anything is wrong with me, well there probably is, but heck I like me, so no worries.

Anyway, if you are happy then keep up what you do; and it sounds like you are. I live in a small town and grow tomatoes and peppers, shop at the farmer's market and take a stab at the recycling issue. My yard is small and has a nice swing set, with pea gravel and sand for my grandchildren.

I would like more garden area, but until the grand kids are done with their play area, I will be happy with what I have. Plus it is so much fun to watch 'em play in the gravel and sand. I enjoy it as much as they do. Simple pleasures are the best. If that is being irresponsible, then sign me up!! ;)

Island Rider said...

I call you wise.

edifice rex said...

Hey Yall! thanks for all your comments! Well, the title of that post was just tongue-n-cheek! ya'll know how I like to use song titles and I thought it was kinda funny. :D

Woody said...

I would have to agree with Caroline. I feel that you've found your happiness at a home you've built and paid for as you you went. What a peace of mind and heart goes into knowing your home and land. You care for it and it provides for you. Garden, shelter, water. The only way I think your situation could be any better would be the discovery of a clay pit that would supply your work on your land.

Peace

Deb said...

Those poor pitiful folks will never know how wonderful sheets dried on the clothes line smell and feel! Forever in Blue Jeans!

Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

I sometimes wonder if you are not my long lost twin or something Annie. Thinking like that. I'm not gardening and things like that, not yet anyway, but with the new life I chose awhile back with solar energy and and all that, there are going to be a few extra chores I'm going to have that others don't. But ya, going to work everyday sounds like a bigger chore to me. No one seems to think about that one, do they? I most certainly plan on being done with work soon. I dream about it all the time, but it is pretty hard to pick the exact time to be done. I'm kinda greety I guess, but I know I can survive nicely without it too, and it is just a matter of time. I guess what trying to say, is ya, I agree with ya about 100% they way you're living.

edifice rex said...

Hey Mark!! well, you know my real brother's name is Mark! lol! I think you and I agree on more than he and I do though!
It was very hard for me to decide when to quit work too and really, my foot did it for me. It all works itself out right.

chickory said...

this could have been my own post -almost to the letter. but my husband is still dug in hard on the hamster wheel. I couldnt wait and began my country living at the level i could. Creativity has served me well on a short budget. Tonight I will go back to the city and spend the 4th with my husband. I will load 2 rhodesian ridgebacks and 5 chickens after dark and take them with me. Yes, I still travel with the chicks. (But I am building an automated pen for them -still, its too hot for them to be home alone for two days) on thursday night we will go to dinner and see this fun band at the excellent restaurant we can walk to. Then on friday, I will return to the country and prep the grey truck for the farmers market on saturday morning. I sell food, flowers and folk art and try and live on that money for the week. Some artists have asked me if I thought selling art out of my truck in some way devalued what I do. Its a new world and there aint no value better than offering original art at an affordable price and getting actual money for it. its the real capitalism. not this fake debt economy our banking system is running. Nobody who ever visits me at Chickory fails to get it.

I salute you!

chickory said...

you can beat a line dried towel. all rough and thirsty! Yeah!