As a side note, today is much better. I passed my test yesterday and the remaining three bunnies look healthy and good. I have to remember to stay in the moment. Not dwell on things that are yet to be, tackle each thing as it comes. Take steps forward but not engross myself so much in getting ahead that I forget where I'm standing. Thanks to all that gave your support. It was (and is, as I re-read the posts) so very much appreciated.
The girls and I are reading more of Little House on the Prairie 75th Anniversary Edition*. The life portrayed is so very close to what I want to offer to my family in some respects and it has has given me insight to how things got done before electricity and running water.
It's given me much to ponder. For instance, Pa got the bucket of water from the creek. Ma gathered up all the sheets and clothes and washed them in the water, rinsing them in a second tub. She laid them out to dry on the grass The water got drained out into the field, hydrating the land. There wasn't mounds of laundry to be done. There wasn't enormous amounts of water being used. Ma didn't spend time every single day pulling the loads of laundry through the line. Why is this?
I reason it's because they didn't have more clothes than they knew what to do with. Clothes serve a purpose, a function. They're not merely things to hang in closets, left to crumple in drawers, taking up space, sometimes never worn before they're grown out of. I speculate too, that the kids took better care of their clothes because of this reason. They knew they couldn't afford to waste what they had on. That they'd probably have to wear that outfit or those pajamas again before they got cleaned.
Then we read about Ma and her after supper routine. The family of five had four tin plates, four tin forks, four tin cups while they were out camping on the prairie. After they were used they were promptly washed. Ma didn't have piles of cups and plates and bowls stacked in the sink waiting to be washed. There was no dishwasher running excessively like it is in my house. She didn't waste money on detergent and heat drying her dishes. Why is that?
Again, here I ponder the simplicity of living with only what you need. How hated chores and overwhelming tasks break down to small, easily accomplished goals. But we must find a balance. I realize that getting rid of too much can actually make life harder. Though, knowing how things used to be puts a new glint in my gaze. I look at our posessions in a new light.
What is needed? What makes us happy?
For each person the answers will differ. For our life on the farm, we want to work smarter not harder. Less clothes = less laundry, less storage and less mess. Less dishes means the kids have to be concious of the items they dirty, less work in cleaning and less resouces wasted. I want less work in these areas to free up time to do things that make me happy. To ease the burden of housework that yolks me.
I've pared down the books and feel good about the ones that remain. This week I'm going to be looking at our clothes and eating utensils to see where I can make a difference there as I work -hopfully smartly- towards a simpler life.
What burdens do you have that discourage you? Is there a place in your life you can par down to lighten your heart?
*The link I provided is an associate link to Amazon.com. Purchases made through this link help support our family.