Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Today is a very grey day. We haven't had any sun for the last three days, which is quite unusual for here, and it has me in a bit of a contemplative mood. For me living off the grid is about choices....
In the not too distant past people didn't have a whole lot of choices. You were either part of the elite or you weren't. You were born into power and therefore luxury or you were born a peasant. Even if you were one of the "lucky" few families with land and wealth, luxury was something completely different from today's standards. If you study history you will find that even the kings and queens of old did not have the luxuries most of us take for granted today. There were no cellphones or laptops. Even something so basic as household running water was not common until the late in the 1800's. Cars were not mass produced in American until 1908. People lived very simply and ate what they could grow or purchase in their region alone. Now we can purchase items from anywhere! The internet and technology changed everything. The world is at our fingertips and we are increasingly led to believe we "need" this item or that in order to be happy. But do we?
The first Model T mass produced.
It all comes down to choices. You can live your life striving to always have more or better items, but in the end that is all you have. You must work longer hours, obtain a better job; make more money so you can have this and this and this. Maybe travel here or eat there. These things are fleeting or disposable or they wear out so you must soon replace them and the cycle continues endlessly. I have lived this life and no doubt you have too.
There are many times during that period when I thought, "Is this it? Will I never get out of this unending cycle? Is there no other way?" Then one day I had an epiphany. I was the one doing this to myself. I was choosing to be a part of this massive commercial scheme. This idea that we all had to live the same way, have the same things, or try to have more than the next guy. It was my choice! I could choose to be a part of it or not. I wasn't being forced to live this way I just didn't realize there was a choice up until then. That doesn't mean I immediately moved out of the city and off the grid. No, but I really started to think about the choices I was making and how I ultimately wanted to live my life.
How many of us go through life without really thinking about where we want to be in the next 3 or 5 years. If you are content and happy then don't change a thing! However, if you have found yourself unhappy or thinking there has to be a better way to live then its time to start prioritizing. The commercials, whether on radio or television, are constantly bombarding us and telling us we NEED their product. I think at times we lose perspective on the difference between a want and a need. One such for instance is a cell phone. I don't have one and neither does my husband. (There are times when we have needed them and then we get a disposable one for that period) Most people look at me like I am crazy when I tell them this and say things like "how can you not have a cell phone? What if your car breaks down?" We have been so "brainwashed" into thinking that certain items are a necessity we don't stop to think that they are a luxury not a need. Don't take this as me saying you don't need a cellphone. It is all about choices! I have chosen not to have that extra bill each month for something I really don't need. It has freed up that money for something else which I think is more important to the way I have chosen to live my life. Maybe some new fruit trees?
So, the next time you are in a store about to purchase something stop and think for a minute. Do I really need this? Is it something that is essential to the way I want to live my life? I can't tell you how much money I have saved by asking myself these simple questions.
On another vein of thought, today is a perfect day for me to contemplate next years garden. If you have been thinking about your garden I highly recommend reading this article by Jackie Clay. Garden Seeds, a great winter pasttime.
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/clay67.html It won't be long before its time to start planting! Now there's a cheery thought for a grey day!