I’ve learned so much over the last several months, not only about what is important in life, but what’s not important. As my family has been in transition with our new endeavor, I haven’t thought for one moment (as crazy as it’s been) that it’s not for the best. My kids took a giant leap in maturity over the summer and are heading back to school with mental and physical strength. They learned so much on the farm, including responsibility, ownership, work ethic and sweat equity. My 11 year old son can give a full farm tour to an adult, any time, any day. He has amazing customer service skills, because he loves and believes in what we do. Our kids see how hard Scott and I work every day, and in return they respond with a willingness to help and have a hand in it themselves.
Off the farm, we are making changes too. Not important – Cable TV. We have the internet (for the farm and news/weather) and a closet full of movies, which actually get viewed now. We could never find enough time to catch up on our reading, TV is just garbage in/garbage out anyway, and we needed to cut back on our expenses - so bye-bye Cable TV. We also cancelled our home phone since we saw no need to have both cell and home phones.
Important – independence. I’m trying to obtain more homesteading skills, to not only save money, but to gain control over the ingredients (or rather chemicals) we are exposed to. I make my own shampoo and conditioner now. I’ve made Maddux natural flea/tick spray, which I plan to modify and use for us humans. I’m working on locating ingredients for soap, so we can have a nice stock to last ½ a year or longer. And making my own yogurt (which is a huge expense for us) is in the near future. I’ve made quick jam before, but managed to cook up and can 10 jars of muscadine jam while my kids were home sick the other day. Not to mention, someone just donated a pressure canner, so I’ll be able to can my own chicken stock this year.
It all makes a difference collectively. My family is much happier with less static in our lives and more focus on what really matters. Think about what in your life you could live without. I know this is a stretch for some (and at one time me included), but what if Starbucks never existed, or any coffee house for that matter? No one would die. It’s even possible that there would be less irritation and road rage.
There’s something to that simpler life lived by our elders. Less technological distractions, real community, real farming…
We really can change for the best… first step is awareness.