The past several years I have been on a personal quest to live more simply and more intentionally. There is so much TOOOOOO MUCH of everything in the world it seems. Too much focus on McMansions, too much perfect extravagant vacations, too much "need" for mega closets stuffed to the max, too much poor food choices both from eating out excessively to over-reliance on convenience "foods" from the supermarket, too much drugs for this, that, and the other and then drugs to treat the symptoms from the original drug treatment. Too much, too much, too much. There is no way everything purchased can be used and enjoyed to its fullest potential. When you put it in perspective, ask yourself how many hours you or your spouse together or separately have to work to earn the money to purchase something. It has turned into a society that lives only to work to pay for stuff and "vacations", instead of working to live. By working to live, I mean learning how to truly care for yourself and family, and focus on life itself rather than trappings of a world that mean nothing in the big picture.
Our parents and grandparents, probably more so our great-grandparents (I know mine did), had it right. Work hard, but live simply. There is nothing wrong with having nice things. The problem, in my humble opinion, is when the entitlement demon rears its head. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and great-grands...what a blessing that was! It was by their sides, and my parents' who learned the lessons of their parents well, that I was taught the basic skills for survival. Oftentimes, people like to quote Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and try to point out that they are achieving self-actualization. I would challenge that. It is easy to see from a glance around that there is a chasm between those of a generation that were humble and the generation that demands instant everything. It is frightening to observe the numbers of individuals that lack the basic skills to provide for the basest of needs, yet claim to be "self-actualized" with a great deal of morality, creativity, spontaneity, lack of prejudice and so on.
But, I digress. These ideas swirl through my head on a daily basis. I hear comments made by others and think, "wow, you would never survive if you lived in another time." A magazine that I subscribe to, and mostly enjoy but secretly sort of think it is a different version of a "Martha Stewart" lifestyle, is Mary Janes Farm. There is always something I take away from reading an issue, but a lot of it seems too perfect. The current issue's Editor's Note struck a chord with me. It was a discussion of what was referred to as "farm aerobics" and the idea of how ridiculous it would seem to our ancestors to find the need to go somewhere to get exercise. A lot of the activity you need to be healthy can be found in your own home. The catch is you have to intentionally seek it out. Turn off the phone, turn off the TV, turn off the computer, turn off the x,y,z gadget and basically get up off your butt and actually live and do things for a better life. Our grandparents cooked their own foods from scratch, which involved relatively few (if any) electronic devices to prepare the foods. Bread was kneaded by hand, potatoes were mashed with a masher, butter was churned by hand. Of late, we have been looking for "old fashioned" kitchen gadgets...they are tried and true and don't break like today's goods. Go outside, pull weeds and plant a garden...instead of hiring someone to do it and having only a yard that provides aesthetic rather than healthy beauty...bend down/stretch/move and clean your own house. In simplest form, the suggestion is MOVE.
I fully realize that this approach is not for everyone. And yes, I am different. But different can be very good.
My wish for the world in general...a lofty wish...is for more self-reliance, more acceptance, more accountability and more tolerance. Not to get on an even bigger soapbox, but in my view: we ALL came from the same source and ALL deserve love.
Hugs to Amos, wherever you are. Meowmy misses you!