The past two months have been a huge transition time in my life and in our house.
I have decided that I will leave my paid employment and come home. The reason it is such a huge transition is this. I used to be a teacher. While I was off work on maternity leave I did a law degree and in October 2005 I began working for a large law firm. I was admitted as a solicitor in 2006.
Working as a lawyer is really a great profession, despite what stereotyping may tell you. I worked in an area of law that really helped people in crisis. The best thing about helping them was that it didn't cost them anything. I enjoyed this because I enjoy helping people. I get a real 'buzz' from empowering others.
Over the last couple of years I had been questioning my priorities. Making money is a very good thing, as it gives you choices. But making money doesn't do it for me. It sounds like such a cliché but money doesn't necessarily bring me happiness. The lack of money ( and I have been there too) gives me anxiety where as the middle ground brings me joy. The problem with making good money in a job is that you constantly trade your time for the money. Throughout my life it always seems a shift between having lots of money and no time or having lots of time and no money. So I have been on a quest for the middle ground. What if I could design my life the way I want to. After all, nothing is permanent. If I make the wrong decision I can go back, can't I ? There are thousands of sheets of notepaper laying around this house with lists. When the going gets tough, the tough make lists! Lists of pros lists of cons, lists of values, lists of qualities, lists of strengths, lists of weaknesses, lists of assets and lists of liabilities. Lists of goals, aims,objectives. Not that I am into astrology but apparently I am the typical Libran- weighing it up all the time.
Then on the 19th of April I got a call to say that a friend from work had lost her husband all of a sudden. This was a lady who is a real role model to me. She has two children about 18 and 21 and they were a very close and loving family. I looked at her son and hoped that I would be able to raise my sons to be fine young men as well. There she was in her mid 40s - a widow. She had lost her beautiful husband so suddenly. As I sat at the funeral I realised that life is as delicate as a butterfly's wings. It clings to us like a fine spider web that is gone in a breath of wind. Yet we treat it like it is permanent, like it is set in stone, that somehow it is our right to have it for as long as we demand. Truth is, it can be blown away with any breath of wind like a dandelion seed.
With this new found perspective I listed on yet another list what really brought me joy and how I really wanted to design my life and how I really want to raise my children. It always comes back to the way of the old days. How did they afford to live ? Of course they didn't have many of the 'luxuries' that we call every day items, but human needs have not changed at all in the last 50 years. We still need water, food, shelter and love. The only thing that has changed is our unquenchable need for items introduced to us via advertising. We buy because we have a need to fulfill. The items fill that need for short period but then we need something else to fill the void. What is the void we are trying to fill ? We needs in our human psyche are not being met ? The great philosopher Epicurus surmised that we need friends, freedom and an analysed life, that is, to discuss the philosophy of life with friends, while sharing good food. I think I tend to agree with him.
So... once I made the decision there was no turning back. Suddenly there arose a further list of very important things. A To-Do-List of the mammoth proportions. Firstly, secure food. As I have always thought, my Grandmother would never have had only some parsley and coriander in the garden and told the kids to get in the car and take them to McDonalds! Of course there was no McDonalds and no car ! LOL
It was just taken for granted that there would be things to eat in the garden. So..... we built more garden beds and started studying up on when to plant and when to harvest etc. At the moment, there is not much to show for our efforts because it is winter, but the seeds are sown for a wonderful spring.
I have been doing quite a bit of reading. I have stated many times before that no matter what perspective an article is written from it always adds up to the same conclusion to me. Whether it is about green living, peak oil, permaculture, frugal living, voluntary simplicity etc etc it always comes back to living like it's 1940. So I will take on many things from the past whilst keeping the treasures of our modern society.
Only my closest friends can truly understand my reason for living my career, that is, "that I have an overwhelming need to till the earth while my children are young" LOL ! I am sure that many will believe that I have had some sort of breakdown. If you remember the very first episode of "The Good Life" you will be laughing now I am sure.
I guess this means it is time to put my money ( or lack of it) where my mouth is and commence the experiment. Can a thoroughly modern mum live freely in a modern world. Can she produce food? Can she cook from scratch? Can she knit socks(gulp!)? Can she raise chooks for eggs? Can she learn to sew properly (gulp!) and........ can she still afford to buy the occasional vanilla latte on skim milk that has become her signature coffee ?
I believe that my user name "BusyWoman" is about to become an extremely accurate assessment of the days to come. I look forward to it with a sick sense of excitement. I hope you will stick around for the journey.
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