Monday, 30 September 2013

Simple Living is Self Improvement

When I first heard the term 'simple living' a few months ago I was instantly intrigued. Although the term itself was not familiar, it was like a light-bulb moment when the concept was explained to me. The idea of growing my own food, making my own things (food, cleaning products, clothing) and reducing my carbon footprint was a dream of mine that had been swept away by a brown tide of floodwater. Simple Living was the main reason Paul and I had bought our acreage - to be self-sufficient and raise our kids in a simple, rural manner. In that light-bulb moment I realised that I was in a rut, I wasn't doing or achieving everything that I wanted to from my home...and my life. I had finally given up because of the flooding. If I hadn't started analysing my life earlier this year then I may just have missed this opportunity to turn that thinking around...and I certainly would have lacked the motivation to delve headfirst into it.

My talented stepson Sam took this sunset photo up the road
from our place
My self improvement journey commenced this January with quitting smoking, minimising my alcohol consumption, starting at the gym and eating healthily. The sense of satisfaction these three changes have given me is indescribable - the amount of guilt that has been lifted from my shoulders is immense. I no longer have the feeling that I am slowly killing myself. I breathe, smell and taste things better.  I have lost seven kilos and am fitter and stronger than I have been in years. More than that...I am proud of myself and what I am becoming again. Me!

Enjoying new places and experiences in Thailand
It makes sense that the concept of simple living is a natural extension of this journey for wellbeing, for self improvement. The positive changes to my lifestyle and the easing of my conscience by adopting  those positive changes, is a process that keeps evolving. It is not just limited to me or my health, but extends to those around me (my family), and to the environment in which we live.

Kids camping around the bonfire at our farm
My children have been the ones most intrigued by this process of evolution. I have been galled a greenie and a hippie, both terms which I fully embrace....and am proud to wear. Sometimes I feel like a chameleon or a superhero with a phonebox (hard to find one these days?) changing booth as I swap between my roles as a legal secretary and earth loving, environmentally-friendly-greenie-hippie.The transition occurs as soon as I start driving towards my home after work or the gym.

I look forward to the open arms and warm embrace of my loving home and family. I look forward to cooking a healthy, balanced meal from scratch and look forward to the day when more of the produce that makes it is my own.

Paul's marrow from a few years back

I have goals, dreams and ambitions that centre around my home again. Mother nature can knock me and my family down but we can get back up again, again and again. We have done and will continue to do so, but I am glad that I have rekindled my love for my farm. There is even beauty in the flood just has to look at the bigger picture to see it.

So, my fun journey towards a simpler life is just beginning and I have had to absorb a lot of information and learn things I never knew how to do. I don't expect I will succeed at everything and I will post a guide to where I started, just in case some are as overwhelmed as I was with the not-so-simple side of simple living. Choosing what to do first and what changes to make when faced with so many avenues for those changes is a little daunting at first but well worth the ride.

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