Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Savoring the Simple Things

A new year is upon us!  I cannot get over how mild the winter has been up till now.  Facebook shows me my "memories" nowadays and so frequently the last 2 years we were under snow starting at Thanksgiving.  I will admit that I don't miss it.  We had a flurry of wet, huge snowflakes the weekend before Thanksgiving but so far that's it and just now do we have what I consider "winter" temperatures.  I hope that this doesn't mean a late spring but I suppose we will have to wait and see.

If you are reading this from a link on facebook, you might have noticed I've been a little quieter lately.  It's not necessarily on purpose.  I've just been reflecting and working towards some good things for me and my home.

I have, for many years, dismayed on the "lived in" look of our home, but honestly we do live here.  We LIVE here.

Read that again.

And again.

Take a second and turn that word around in your mind.


We live here.

What does that mean for us? For you?

I had someone lament recently that they would also have time to do the crafty things I do if they didn't work full time away from home.  And I completely understand that as a homemaker, I have complete and total control over my time.  Almost all 24 hours of it.  That, however, doesn't mean that I am sitting around watching netflix all day.  In fact, I watch so little TV that I can't keep up with the very few BBC shows that I do enjoy.

The truth is that I am a homemaker.....number 1 person in charge of housekeeping, laundry and all meals.  Occasionally, dh will fix a meal or help with one, but 99.9% of the time if we eat, its because I fixed something.  I try to cook whole foods, from scratch, nutritious meals.  I make homemade bread at least once a week.  Not because I'm better than you or I want to rub your nose in it, but because it is better for us, cheaper and I enjoy doing it.  Sometimes I don't feel like fixing that big, hearty meal, but I do it anyway, because it is my job.

I also homeschool 2 children.  I know that I don't HAVE to do that, but I believe that it is a better way and I enjoy having the extra time with them.  Educating them takes about 2-3 hours of my time, 5 days a week, 180 days a year.  90% of the time it goes well and I enjoy what I'm doing, but sometimes I really don't want to....but I do it anyway, because it is my responsibility.

We raise livestock for meat and plant a garden for veggies and fruit.  We do our own butchering and preserving of the bountiful harvest.  I help with or do almost all of the preserving.  I also help in the garden.  This saves our family untold dollars in food and ensures that we know where our food comes from and what exactly is in it.

We have a high school aged son that is heavily involved in competitive and school soccer.  That takes time to go to practices and games.

We have an adult son that still lives at home.  I enjoy spending time with him.

We LIVE here.  Sometimes that means the dishes didn't get washed or the garden needs to be weeded.  Sometimes that means that I'm curled up in my chair with coffee and a book.  While you might get off work at 3, I will still have tasks to do, so I take my breaks when I can....after school and housework, before chores and supper.

We have a beading set all over our dining room table;
****empty jars sit on a counter waiting to be refilled with homegrown goodies
****my crafting stuff occupies the breakfast nook
****my dh has tools charging in the dining room
****my van is full of animal feed
****books are everywhere (I personally believe it is important for reading)

After a very stressful move this fall, I've come to realize the importance of feeding my soul.  I need to feed the souls of so many that come through my home, I need to recharge, I need to soak up the quiet for the times when it isn't quiet.

In order to do that I have blocked out time every day to do the following:
**read my Bible and journal (usually 1st thing in the morning and at lunch)
**read a chapter in whatever book I am enjoying (I was actually able to do that while Bear did worksheets today - its a biography of Abigail Adams and her relationship with her sisters)
**knit for at least 30 minutes every day (I enjoy listening to an audio book or podcasts while I knit or sometimes I just sit in silence)

I'm also carving out sewing time on Saturday when I'm not focused on school.

It's the little things people.  If you have a home but you are too busy working or micro-managing it to enjoy it, then what do you really have?  A burden.

I'm sitting in my cozy nook at my table, wrapped in a shawl, soaking in the sunshine for a few minutes before we get back to school.  I'm spending a few minutes doing what I enjoy (writing) before I get back to the tasks that are responsibilities.  I will do this again later this afternoon and maybe even for a bit this evening.  I will read to my children, listen to their stories and plans and projects.  I will snuggle a sweet little dog.  I will enjoy my domain and be grateful for every minute I get to spend here.  Every minute is precious.....make sure you are doing what you love.

I look forward to another year of simplicity.  I ask that you join me in the journey and I would love to have you.....just please don't ask me what I do all day.   I don't think I'm better than you, I've just chosen a different path.  If what I'm doing makes you irritated or envious then maybe you need to reevaluate your path.  Are their changes that you can make?  Also, I ask that you don't idealize my life.  Sometimes my work is hard, my burden is heavy and I have difficulties just like you.  Remember that there are 2 sides to every story and it is unlikely, even reading this blog, that you know the whole side-story of my life.  I just ask that we share our time together.  I learn so much from other bloggers.  I hope that someone can take something good away from their time here.