Monday, January 23, 2012

When Going Back to the Land Isn’t an Option

I’ve mentioned a few times on ye olde blogge that a while back, I was very interested in a “natural” lifestyle. Heck, even over in my profile bio on the right, I mention that in my daydreams, I live on a ranch. Well, a few years ago, from around 2006 to 2008, wanting to live a “back to the land” lifestyle was a very strong desire of mine.

Recently an online friend blogged about something similar – seeing the positive qualities in a simpler life, a more natural life, a slower lifestyle. She admitted that she probably romanticized it but that it still looked appealing. I noticed many commenters agreeing, saying they felt the same way. I jokingly commented that she sounded like I did, a few years ago. She responded and asked what I did about it, and here’s what I told her:

I made certain small changes to our lifestyle, and honestly, I kind of grew out of it because it wasn't a dream that was to become a reality for me anytime soon. :/

My husband wasn't interested (especially in the back-to-the-land stuff - he's a city/suburbs guy) so without buy-in from him, it wasn't going to happen, you know? And because of that I just kind of let it go and began focusing on other things. I get my "fix" in other ways - spending more time outside, eating better, doing creative things with the kids, watching Frontier House on PBS, ha!

Something I've noticed about myself is that I will get really gung ho about something that interests me, and I'll think that I need to change my whole life to look like whatever that interest is. What I'm still learning is that maybe "tweaks" are what I really need. Maybe I don't need to homeschool and make all my food from scratch and raise chickens and live on a farm sustained with electricity from our windmill and become a midwife . . . maybe what I'm feeling is really a pull to spend more time with my kids on what they're learning from this world . . . make better food choices and start a container garden . . . cut costs and make eco friendly choices in my suburban townhouse . . . tell my friends about great pregnancy and birth resources and let them know I'm available with a non-judgmental ear if they need to vent or need advice. Maybe I can use my interest to advocate on behalf of people who need a lot more of these things in their lives but have even less access than I do - people who live in food deserts, people who have only ever been told that birth is a terrifying, painful thing to leave up to a hospital staff, people who have so little chance to visit a zoo or forest or farm, or even just a park.

I'm still interested in all those things and love to see, read, hear, talk about them . . . but in their full-blown form they don't work for me. Doesn't mean I can't incorporate some of their important principles and aspects into my life!

Do you do this? Do you get really excited about something, learn a lot about it, and think you must change your whole lifestyle to be happy? Have you actually done it? If so, how did it work out? Are you like me – it takes a while but eventually you understand that perhaps a radical change isn’t in order, but smaller changes are?

What are things you thought you needed, and it turned out maybe you just needed to make some tweaks?

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