Everything costs something; either time or money. Everything will require something as its payment. We used to have a cleaning lady, nice cars, enjoyed expensive restaurants, took the kids on cruises. We worked hard for the money and spent it on what we deemed the good life. But it was a farce. It was an illusion of freedom. Behind cubicle walls and by his phone strapped to his belt, Doug was actually a prisoner. I, too, even though I owned my own business and raised my own children, was stuck in the “gotta make more money” and “need more time” trap that so many moms feel these days.
I remember clearly a conversation that my friends and I were having at dinner one night when we talked about organic, vegetarian food compared to quick, processed food. They were arguing with me that theirs was far cheaper. I said, “A bag of organic beans is less than two dollars!” “But you have to spend more time making everything. We don’t have time. You have to spend more time to save money.”
Doug and I are working ridiculous amounts of hours right now. We are putting up money and goods for the winter like little squirrels….exhausted ones! But we know the trade off. One always has to work. What will you work for? I want to work on preparing and storing my own food, making what clothing I can, selling excess to help pay bills, creating and selling herbal medicines to support us on our own time. We heal people, we are as self sufficient as we can be at this moment, we work hard, but we fall into bed satisfied each evening. We are much happier than we ever were when our tax returns said we were living a good life. We know that we traded money for time. Time spent doing things we want to do and creating a life that is more satisfying to us than our run-around city life.
We try to walk softer on the earth. Not use so many resources. Pollute less. Use less electricity. Buy less stuff. Stay home more and enjoy each other and our animals. We have created a life no one expected us to have. Don’t wait. Don’t do the five year plan….the “when I retire”….”the when I get land”….the “when I get married”…the “when the kids move out”…just do it. If you want to live simply. If you want to take that leap of faith to become a homesteader, do it now. Life goes faster than anyone wants to admit, and the peace of living as a homesteader far outweighs any fears. Homesteading is freedom.