Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
The Happy Homesteader
It seems that in every endeavor a person pursues there comes a time when they reach certain plateaus in the experience and things can become monotonous or even a drudgery. I hope I am not alone in this but it seems that many people I have come in contact with have expressed at least a similar feeling about things. Some times its a job that becomes that way, perhaps due to the many tedious responsibilities of one sort or another, or perhaps due to a person's interests changing. Unfortunately, for some people it seems that it is life itself that is monotonous and that is so sad to see.
What got me thinking about this was a post I recently read where the person referred to "the monotony of homesteading". I certainly do not mean any disrespect to the original blogger but that comment really got me thinking. Why would someone feel that way about all of the wonderful aspects of the homesteading lifestyle? To be completely fair the person was referring to their choice not to blog about the many day to day details of what it takes to homestead. The gardening, gathering the eggs, feeding the animals, all the various chores, etc... I guess I'm weird but that is the stuff I love and I love hearing other like minded folks share their experiences. It seems to me that there is so much to learn by doing and by seeing or hearing what other people are doing that it never becomes monotonous but that's just me, not everyone views or experiences things the same.
If you find yourself feeling a little burned out or you've lost your drive or zeal for pursuing your version of the homesteading lifestyle what can you do about it? I'm no expert on the matter but here are some of my thoughts:
1. Keep on Learning : Some of us develop the bad habit of closing our minds to anything that is new or different or difficult to understand. This leads to unreasonable prejudices which can cause us to confine ourselves to the company of people we know and to only move within a familiar environment so we never give ourselves the chance to try something different. To keep on learning we need to keep an open mind. Try learning something new about a subject you are already knowledgeable about or even better try learning something that is altogether new to you. It means being interested in everything around us and the world at large.
2. Keep your eyes open: Our eyes may be open in the sense that we do not bump into posts or walk into the path of oncoming traffic. But mentally, we may be miles away. Though the eye may see, the mind does not take it in. Life becomes monotonous because we are not really part of it. So, open your eyes and experience life and appreciate the little things.
3. Be responsive: Some of us do not want to be involved. We are afraid of trouble or inconvenience or people taking advantage of us. If you want to beat monotony, you will have to be responsive to people and try to like them rather than to dislike them. You will have to be reasonably trustful and not always suspicious or on your guard. Easier said then done I know but at least try.
4. Become interested: If you believe that being interested in things or life just happens, you are wrong. Interest has to be coaxed and nourished, and any really worthwhile interest demands quite a bit of effort and concentration. You have to work at it yourself. A passion for anything you do makes a difference. – your job, a hobby or Homesteading –
So how can we apply this around the homestead. How about learning a new skill? Canning, dehydrating, sprouting, seed saving, seed starting or root propagation? How about learning all about the soil and how to build it up to be the most productive soil possible? Become an expert on a given plant or two or three or dozens. Learn about building with natural materials or recycled materials, foraging, fishing and hunting. This list could go on and on but this is my list, why don't you sit down and make a list of the things that you are interested in and consider how you could expand your knowledge and experience. Educate yourself on what others have done and learn from their experience. Take time to learn about something that is completely new to you and enjoy the new experience and then share that knowledge and experience with others.
Finally, we should all remember that life does not always need to be new and exciting. If you find yourself leading a quiet and simple life then relish that experience and choose to be happy. Albert Einstein once said "The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind". Enjoy it!
Scout & Family
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