Monday, September 18, 2006

living simply, acting deliberately

So what's a full-time modern career woman fisheries biologist like myself doing writing about being a homemaker?

I have given a lot of thought lately to my lifestyle. I am straddling the line between two worlds: the work-to-live lifestyle, which some would call Babylon, and my dream Utopia of a self-sufficient homestead, driven by spirit. While I don't think I will completely ever make the leap from the former to the latter, I've gone further towards the latter than I ever imagined.

Lately, however, walking the line has seemed a bit overwhelming. I have come to the realization that the double-income, suburban family is an impossible pursuit; divorce rates and alienated children attest to this. Heck, my husband is fortunate enough to work from home and spend a lot of time tending things here, in exchange for a few evening and weekend obligations, but still, how does one come home from work at 5:30, prepare a satisfying meal, wash the dishes, tend to the childrens' needs, and the needs of the marriage? Impossible, I tell you.

While I cannot yet shed the yoke of the full time job (health benefits are pretty hard to beat), I am striving for ways to make this life work much in the way I want it to. Specifically, I want to:

1. Maintain a peaceful household. That is, one in which I (or others) don't break down into fits of raised voices and violence.

2. Maintain an inviting household. I want my children to come home to fresh cookies and the smell of bread baking, and a stew cooking on the wood stove. I want the home to be comfortable, uncluttered, and homey.

3. Be as self-sufficient as possible. Yeah, I'm even thinking spinning and knitting wool socks. In my spare time, of course. When I'm done playing my homemade music for the night and drinking my home brewed beer. I want it all, dammit!

4. Live a joyful life. I'm fairly good at seeing the joy in day-to-day life, and I'm hoping to make myself more contagious.

5. Follow the Spirit-led path. I have some obstacles regarding Christianity that I can't seem to get over, but nevertheless I want to know that my actions are guided from above, from some God that is still speaking to us.

I really desire to be a homemaker. That commitment has not come quickly or easily; I have failed at one poorly-timed experiment in giving up the working life. Oh, right, make that two experiments. But now more than ever I feel that when I pull out of the driveway and make my 30 mile commute to work, I am missing out on the more important part of life.

So this blog will be my musings on trying to live more deliberately, to move to a more homemaking lifestyle, to pack as much living as I can into the hours I have. I do have another blog, but it seems to have taken on a life of its own and I want this one to be more focused on homemaking, and spiritual, issues, things that don't always blend seamlessly into my current blog.

My accomplishments for the day: I took the day off work, because The Hermit was on a business trip and I just could not deal with getting everyone to daycare and school and babysitting two puppies at work and doing chores after work. I met the older two kids at the end of the driveway after school because it was raining and somewhat cold, and I didn't want them to have to walk the distance to the house. I cooked spaghetti for dinner, with mostly home or locally grown ingredients. I gave my son a guitar lesson and helped my daughter with her piano practice. And, I took some time for myself and played some good music. :)


LauraHinNJ said...

Sorry I missed this great post back in September, Deb.

I have to agree with you about the dual income lifestyle being near impossible - I don't have kids and can hardly imagine ever having the TIME to raise them properly while trying to work outside the home. We're made to believe anymore that we can't afford not to work. I don't know.

Anyway, just want to encourage you towards your goals of living more simply and deliberately - and joyfully.

Larry said...

Everyone should try to look a the big picture instead of spending all our time as robots.
-My commute is 30 miles+ each way also-good post!

Anonymous said...

Rather valuable idea