A good rant

3 Jul 2007



Sharon at Casaubon's Book has a good post about frugal living based on the old saying "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". Her closing line is " doing without is not impoverishment- it is life as art".



Many people feel that their lives lack opportunities for creativity but is it because they feel that unless they can do something really well they shouldn't be doing it at all. I'm all for the return of the amateur. You never know what you can do or what you will enjoy until you try. Sometimes you find you enjoy the process of doing something such as raking leaves or kneading bread dough, sometimes you enjoy the result, like a non stinky bathroom after you have given everything a good scrub or a deliciously made bed after you have remade it with sweet clean sheets. If we give ourselves a chance we may find that with practice we get better and what began as a chore becomes a task that gives us great satisfaction.



Any task can become an outlet for your creativity or a time for meditation. If everything we do has to be rushed through to get to the next thing or if it has to be done perfectly or not at all we are missing many opportunities for moments of unscheduled happiness in our days. Often the big things like an expensive holiday or a meal at a flash restaurant don't match up to our expectations, we have spent a lot of money so we should have a good time, right. We are robbing ourselves of so much, of so many little satisfactions if we hand our lives over to the experts and save ourselves for the big adventures.



Becoming more frugal is a huge adventure. Trying to avoid shopping, trying to avoid spending more than you want to or avoid spending altogether requires great creativity and gives great satisfaction. Remember, just because they make it and they sell it doesn't mean you have to buy it. Buy what you truly need and sometimes what you truly desire. Not paying others to care for your home, your children,to make your clothes, cook your food,do your garden means that you will find a way to do it yourself and may even find that you enjoy it or at least get a greater feeling of self worth than if you just hand over some cash.



It is time to live by your own rules, pick and choose what you want to be a part of, live your life the way you want to. You can't buy a lifestyle no matter which house you buy or how many desirable things you fill your house with. You have to live a lifestyle, there may be some things you need to live that life but it has to start inside you. Many of us have been sucked into thinking that if we buy enough of the right things we will look as though we belong to a certain group, we will be respected and then we will be happy. This is true as much in the green movement as anywhere else. I know people involved in the Steiner/Waldorf movement who have all the right bits and pieces that show they belong and then race their children around madly to every activity they can find forgetting all about the importance of an unhurried childhood.


You can't buy a life no matter how hard you try but you can decide to really live your life, to be aware , to really be in the moment, to know whether it feels right or merely deadens your soul. What a piece of work is mankind, with the right mindset we can make almost anything a positive experience even if only in hindsight. I say be frugal with your life as well as your money and the earth's resources. Don't waste your time on things that give nothing to your life, focus on the beauty all around you and inside you. We are all here for a reason , maybe that reason is to show others the beauty of the ordinary, the satisfactions of the everyday.


Here endeth the rant.

17 Responses to “A good rant”

  1. Hear, hear, very well said. I totally agree with all your comments. I know when I was younger I used to feel that if I just had x, y or z (insert any consumer / fashion item here) I would be content. Now I'm getting older I know that this is complete rubbish and I very much enjoy the satisfaction of 'doing it myself' or 'making do'. I no longer feel the peer pressure to have certain consumer items, or items of the latest fashion in order to 'conform' or 'be accepted'. In fact as I've got older I want to 'conform' or 'be accepted' less and less. I'm probably turning into a crazy old lady, but I'm certainly enjoying my life much more as I mature.

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  2. Lovely post, Jenny. I agree with you completely.
    Sometimes I seem to be surrounded by people working hard to buy the things that they think they need in order to save time in their busy lives! Its great to read your blog and realise that I'm not the only one who has jumped off the treadmill and is enjoying the process of living more simply.

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  3. Jenny --
    I concur with your "rant" -- it was very well said and from the heart. I've been working to incorporate simpler living into our lives for the past 5 years -- it's been an interesting journey, but one that I would not change. Now I can do things that are really important - teach Sunday School, help pastor our church, lead ministries, make a difference -- none of which I could do when I was stuck in the "affluenza" world and working 60+ hours a week in a high-stress job to keep it all going. I enjoy your blog!
    Peace,
    Chris.

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  4. "Any task can become an outlet for your creativity or a time for meditation. If everything we do has to be rushed through to get to the next thing or if it has to be done perfectly or not at all we are missing many opportunities for moments of unscheduled happiness in our days...I say be frugal with your life as well as your money and the earth's resources. Don't waste your time on things that give nothing to your life, focus on the beauty all around you and inside you. We are all here for a reason , maybe that reason is to show others the beauty of the ordinary, the satisfactions of the everyday."

    Well i just loved your "rant" Jenny, and couldnt agree more : ) So well said!

    Paix,

    Wendy

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  5. Hear, hear.

    I love that expression "unscheduled happiness".

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  6. What a breath of fresh air, just when one was needed. Thanks.

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  7. Oh Jenny, that was just brilliant, so reinforcing for me at the moment. Would you like to be my new best friend??????

    cheers Lenny

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  8. Thank you for this post Jenny - I love your "rants".

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  9. I sometimes feel the more we move away from providing for ourselves (even on a very simple level such as cooking or cleaning) the more disaffected we become. Manual work, frugality have all been called drudgery but they are not, they are a way of connecting with the rhythms of our still beautiful world. They teach us to respect God's provision and force us to connect with our loved ones...with little tv and no playstation then we have to talk, read, play with each other.

    I hope this makes sense, I have a bit of a temperature!!!

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  10. This post is an example of why I can't stay away from the online world. Thank you for ranting. I so agree and feel so encouraged.

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  11. Thank you for this great post Jenny! It is beautifully said and truly inspiring.

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  12. wonderful post!! I've never thought about being frugal with my life before...to spend myself wisely! :)

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  13. This is a wise post, Jenny. I loved this line: "It is time to live by your own rules, pick and choose what you want to be a part of, live your life the way you want to." We need more people to break away from the pack and live by their own rules.

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  14. Thanks Jenny, with all the changes in my life lately, ur beautiful and inspiring post was just what i needed to hear!!!
    Take care....hope ur MIL is doing ok!!

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  15. Thanks everyone for some really great comments. I love these discussions, so interesting.

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  16. A wonderful post! How many have lost interest in enjoying the simple life. You articulate the beauty of frugality very well. Thank you!

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  17. Bravo! I just found your site via another and I am in awe! I'm sending my Honey the link to read this for himself. Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.