Ok, so I have this thing about beauty. I’ve been obnoxious about my postings on making life more beautiful. I admit it. Forgive me. However, that’s not all Thoreau was talking about. He was primarily talking about actually living the life we have– not merely existing, living!
This is the point of my book, Past Forward(Blog opera really…). Willow Finley and her mother spent twenty-three years living the life they chose. It’s hard to merely exist when you have so many interests, so much work to do just to survive! One thing that Chad (and others) ask often is, “Why don’t you do it this other way. Think of all the time you’d save.” Willow says at least once, “What would I do with all that saved time?”
She’s happy– content. She loves her life and her work. She enjoys making her own soap, dipping and pouring her own candles, and embellishing every piece of paper she can. She values things not because they’re new, stylish, or make her life easier. She values things that have a history with her. The journals her mother wrote, a vase she made as a child, and the ruana her mother made on a loom that is now broken. She loves these things because she knows the love, work, and time put into them. She values time not as something to be hoarded, saved, or wasted, but as something to be lived.
That’s what I want from my days. It’s been my “theme,” if you will, for this year. I can’t say it’s been a complete success, but it has been much more successful than in past years. I’m learning to stop what I’m doing, look around me, and determine if I’m living or if I’m merely letting the day take me along for a ride. That’s a wonderful thing! I’m also discovering something else; things are getting done that usually I forget to do. Right now, the tops of the cabinets are cleared (thank you for your help, Kevin), the counters are almost all oiled, the kitchen is clean, and meals are getting done without Kevin having to do as much.
I’m eating salads. I LOVE salads, but I usually don’t take the time to make them. I decided that it’d be cheaper, healthier, and a better use of my time to make a salad that I love than to avoid eating (because nothing appeals to me), eat at a fast food place (because I’m out and about and it’s more appealing than what is at home), and as a result, I’m really enjoying meals. Yeah, I might get tired of them. That’s completely possible. But, what’s to say I don’t switch that salad making time with squash sauteing or chicken grilling. That’ll work!
School is picking up around here. I’m much happier with how our educational process is going. It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there. We’re getting there, because I’m making a concentrated effort to do it. I’m even considering writing my own curriculum for Lorna. Why not? I can and maybe I’d enjoy teaching more if I had the fun of writing it first. Maybe not, but maybe.
Our belts are tightening right now as we pay for things like dental implants, crowns, deep cleanings for periodontal disease etc. However, I’m working hard to find ways to make and save money in order to do one of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I want to go on a Dinner Mystery Train Ride. I’m eager to join the Bugle Boy Murders of Company C one. That gives me until either May 14 (daughter’s birthday… probably not going then) or September 10. I’m thinking September is enough time to save for the ride and a hotel room so we don’t have to ride back home. We’ll call it an early anniversary trip. Two months later, we celebrate 23 years of marriage! I know it sounds nuts, but it is just one way I’m making changes to LIVE this life I’ve been given.
You know, if I wasn’t paying attention to how I live my life, the decisions I make, and the decisions others make that affect me, a lot of this wouldn’t be happening. I wouldn’t be taking the time to make cards, write books, or save for train rides. I wouldn’t be finding ways to enjoy what I eat, enjoy my home, and enjoy my family the way I am. I wouldn’t be focusing on recording memories as they happen, or vamping up the kids’ education. I’d be moseying along as I have been for most of my life. I like this. I really like this.