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Living to live not to work.your thoughts.

 
pioneer
Posts: 135
Location: Herding farming god of travel and fast horses.Holy fool.
51
sheep greening the desert
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For me being alive is work.Waking up getting ready.Planting a garden.Chopping firewood.Hunting.Herding sheep.Riding horse.Shoeing horses.Shearing sheep.Taking care of children.Cooking.Hauling water.I have worked a "job" since I was 15. I can't seem to wrap my mind on working for the man ever again.I feel sad at times because I cant make my family happy financially. Alot of fights our over money.If I were to a job,job where I live I would not be home 5 days of the week.It doesn't make sense to me morally to be gone from home that long.'m not lazy I work hard it just doesn't bring those dollar bills.We our losing our tradtional ways in southwest because of technology and western culture.The old way is slowly going but I am stuck in the past.The only way to fight it is by using technology and using Navajo language.My purpose for this article is not so much to complain but to possibly find a solution to this problem that plaques my soul.I'm not sure how to solve this problem.Get a job is just not a solution for me.It makes me sad and depressed at times.How do you live in this system of consumerism?How do you live a life worth living?How do you live the old way but also live in the modern world?These our my questions to you thinkers of the world.
 
master gardener
Posts: 2813
Location: southern Illinois.
750
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I see nothing wrong with consumerism (I do have problems with some practices that have grown out of it).   I know of an individual who grew up extremely poor. More than anyone I have ever known, he wanted to be middle class. He lives in a subdivision with doctors, bankers, and lawyers.  He has a vacation home in Arkansas and a condo in Wisconsin. He is happy.   His life is not for me, but I won’t pass judgement on those who choose to live it. To be sure, he is mystified with my choices.

I understood many decades ago that I would have to buy my freedom.  Although this can be interpreted a number of ways, more than once I had to re-enter the system to get needed funds.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1718
Location: Denmark 57N
455
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Perhaps the obvious answer is to monitise one of the things you do. Sell things to tourists or hire out as a shearer etc, but I feel that's not what you are after. I don't know what your situation is but so long as there is enough money for taxes/rent/bills and anything else you need, then so what if you don't have other things? Unfortunately there really is not any way to live without money and have any standard of living.

If you want to justify your work to others then next time they complain hand them a bill for whatever the last thing you did for them was. How much does it cost to get a farrier in? how much is childcare for a week? what would that hunted meat cost at the store? Domestic work is still work it still has a value.
 
Ben Skiba
pioneer
Posts: 135
Location: Herding farming god of travel and fast horses.Holy fool.
51
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Thank you John and Skandi,sometimes a person just has a dark day.This is the kind of thought provoking words I was looking for.You have helped me today more then you know and have given me some things to think about.
 
gardener
Posts: 819
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
332
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Being present for your kids is a very, very precious gift too. If you have this kind of contact where you build them up, strong confident and balanced they can go out into the world and get those material goods if they feel they need them to be happy when they have grown up.
They might reject it or want to help in the family business.

It doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to get the dollar. Maybe everybody can help think about what to do. It will make them realise it’s not as easy as it seems. Which might make them appreciate what they have now more.

Hope this helps.

 
pioneer
Posts: 189
Location: South East Kansas
30
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As someone with a 40 hour a week job it can be depressing and hard. Sometimes I find myself not wanting to do anything but sit and try to relax after a hard day at work. Now for something happier, I found and read Early Retirement Extreme By Jacob Lund Fiker (here is a link https://permies.com/forums/forums/wikiBacklink/list/9018). ERE as it is known helped me to see a different way.  I am still studying how to do this and working my job. I also like the BEER plan that Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote about in Building a Better World in your Backyard (here is a link https://permies.com/forums/forums/wikiBacklink/list/109851) These two books have shaped my thinking about having a job and working.  
 
Hugo Morvan
gardener
Posts: 819
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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T Blankinship. Good angle. Practical tips.
Ben, you sound like an old school homesteader, maybe you’re even of native descent.
Isn’t there a market for teaching these skills to people? I don’t know.
But i do know that having the idea that things can change having that dream that things are going to be better can drag people through hard times. Itmight not even be you Ben who’d be helped by having a dream of how an ideal situation would be. Even if the dream might never come true. That’s my life experience.
And herbal teas like stJohn’sWorth help me personally to see things a bit brighter. And if i can’t sleep valerian/hops. I don’t know what kind of plant medicine nature provides where you are.
 
Posts: 7927
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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This is a difficult one...
In my early twenties I hung on to the idea that I could go and live outside the economy.
Cabin in the woods, a mule, nuts and berries and grow everything else.

The reality was a struggle and with some successes.

My guy ended up bucking hay, training horses, doing any outside local day work he could find for $2 an hour while I was home with the kids.  

I was able to get a loom and weave things for sale...it was during the boom time for hand made craft so fairly easy to market back then but still a very small income.

We still needed some cash even though we traded for dental work, with an occasional doctor and our friends and neighbors.

The biggest challenge was the bit of land we settled on...a seasonal creek, no road access, a spring that was a trickle, steep and rocky, no top soil...not much sun exposure because of it's orientation.  

and with in the group who lived there we would do things like trade the only running truck for a herd of goats after planting the hillside in fruit trees

Now, I feel like I know so much more and could have made it work...the network with helpful information and ideas was much narrower to non existent back then.  The communication with our peers was a potluck a few times a year...and limited connections with close neighbors...no phone, no electronics, no utilities.

We lived with as little as possible and were falling behind in so many ways.  I was the one who finally said it's time to pick up and try this in another way. Steve is willing to persevere against all odds...I'm ready to pick up and change direction if I feel things aren't working.

The big take away for us is that we were so much better at living without than earning money and that holds true even now.

We stayed out of debt conscientiously.

It's important to find a way to make some money doing something you love.
Eventually Steve was able to build up a good business using hand tools, carving wooden spoons and bowls...later became an 'interpreter' where he was paid to demonstrate that AND sell his work...I was able to work at home all the while our kids were young through high school and even while my mom lived with us. Teaching weaving added some income also.  We traveled to craft shows.

Just stay open to opportunities like you are...and be willing to compromise in those areas that are crucial to your families health and well being.

I like what I think you are saying, that you want a 'whole' life not one compartmentalized into 'work' and 'home' and 'play'.

...it can happen

one more thought and interesting irony....in the end, our income stream was almost totally dependent on the consumer economy and leaning towards those consumers with disposable income...go figure.  A more in tune income would have been a CSA or some skilled service?







 
pollinator
Posts: 172
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
39
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Judith Browning wrote:This is a difficult one...
In my early twenties I hung on to the idea that I could go and live outside the economy.
Cabin in the woods, a mule, nuts and berries and grow everything else.



Judith, I really enjoyed reading your story. I find myself really curious to hear the back-stories of other Permies lately. It seems to provide so much more depth to the present tense nature of the forum, which can feel at times like a fast-moving blur of activity.  
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