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Permies are "The Joneses"

 
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Did you notice that this thread is called "The Joneses", as in keeping up with the Joneses?
"Normal" people inflate house prices so extremely that you can't get a regular 40 hour week job and buy a house in most Coastal metro areas anymore. You have to work too many hours in a high pressure job just to be able to get a house or pay off student loans.   "Normal" people convince you that you have to buy the Big Pharma pills instead of staying healthy by exercise, eating well and growing and gathering natural medicine.  You'll never see articles about natural medicine in "normal" magazines or TV shows, only Big Pharma because they expressly forbid that kind of information.  No profit to be gained.  "Normal" people spend so much time working and binge watching on their phones that their children need lots of therapy and expensive toys, when what they really wanted is time with you, their friends and nature to learn about life.  The point of the thread is not that everyone should homestead. The idea is that buying lots of stuff and working 80 hours a week on a job you don't like doesn't really make you happy.  We are a very greedy culture.  If we took the time to enjoy the simpler things in life, I think we would be happier.   I live in the suburbs, and that's where I want to live.  It feels like you are narrowly defining everyone on this thread inaccurately.  Heavy spending on new expensive items is destroying the Earth.  If we made fewer purchases and took care of them more, we would have a better environment and better health. Wealth inequality destroys cultures.  There is a ton of research on this. The Blue zones are areas of the world, studied by National Geographic, in which people live the longest and are healthiest.  Check it out sometime. For example, in the Blue zones, people are the healthiest in the world and probably the happiest, but they are way below average in terms of money. (This has nothing to do with US blue states versus red states).  Werner Herzog made a movie about people in Siberia who have nothing! but are extremely happy.

https://www.bluezones.com/


John S
PDX OR
 
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I agree did and do all that as well.

Stacie Kim wrote:Something I've been pondering for a few weeks now:

I've noticed Permies-types don't really care what society as a whole thinks of our lifestyle. We accept that we are "weirdoes" compared to most others. But I think secretly, many "normal" folks envy us, perhaps not outwardly, but still they notice we're more free from the rat race they're stuck in.

On Frugality:
1. When we bought our house, some friends of ours were shocked that we only bought half of what loan we qualified for. They urged us to buy more, saying, "A house is the biggest investment you'll make in your lifetime. You need to buy as much as you can." I replied, "I want to own the house; I don't want the house to own me." They're saddled with a big mortgage. We'll have ours paid off in about 15 to 20 years, Lord willing. And our mortgage payment is not a burden. The savings enables us to do more permaculture infrastructure on our property. Which hopefully leads to even more $ saved.

2. We buy 90% of our family's clothing and household goods at the thrift store. People we know would be mortified if their friends saw them in a thrift store. When we get compliments on a piece of clothing, we joyfully say, "Thanks! It was another thrift store find. We paid $x for it." I can see their faces deflate when they realize I dress as nicely as they do on about 1/10th of the price.

3. We drive older cars, that are beginning to need some TLC. When people suggest we get new vehicles, we often reason with them the overall cost factor. For instance, we'll explain that new struts, which we can replace ourselves, cost less than $300. What car payment these days is less than that? When the repairs to our cars start to cost more than making payments, we'll consider replacing them. Until then, we're blessed to own two vehicles outright. When they realize their car payments are a big portion of their salary, they start to realize a new car isn't as great as it seems.

On Gardening:
1. We are still in the learning curve for growing most of our family's food, but we are making a good dent in the grocery budget. I offered my neighbor a rosemary cutting, and she replied with a hesitant, "Thank you. But we've never had a plant before. What do we do with it?" What a blessing to us that we are in good health to grow our own food. Grocery stores, although still needed by my family, are not nearly as important to us as to others.

2. I am learning seed-saving, plant propagation, etc. It gets me off the couch and outside in the sunshine. Our family works together outside digging beds, planting new trees, sifting compost, etc. We enjoy being together working toward a common family goal. Our neighbors have noticed it and complimented, "Your boys are the only ones I've ever seen around here spending time outside, working with their Dad. They sure do work hard with you." That warms my heart.

On DIY:
1. We only call a pro if we can't do it ourselves. YouTube has been an invaluable source to learn new skills. Hubbie has been able to do a lot of home repair projects that many people would have needed to call a pro to do. That's not to say we do everything ourselves; we know when the job is bigger than we can handle. But being willing to at least attempt a repair and learn a new skill in the process has been a knowledge that can never be taken away.

2. Our neighborhood had a roach infestation last Spring. Some neighbors were evicted, so their bugs moved to all the other houses. YUCK! We've been able to keep the critters away with self-treatment. Others have called in professional exterminators, which is costly. People have shelled out lots of money to do something they could have figured out by themselves.

On Generosity:
1. I've learned that permies-folks tend to be more charitable than most. We tend to share our experiential wisdom, talents, tools, resources, etc more freely. When we see a neighbor in need, we are more likely to offer assistance. People notice that.

2. I think permies can be generous because we have more "margin" in our lifestyle. We aren't wealthy money-wise, but we know to to be helpful in other ways that sometimes are actually more helpful. When our neighbor came to us for help because she accidentally locked herself out of her bathroom, Hubbie was able to grind down an old screwdriver to fashion a "key" for her. I was honored that she thought to come to us rather than calling a locksmith.

3. A fellow permie neighbor has given us a chicken feeder, onion sets, and a jacket that was too small he though would fit our boys. In return, we've given him eggs and strawberry plants. It seems like what he has is what we need and vice versa. That kind of generosity is a special gift.

4. I felt a weird feeling that I should offer some of our friends some old corn grits. I don't know why, but the urge was real. So when I brought them to her, she nearly broke down in tears and told us that she'd run out of chicken feed and didn't have the money to buy any more until payday. Those grits would tide her over until proper feed could be bought. She blessed us in return with many, many eggs.

So I guess what all this rambling means is that we are envied by others who wish to leave the consumerism, toxic gick lifestyle but just don't know how to do it. Perhaps they're in debt beyond what they can pay and don't know how to break free. Perhaps they're worried their friends will abandon them. Maybe they're afraid they'll fail. I don't know.

But what I know is this: We are envied. People are trying to emulate us, albeit secretly. Maybe they are envious of the fact that we embrace our "weirdness" and don't particularly care what normal folks think. There's great freedom in learning to be yourself.

 
Angel Bellamissio
Posts: 49
Location: United States
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very true that is why they call us weird....lol

John Suavecito wrote:Did you notice that this thread is called "The Joneses", as in keeping up with the Joneses?
"Normal" people inflate house prices so extremely that you can't get a regular 40 hour week job and buy a house in most Coastal metro areas anymore. You have to work too many hours in a high pressure job just to be able to get a house or pay off student loans.   "Normal" people convince you that you have to buy the Big Pharma pills instead of staying healthy by exercise, eating well and growing and gathering natural medicine.  You'll never see articles about natural medicine in "normal" magazines or TV shows, only Big Pharma because they expressly forbid that kind of information.  No profit to be gained.  "Normal" people spend so much time working and binge watching on their phones that their children need lots of therapy and expensive toys, when what they really wanted is time with you, their friends and nature to learn about life.  The point of the thread is not that everyone should homestead. The idea is that buying lots of stuff and working 80 hours a week on a job you don't like doesn't really make you happy.  We are a very greedy culture.  If we took the time to enjoy the simpler things in life, I think we would be happier.   I live in the suburbs, and that's where I want to live.  It feels like you are narrowly defining everyone on this thread inaccurately.  Heavy spending on new expensive items is destroying the Earth.  If we made fewer purchases and took care of them more, we would have a better environment and better health. Wealth inequality destroys cultures.  There is a ton of research on this. The Blue zones are areas of the world, studied by National Geographic, in which people live the longest and are healthiest.  Check it out sometime. For example, in the Blue zones, people are the healthiest in the world and probably the happiest, but they are way below average in terms of money. (This has nothing to do with US blue states versus red states).  Werner Herzog made a movie about people in Siberia who have nothing! but are extremely happy.

https://www.bluezones.com/


John S
PDX OR

 
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