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Working for money is expensive  RSS feed

 
Tyler Ludens
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This past year our income was as low as it has ever been. Our primary business is disappearing due to changes in our industry, our second business is just in its infancy and still losing money because of high start-up expenses. However, last year was probably one of the happiest years of my life. Because we had so little paying work, I wasn't stressed all the time about deadlines and was able to work in the garden and on home improvements, and even spend a lot of time on hobbies. Because I had time to grow food, we were able to eat more out of the garden instead of buying food. I was able to take more care with the animals and so reduce purchased feed. I noticed that when we were working a paying job, with its pressing deadline, we would hemorrhage money - purchasing expensive supplies with expensive shipping costs because we didn't have time to shop around or get cheaper slower shipping, buying prepared food rather than growing and cooking our own, buying animal feed because I didn't have time to gather it from the land. And our health suffered tremendously during these stressful times. So, over all, our quality of life has vastly improved due to lack of paying work.
 
David Livingston
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I'm with you on this one I am so not stressed by simply not having to worry about politics and time and money I simply go and dig some stuff, cut some grass and breathe long and hard
 
Charlie Gato
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Hmm yeah, might consider only paying property taxes and thats it. Have you cut back on utilities etc? Internet? lol
 
James Everett
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Know the feeling there my job is more secure being a jailer, but my mom's job has suffered greatly the went from working 6 days 12hr shifts to working now maybe 1-2 days a week cause they jobs are not in the oil field right now like they were. They have been doing more commercial work that they can find but things out here in this small community is hard for them to keep busy since many other earth work companies are having to do the same thing for their workers. I am just glad that I had paid off my land and all i have to worry about is paying off my pick up and hurt on my credit card while helping my mom pay off her truck. as for that this year we are working to cut cost on our food bills by planting a garden and hopefully I can muster up enough to put in a pin, coop and other amenities. After reading many things off here while I was in the military i finally get to put plans into motion with my time off and what little I can spend on it.
 
Tyler Ludens
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James Everett wrote: working 6 days 12hr shifts


To me that is suffering greatly.

 
Tyler Ludens
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[quote=Charlie Gato]Hmm yeah, might consider only paying property taxes and thats it. Have you cut back on utilities etc? Internet? lol[/quote]

We could certainly cut back more on utilities, though we currently spend half or less than the average per month. Internet is a business expense and not charged by usage, so there's no point in cutting back.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Here's to your health and happiness Tyler!!! Stress can really do alot of harm to people. I know what a hard-working woman you are (I've kept up with Ludi's Projects), and I don't know how you could possibly do all you do AND work a paying job. Your talent, knowledge and abilities amaze me.
 
Todd Parr
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I wish I had your courage. I have no doubt I would be so much happier if I could spend more time at home with the dogs and cats and chickens and gardens and bees and ... I'm just afraid to give up a well paying job.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thank you, Karen. I actually sit around quite a bit, between digging and toting rocks.

Todd, I had the fortune, or misfortune some might call it, of my job giving me up, so it hasn't taken courage. It would take more courage to figure out how to make money, which I'm not good at. I will say, we only had a few good years, most were fairly lean, but during that time we were very frugal.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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I'd have to say, my job gave me up too. I had to sell the business when my partner left to take care of their spouse due to illness.
I love being able to stay home (gardening, canning, training my sweet dog) but i miss a steady income. But I sometimes think that re-entering the public work sector would be similar to double-dutch jump roping. I'm too old to play, not coordinated enough to keep in step and sooner or later the rope is going to hit me hard.
I had someone ask me awhile back, "Don't you miss people?" My answer..."Hell no."
I would prefer shoveling manure to many of the business relationships i had to endure. And the view of my mountains, sound of the birds, smell of the grass and flowers... I wouldn't trade it for anything at this point.
 
elle sagenev
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I quit my job in December to stay home with the kids. Our money hemorrhagic was mostly gas and buying simply because we were stuck in town and didn't want to be in our offices.
My job was sporadically stressful so I don't think I suffered any health issues because of it. I really liked my job actually. Now i can't buy trees whenever I feel like it. Though I can go out and take 9 million pictures of the trees I do have, so there's that.
 
Travis Johnson
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Working is expensive.

I am in a unique position where honestly I would be better off NOT working off-farm financially, but ethically I do not think it is right. I have a skill and ability to weld and since right now our country is in need of those skills for the ships that I help build, its best to do so.

It is hard; being at work when I have a ton of things I could be doing on the farm, and trying to get them done on my 1-1/2 days off every weekend (I go to church on Sunday). But at the end of the year I look back, see how much has been accomplished and am greatly satisfied. We try to pick ONE big project for the farm every year and proceed with it, a balancing a few other smaller accomplishments along the way.

As I tell a lot of people; you can waste my money, I don't care about that as it can be quickly made up, but do not waste my time; that cannot. Everyone is given 24 hours in the day and I am no more busy then the next person; it is what you fill those 24 hours with that makes the difference.
 
Tyler Ludens
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How wonderful to have a skill which is in demand and of real value. I have no such skills that I know of - everything I have done for money is superfluous (entertainment or decoration).
 
Mike Jay
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Travis Johnson wrote:Working is expensive.

I am in a unique position where honestly I would be better off NOT working off-farm financially, but ethically I do not think it is right. I have a skill and ability to weld and since right now our country is in need of those skills for the ships that I help build, its best to do so.


I've heard a lot of reasons to keep a day job but this is a new one to me. I've heard folks that need to work for health insurance, have to pay the bills, can't afford to give up the 9-5, wife won't let me stay at home, etc.

I admire that you're building the ships we need. But are you sure that there aren't other welders who would happily take your place if you were to move back to the farm full time? Welding is a supply and demand business and if the supply of welders dips by one employee, the demand will increase and they'll find a way to get the guy/gal they need. Luckily the government has unlimited funds to pay for ships so if they have to pay more to get a welder so they can finish the job on time, they will. Many people at my previous job felt that they were indispensable. It took many layoffs before some people started to realize that while what they did was important, it wasn't essential and could be done another way.

Keep in mind the good you can do for the world by spreading permaculture. Maybe trading the services you do for your country by welding ships for the services you could do for your country with permaculture would be a win-win?

Just throwing it out there...

Food for thought..........
 
Tyler Ludens
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I think it's the obligation to work for money that's stressful for a lot of people. It's not that they don't want to work. I think many, perhaps most, people don't want to just sit around, they'd rather do something meaningful with their lives. For instance my 85 year old dad, a retired dentist and dental professor who volunteers a few days a week at the Christian Dental Clinic downtown. He absolutely adores dentistry, and even though he's probably the slowest dentist in the world, he finds tremendous fulfillment from doing dentistry for free.
 
Dan alan
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The best 2 years I ever had is when I lost my job and was forced to live what I have been studying concerning growing food and simple living of the Amish.

We cut all expenses and stoped payment of loans because there was no choice. We had already payed off our land and built a small 3 bedroom house for $13K. Growing much of our food and foraging what we found it was possible to more than get by. What I discovered, though, was a peace, security, and richness I could have never purchased. The trash bill went away because we did not buy or make trash. Our health improved because of fresh real food. Many many Hours of meaningful thinking to do a little also meaningful work was a rich reward in its self. We took the lessons of the depression and Amish. We repaired, reused, recycled, and repurposed everything.

It was a slow start. I did any odd job I found; saving every penny. Now, after some time, we can produce value add products from the land capable of paying taxes, buying clothes, buying a new vehicle every 6 or 7 years, taking trips to other countries, ect, ect..

However, the odd jobs thing has become demanding. There is so much word of mouth business that it's possible to work every day and make lots of money. I looked at buying a tractor, but the cost of owing and using one is many many times higher than doing it by hand with simple tools. It would take far more hours of work to pay for a tractor than hours of work by hand. Because we have time to think we could see the fallacy in "time saving devices" that actually enslave you to more work. Now, we bought some more land for a Permaculture project and are moving towards stopping the "working for a living" all together. Life is just to good to spend the only true currency you have, time, building "the system" for someone else's luxary and control.

Yes, money is expensive. It also has a way of holding on to you; promising something more at another time. Yet, it never fully delivers, it's never enough. I honestly can see a way and a time when we will choose to live mostly with out money, no more jobs. It's easy to trade a few goods for money when taxes, clothing, solar panels, pumps, plumbing ect. It does require being debt free, saving and owning some land or doing the work-a-way/wwoofing thing. The real secret to life is knowing everything you need for life is free and all around you, and being content with what you have, but not content to rent. I was unable to see housing, for example, as free and available. Now, I know I can build a rammed earth house, earthen plaster, stove, and with a grass roof. Very comfortable. The only barriers are in our minds; the expectations we have and the expectations placed in our minds by programing which is never fulfilled.
These enslave us and take our time.

I priced our diet, at Walmart substandard quality prices, and it would cost $600 per person each month to eat this way. It's a quality of life on par with being wealthy and yet not working for it, not stealing more than a fair share of others labors.

I wish everyone could find meaningful work. If you do what you love, then you will never work a day in your life! Some days are physically very demanding, buy I love it and it's not work. Every day is different, not repetitive. I have learned to be an electrician, a plumber, a farmer, a rancher, a salesman, a medic, a biologist, botanist, an engineer, a builder, a host, a traveler, a programmer, a mason, a meditator, and so much more!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Tyler Ludens wrote:... I had the fortune, or misfortune some might call it, of my job giving me up, so it hasn't taken courage....

I had the same 'fortune' too Tyler. The contract of my job ended. There was a possibility of returning after half a year, but I did not want to at all! I became much 'richer in time' than before, and I was able to really care for my husband (chronical ill, COPD, diabetes and pain all over). Yes, the income lowered, but so did the costs too!
I don't have to travel by train to work every day anymore. I don't need to buy fashion clothes to fit in between the collegues at the office anymore. I have time to grow and cook food, to make/mend/repair clothes and other things, so I don't have to buy new stuff. Etc. etc.

In my opinion 'time' is of much more value than 'a job to earn money'.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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If you have skills like Travis has, usefull in society, of course it's good you work with those 'talents'.
Everyone has talents / skills, I have some too. But mine are not so much valued in society. I can better use them doing and promoting permaculture!
 
Jeff Higdon
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After working 140 hours a week in the oil field, I cut back to 100 hours per week, then finally to 80 hours per week. It felt like "normal" as I worked that way for so many years. A on the job injury 15 months ago took me off work. I didn't realize how tired I was until I didn't have to go to work every day. Thankfully I got a paycheck from workers comp until the end of March.

Workers comp paid significantly less than my job and at first I didn't know how I was going to make it, but we adapted. After a year, workers comp dropped what i was paid by another $700. I really didn't know how we'd make it on that, but we adapted. Two days before April 1st I found out workers comp was dropping me and since that point I've had no income. I still have significant problems that prevent me from doing the work I once did.

I was really nervous about how we would make it, but it hasn't been a problem. Now I'm finding out how very little it takes to make it! We don't go anywhere unless it is for a job interview or such. A fill up in the car gas tank last a really long time! We eat a little lower on the hog, but I have 3 excellent cooks in the house and we have plenty of beans and rice and such that we bought in quantity and put up in buckets. We're not starving nor have we missed a meal.

We have chickens that free range and if we can find them we have plenty fresh eggs. Our sheep, goats, and rabbits all had babies so there is plenty of fresh meat when we need it and milk if we want.

Our only bills are land note, car insurance, phone and internet. I sold a few things to pay them. Student loans were put into forbearance. We have solar power, so no electric bill only occasionally do we need to buy gasoline for the generator if we have too many cloudy days.

I find that this stop in our income has brought a refreshing and a "reset". You find out what is really important and what isn't. It feels good to not be a consumer, constantly trying to acquire, and to realize that you have "enough".

I am looking for work, but now my focus has changed. I want a job that I can work just enough to cover the bills and I want to spend the rest of my time at home. Eventually I want all my income to come from home.
 
Patricia Maas
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For me, had been gaining experience for years and without transportation, things had gotten tougher to get done. Was lucky and found work down the road and that is helping me pay the few bills that have and buying things so can get my livestock and poultry out on pasture. Saving will become more practiced as things like a small used truck are high on the list of needed. Working to move away from dependency on store bought feed and groceries, and have gotten some good starts on that.

Having done much restoration work on the bare ground here, managing what do have is important. Have some electric netting, but haven't bought a good solar charger yet.

Much is temporary as plan on leaving this area when have paid down the debt here.
 
Dan alan
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hopefully I can muster up enough to put in a pin, coop and other amenities


Don't forget to consider what you have. Hedges/fences can be made from living trees. It takes time though.. Sand/clay can be rammed or wattle & dobbed to make coops. Construction sites often have waste wood and roof metal, tatch is not hard if you have reeds or grass. Sometimes community programs have surplus or recycled building materials.

The point is you can have what you need money or not.
 
Brian Stretch
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Friend: "Daycare for my newborn is going to be so expensive!"
Me: "Gee, for that much your wife might as well stay home."
Friend: "Oh."

And that's what happened. I'll never understand why daycare and corporate dronehood is viewed as more valuable than that.

I'm still in the city, paying up for proper food (pasture raised meat direct from the farm co-op) but other than that my expenses are minimal. Bad habits became much less of a problem once I quit industrial food-like products. Amazing how that stuff messes with your head.
 
Jeff Higdon
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In our area the waste transfer stations have a pile of wood you are allowed to scavenge from. There is brush, logs, construction scraps, etc. Also they have an area for bricks and sometimes you can get firebrick, cinder blocks, etc. If nothing else there is always a lot of rubble there that would be good for a driveway base or filling potholes.
Clay is hard to find here, but after asking around for 4 years I was given a couple yards from a man who had stockpiled 40 dump truck loads when a local mill was excavating close to the river and ran into a vein of clay.
 
Wendy Howard
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This reminds me of that Ellen Goodman quote - "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it."

I'm old enough to remember the times when life didn't revolve around money so much, so to me it's always seemed a little odd that people obsess about it so much. Not that I wasn't part of the rat race once. I even worked in the 'States for a few years in the 80s running the US subsidiary of a European financial services company. I earned more than I rightly knew what to do with so gave most of it away. Friends back home who were teachers, nurses, etc, were earning a fraction of what I was for doing far more worthy jobs. It was frankly obscene. So when my stint in the 'States was over, I quit. There have been times when I've really struggled to pay the bills since, especially with 3 kids, but I never regretted leaving that job. Since that point, I've never again been anyone's salaried employee and have been progressively working my way out of The System altogether. It's slavery, pure and simple!

I now live on land I own outright. My only regular bills are monthly mobile phone and internet which amount to less than 50€. My land isn't large enough for property taxes. I generate my own electricity; cook, heat and heat water with firewood or solar energy; collect water from a spring-fed stream and run composting toilets, etc. I'm in the region of 60% self-sufficient in food and that's rising every year. I still run a car, but only fill the tank once a month. I had to move to another country to do this, because I couldn't afford to in my own where land prices are crazy and there are precious few homesteads left, but I now live amongst people for whom living with very little money is something they've been doing for generations. Neighbours swap favours or produce; a milking goat for a hive of bees. Money is reserved for things that can't be bartered, like electricity, fuel and medicines. People gather in the cafés to watch TV together. They've been doing that since the 60s when cafés were the only places with TVs. Why change what works? People have time for each other - to stop and talk in the street, for small kindnesses, to look out for their neighbours no matter where they're from. The more I watch this in action, the more I become convinced that it's the transactions which take place when money is either in short supply and/or not central to people's lives that are the real glue holding communities together. So I would say that working for money is not only expensive, it destroys community.
 
John Weiland
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@Wendy H: "My land isn't large enough for property taxes. "

No property taxes would be a game-changer and I don't see it disappearing anytime soon in the US. This week I will drag myself into the local county seat to pay "my rent".....the property taxes which, if unpaid, might lead to my "eviction". Where is Daniel Shays when you need him?

Edit: Which brings up a question: Does this article mean that if I have no mortgage that my property cannot be repossessed by the local government if property taxes are not paid? I understand the part of about garnering wages/accounts and levying fines, but can they actually remove you from an owned (not mortgaged) piece of land?: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/consequences-not-paying-property-taxes-7886.html
 
Wendy Howard
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John Weiland wrote:No property taxes would be a game-changer and I don't see it disappearing anytime soon in the US. This week I will drag myself into the local county seat to pay "my rent".....the property taxes which, if unpaid, might lead to my "eviction". Where is Daniel Shays when you need him?


Oh there are property taxes here! And if you don't pay them, the government will auction off your land without so much as a by your leave. But in my area, if the registered land area (which doesn't necessarily equate to the true land area - 20% of Portugal is 'missing' according to the paperwork) is assessed to a tax liability of less than 10€ per annum, then it's not collected. I have around 6 acres. What's on paper is only 4.

The average smallholding in the mountains here is around 5 acres. (Not really homesteads since people live in the villages, not on their land, but there's a growing number of eco-immigrants from all over the world arriving and buying abandoned land to live on in homesteading style.) 5 acres is more than enough for self-sufficiency for a single family and has been here for centuries, so it's hard for me to understand why so many people in the US seem to talk in terms of a minimum acreage of at least 10 times that amount? The more you have, the more you have to look after. And pay for ...!
 
Julia Winter
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I highly recommend this podcast of a talk by toby hemenway from PV2 in 2015 "Liberation Permaculture." He points out that the permaculture way (polyculture, perennial culture) is harder to quanitfy, and thus harder to tax.

Permaculture Voices podcast - Toby Hemenway
 
Charlie Gato
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I think it's the obligation to work for money that's stressful for a lot of people. It's not that they don't want to work. I think many, perhaps most, people don't want to just sit around, they'd rather do something meaningful with their lives. For instance my 85 year old dad, a retired dentist and dental professor who volunteers a few days a week at the Christian Dental Clinic downtown. He absolutely adores dentistry, and even though he's probably the slowest dentist in the world, he finds tremendous fulfillment from doing dentistry for free.


Completely agreed. This is why job hopping is so natural to me. Money is so stressful to me, its depressing and I get suicidal but yet property taxes are unavoidable. What I do daily I am logging online to prove that I do have work willingness and ethic but when it comes to being supervised or told what to do and how to do it and for how much to do it, I break.
 
John Weiland
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@Charlie G.: " ....yet property taxes are unavoidable."

It might sound nit-picky, but I think it's good to qualify this by saying "property taxes are unavoidable in our current time-society". It wasn't always that way and there may be surprising ways that it can be eliminated in some future. I brought up Daniel Shays above as an illustration. Referring only in this description to the Euro-immigrants to the U.S. around the time of the American Revolution, an author wrote: ".... during the 1780s the vast majority of white New Englanders, and perhaps the majority throughout the entire North, lived in a largely subsistence culture. That is, as one yeoman farmer stated, a farm “provided me and my whole family a good living on the produce of it. Nothing to wear, eat, or drink was purchased, as my farm provided all.” Near self-sufficiency generated feelings of selfmastery and independence, but not the independence of the individualistic “self-made I-pulled-myself-up-by-my-bootstraps” variety. Rather it was it was the sense of independence associated with community. Small white farmers lived in a community directed culture. Their sense of independence was linked to the cooperation and interdependence of friends and family at the community level. Women often labored in the fields along with men. Members of extended families traded labor. Neighbors traded labor and animals. Payment and exchange in nearby towns was often in goods, services, and land. Craftspeople produced not for an abstract market, but in most cases limited production to items specifically needed and required by neighbors. " -- https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/gbi/fresia/fresia1to4constfp10.pdf

And that doesn't even begin to address the many smaller societies around the world that do without taxation. Definitely it still will be with us in the short term, but like a plowed field that undergoes many successive stages before becoming a mature, yet still dynamic, forest, I think a permie-future will be charactarized by such a succession as well, slowly extricating from the deeper messes that we've gotten ourselves into over the past ~10,000 years.

More to the point of Tyler L's original thread entry and just as food for thought: The funny thing is that this whole split between "work" and "not-work" has, I feel, as much cultural taint to it as it does the expenditure of kilocalories. In Jean Liedloff's "The Continuum Concept....", she describes the harrowing day ahead in a South American jungle where a canoe needed portaging across a divide between two rivers. At the time, she was living with, and journaling about, the Yequana natives with whom she was living:

"Some small illuminations did get through to my civilization-blinded mind: for example, some concerning the concept of work. We had traded our slightly too small aluminium canoe for a much too big dugout. In this vessel carved from a single tree, seventeen Indians at one time travelled with us. With all their baggage added to ours and everyone aboard, the vast canoe still looked rather empty. Portaging it, this time with only four or five Indians to help, over half a mile of boulders beside a large waterfall was depressing to contemplate. It meant placing logs across the path of the canoe and hauling it, inch by inch, in the merciless sun, slipping inevitably into the crevices between the boulders whenever the canoe pivoted out of control and scraping one's shins, ankles and whatever else one landed on against the granite. We had done the portage before with the small canoe, and the two Italians and I, knowing what lay ahead, spent several days dreading the hard work and pain. On the day we arrived at Arepuchi Falls we were primed to suffer and started off grimfaced and hating every moment, to drag the thing over the rocks. When it swung sideways, so heavy was the rogue pirogue, it several times pinned one of us to the burning rock until the others could move it off. A quarter of the way across all ankles were bleeding. Partly by way of begging off for a minute, I jumped up on a high rock to photograph the scene. From my vantage point and momentary dis-involvement, I noticed a most interesting fact. Here before me were several men engaged in a single task. Two, the Italians, were tense, frowning, losing their tempers at everything and swearing non-stop in the distinctive manner of the Tuscan. The rest, Indians, were having a fine time. They were laughing at the unwieldiness of the canoe, making a game of the battle: they relaxed between pushes, laughing at their own scrapes and were especially amused when the canoe, as it wobbled forward, pinned one, then another, underneath it. The fellow held barebacked against the scorching granite, when he could breathe again, invariably laughed the loudest, enjoying his relief.

All were doing the same work; all were experiencing strain and pain. There was no difference in our situations except that we had been conditioned by our culture to believe that such a combination of circumstances constituted an unquestionable low on the scale of well-being and were quite unaware that we had any option in the matter. The Indians, on the other hand, equally unconscious of making a choice, were in a particularly merry state of mind, revelling in the camaraderie; and, of course, they had had no long build-up of dread to mar the preceding days. Each forward move was for them a little victory. As I finished photographing and rejoined the team, I opted out of the civilized choice and enjoyed, quite genuinely, the rest of the portage. Even the barks and bruises I sustained were reduced with remarkable ease to nothing more significant than what they indeed were: small hurts which would soon heal and which required neither an unpleasant emotional reaction, such as anger, self pity or resentment, nor anxiety at how many more there might be before the end of the haul. On the contrary, I found myself appreciative of my excellently designed body, which would patch itself up with no instructions or decisions from me.

But soon my sense of emancipation again gave way to the tyranny of habit, to the great weight of cultural conditioning that only a sustained conscious effort can countermand. I did not make the necessary effort and therefore came away from the expedition without much profit from the revelation. " -- http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/conconcept.pdf
 
Dan alan
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Good story thanks. The Indians have a good perspective.

I find it amusing that modern people see it as blasphemy against progress, intelligence, and impossible to grow all you eat.

Its very possible and a personal growth challenge for me. It a secure feeling. It's also necessary for good food because of corporate and government deception and stupidity. I know its not easy to grow every single thing you might want, but it darn sure is possible to grow what you need and it does not take a village!!! Anyone can make the tools required. I have a book that shows you how to refine iron and cast in sand, make hand tools and work all the way up from earth to engines laths ect. I choose to not grow fiber and weave cloth, but it's entirely possible with our modern tech to do it more easily IF such tech was important to develop. We have 3d printers and nano tech. So, there's no reason we couldn't have a bio plastic extruder with a thousand heads and Weaver in one unit that prints cloth. The point being it's possible with the right prospective.. I'm not saying anyone should try to do everything and forsake trade, no no. Just climb up high and snap a picture to remind your self to find the right perspective...

 
nancy sutton
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Hmm... maybe OT, but I noticed that among the 'only have to pay......', medical insurance wasn't mentioned (or maybe I overlooked it?). I believe that universal medical care exists in France and maybe Portugal, but it is usually a basic necessity here in the US.
 
Tyler Ludens
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We've pretty much cut out medical expenses except for insurance, which can be less expensive if your income is very low. Fortunately, health problems have been minimal lately. We have an emergency fund for emergencies.
 
Mike Jay
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I found that working a day job for money was expensive due to commuting, buying office clothes, eating out with the vendors/co-workers and health insurance. Now that I'm living the homestead lifestyle those costs have all dropped. Specifically on health care I'd encourage the US folks to see how much it actually costs. There are a number of online calculators (IE Kaiser Foundation) that will tell you how much the premium will be. As Tyler states, the cost is reduced as your income drops. For instance, going from $50K to $25K per year (in my county) drops your premium for a Silver level plan from $400/month to $92/month.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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As spring came on this year, and I was feeling overwhelmed as is usual for me this time of year, I decided to quit my job because it took me away from concentrating on moving my project forward. I liked my job very much, and only worked 1 1/2 days a week.

What it was costing me was decreased productivity at the farm. When I had a work day scheduled, it disrupted the flow. I had to get all cleaned up, drive to town work the shift drive back. That was enough time for me to lose the thread of what needed to be done, and the hierarchy of what needed to be done most urgently, in addition to being away for 9 + hours to get paid for 7. And I would be tired from the day, and so not use the remaining daylight productively.

I do feel the difference in numbers of projects coming to completion. I can pace myself through the work day so that although I work more than 7 hours in a day, they can be spread among strenuous and not so strenuous tasks, I can have a nap, I can schedule more visitors, and have an easier time getting to the eye doctor's the acupuncturist etc.

So far I have not noticed the absence of the one income stream I abandoned. And, I do have the option of going back if/when I want to. Being competent, efficient, productive and honest has benefits as well.

When I worked as a nurse, the numbers were very different. I worked part time, and got as much or more than many employees. Being paid so well and living frugally freed up a lot of personal and family time for me. In that setting, I had the same experience of losing track of what I needed to do while away. I used to make a list at the end of a shift, telling me what I needed to do next, or else I would spend most of the next shift figuring out where I was on my reports and such, then it would be time to go... that's how I got the habit of leaving my (future) self lists.

I very much agree that there are MANY hidden costs of earning money working for others... including feeling deserving of a "splurge " of some kind to compensate one's self for having to deal with the challenges of the workplace.
 
Wendy Howard
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nancy sutton wrote:Hmm... maybe OT, but I noticed that among the 'only have to pay......', medical insurance wasn't mentioned (or maybe I overlooked it?). I believe that universal medical care exists in France and maybe Portugal, but it is usually a basic necessity here in the US.


Most countries in the EU have universal medical care. Most countries make a deduction against wages (if employed) or require a contribution (if self-employed) to national healthcare insurance, but if your income is below a given threshold (varies by country), then exceptions are granted. Medical care is provided to any EU citizen anywhere in the EU irrespective of domicile regardless. The only people who would dream of introducing the American model of healthcare are those who would profit from it.
 
Dan alan
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Being healthy already, I don't waste money for medical insurance. After 2 years the medical people always take a 10% cash payoff. A more fair price.

My daughter had a $300,000 heart surgery. The doctors part was only $7500 and the hospital took $20,000 which we had already saved. Sure, we had to go a few years without a new car, but 2400 jars of jam later, we enjoyed the toxic new plastic smell again. The reason they sell insurance is to make money, not help people. They know most people don't need it. I personally am willing to life and die free. Security in is not living to me and I don't waste a day worrying. Somehow it always works out fine in the end. It becomes something you can trust.

Just know it's possible. It's something you have to experience to understand. It's letting go of the programming and questioning every single thought and belief.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Dan alan wrote:
Just know it's possible. It's something you have to experience to understand. It's letting go of the programming and questioning every single thought and belief.


I think it is difficult to free oneself from the fear-based economy (insurance), emotionally.

And to some extent it may be difficult legally, if one is concerned about that.

 
Milja Hahto
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Frankly, I am envious for all those of you who worry more about the property tax than mortgage. We have mortgage to pay for more than a decade still with our present income level, and lots of renovation to make, and we could never pay without me having a day-time job. This property is designed for a car repair shop by my in-laws (not inherited, but bought from them) and it will give my hubby all the work his health allows, but I need a job elsewhere to make it. With my health, an office job. I can have weeks in row when I am not able to do physical work - when carrying groceries upstairs is a strain, and vacuum cleaning is too exhausting - but I can usually do my job even then. Even with both at the moment working outside home, we still need to live frugally, so the biggest expense of working for money is time and energy. A high price of both, but we can't pay our bills otherwise.
 
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