Is food really so complicated or do we just make it that way? One of my biggest struggles in living a healthier lifestyle has definitely been mastering the art of eating the best foods for my body. I never understood why it was such a complex thing until I started my search for better information in my early 20s. I realized quickly that there is just SO much out there. Seriously – walk into any bookstore, health food section, or google anything to do with food and you’re instantly confronted by a thousand ways to lose a few extra pounds, cut carbs, fat, or sodium, etc. It’s just within the last few years that mainstream media has grabbed hold of books, articles, and blogs that get down to the nitty gritty and discuss REAL food. I’m not sure about you but I’m tired of wading through fad diets and fast food advertisements. For this reason (and many others) the homesteading movement really appeals to me. Getting back to the basics and being self sufficient sounds blissful.
This leads me into what I’ve really been wanting to talk about. Homesteading. Getting back to our roots and eating real food, not the crap in packages that is marketed as ‘natural’ or even as food at all. Don’t get me wrong, I do indulge in junk, but my main goal is to make or grow whatever I can myself. There’s just something so rewarding about doing things yourself and not relying on anyone else. Last year was my first year gardening on my own and I have to say there is nothing like pulling fresh food out of the garden and eating it right away. You don’t realize how much flavor the grocery store produce is missing! (Not to mention nutrients.)
At first homesteading can be ridiculously overwhelming because there really is an endless amount of things you can take on. From reading and talking to others I’ve come to realize that it’s all about small steps and learning things thoroughly. There’s no need to rush. I want to make sure that when I’m learning these lifelong skills that I’m giving them 100%. On my list of things to do this year I’ve continued on with gardening and canning preserves (Still SO much to learn), and also added fermented goods to the list.
Recently I kind of fell into a rut feeling like I would never get around to any of this because I was overwhelmed by my mild OCD with cleaning (it’s endless if you allow it to be) and my silly addiction to my phone. On a side note: It’s nuts how much time we waste on a regular basis doing things we really don’t even want to do! I baffle myself sometimes. Why the hell would I spend any amount of time surfing Facebook when I could be playing with my little girl, journaling, creating delicious healthy food for my family – just concentrating my efforts on things I enjoy and that pertain to me. Not so-and-so’s vacation photos or the many status’ that ooze with either negativity or the awesome stuff OTHER people are doing. *Facepalm*
Enter the wise words of a homesteading supermom. Martina is a fellow mom I met through the Nova Scotia Cloth Diaper Network on Facebook (I know I know. But sometimes Facebook is beneficial) and through a mutual friend. I’m not sure she realized how much she really helped me, but it was just what I needed to realize that I’d been stressing about things I didn’t even care about. Though I already knew on some level that I had complete control over my life there was just something that stood out when in regards to cleaning and ‘having it together in other people’s eyes’ she wrote, “My secret is just letting go of those things and not giving two shits. Doing the things I love and keeping the kids fed, happy, and healthy.” She also wrote, “Honestly the things that I take time for are my ‘escape’ gardening, homesteading, fermenting, and cooking. These are my escape from the 24/7 attention that I give to the kids. They benefit from it, learn from it and I make it my thing.” How is this some kind of eureka moment for me you ask? Because I didn’t know where to start and I thought cleaning was a huge part of what made me happy. Turns out that if the laundry’s folded and the sink is empty I’m no more happy than if I had just left them and done something more important. I’m actually happier and more energetic concentrating on family, cooking, and homesteading.
So that all being said, I wanted to make sure that others looking to get into homesteading weren’t crazy overwhelmed. Just get yourself to the point where you have a list of things you want to concentrate on and that make you happy, and go for it! Take your time, learn new things, and for the love of god stop worrying about what you ‘should’ be doing. I feel like I’ve wasted enough time thinking, planning, and cleaning, I’m just ready to DO. My first order of things is to spend as much time with my little as possible and include her in as much of the homesteading process as I can. I’ve sort of avoided this at times because it’s faster to get things done if I do them, but the speed at which it’s done doesn’t matter in the least. So what’s holding you back? What’s overwhelming you and preventing you from doing the things you love? What makes you happy? Why haven’t you done these things? Could you be taking time from things like surfing the net and watching TV to do these things?
NOTE: This is the video that took me from interested in homesteading and self sufficiency to being passionate about it. The Dervaes family is so inspirational when it comes to being self sufficient. I aspire to learn the skills necessary to create my own oasis and provide for my family in such a profound way. Please take a look 🙂