{31 Days} Intentional Living – Day 10

Find the rest of my {31 Days} Intentional Living series here.

I am a serious book nerd.  I may have mentioned that here before <sarcasm intended>.  It is probably the one thing that I would choose to do for the rest of my life if I could only pick one thing – outside of being a mama I mean.  I especially love all those non-fiction stories.  You know, the ones about where the city girl goes to the country and becomes a farmer to follow her love, or the one about that family in NYC that decides to go No Impact, or that one about the family that can live in a tiny house.  Yeah, I have read all of those and then some.

So what does this have to do with intentional living?  Well, I think that I am too quick to think “why can’t I do that.”  To me, it almost is the same as “why can’t I have that,” which I would typically put in the category of being a consumer and relate more to seeing all that is available to us.  This is kind of the opposite.  To see others live with less and want that, but not know how to get there.  And then the what if game starts.

I can read a million books on homesteading, and still not end up being where I think I should be.  And maybe that is part of the problem?  The fact that I think I can do it all.  I can be a farmer in the country and a minimalist (hmm…those don’t seem to go together so well).  I can live off the grid, except that I don’t have an off-grid house…and no real prospects of getting one anytime soon.

I used to always want to “keep up with the Joneses,” but now I wonder if perhaps I am trying too hard to keep up with the O’Brien’s and the Smith’s and that other family whose name I don’t know, but they have some goats.  Instead of looking towards electronics, I am looking towards getting rid of electricity.  I guess there is probably a point where I should step back and look at what I have, and then work with it.

That is what I am trying to do anyways.  The reality is that I live in a house that is too big for our family, but we also have a huge house that is great to entertain in.  I don’t have that wood cook stove that I would really love, but I also don’t have to come downstairs and start a fire before I make the kids breakfast, or my coffee.

How does this all relate to what I wanted to talk about today, knitting?  Well, I am still knitting mittens.  I have 2 pairs done, and 3 to go.  In my head I always think I can accomplish what I am knitting faster than I actually do.  It isn’t a bad thing, like I said last week, knitting lets me slow down and take a step back from everything.  But, I need to realize that I am not going to knit sweaters for everyone I know this year, and I will be lucky to get one made for Jack (in addition to the one I have already made Emma).  That is OK.

I need to create the identity and the life that works for me and my family, not what I think that life should be based on what other people are doing.

Do you laugh at the Joneses but run after the O’Briens?  And just so everyone knows, I don’t think I actually know any O’Briens…in case there was confusion 🙂

In case you are looking for a picture of the hat and little mittens I made for the new baby…well…my sister-in-law ended up having the baby last Wednesday, and as I was rushing to get everything finished before we could visit my new (and first!) nephew…well…I didn’t take a picture.  Silly me!

Linking up with Ginny and her yarn along and Rural Thursday.  And stay tuned for a book review this weekend for Understanding Theology in 15 Minutes a Day

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  1. I think you've solved 90% of your "problems" by identifying them so succinctly. When we moved to the farm, I dove in head first with all of the typical things I thought a farm should have, should be. After a couple of years, I determined some of those things just weren't me, weren't us. It's more personal now and I enjoy doing the things that work for me.

    Enjoyed this post very much. 🙂

  2. I joined a prayer shawl ministry and taught myself to crochet this past summer. I love that blue (my fav color) yarn that you chose. Thanks for reminding us not to follow the O'Briens :).

  3. Hi Heather, I'm Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (http://annesfunnyfarm.blogspot.com) visiting from the Rural Journal.

    Have you ever read A Dirty Life? I think you would like that one. I love what you said about: "Do you laugh at the Joneses but run after the O'Briens?" So true!

    Anyway, it’s nice to "meet" you. I hope you can pop over to my blog and say hi sometime if you get the chance.

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head gal….you have to define what it means to you and your family. And maybe that means minimalism in certain aspects but purchases/mainstream ammenities in other areas. Or maybe it means chickens, a garden, and solar panels but still driving a gas guzzling SUV. I think a lot of it is give and take and being able to back up why you make those choices/what you believe. Cause we can read what's great for everyone else…but one thing that struck me is that even a lot of the "main" green bloggers have taken a step back in some ways and re-evaluated. And we're doing better than many….at least we KNOW and are attempting 🙂 Sending you a big hug today. I like that this intentional month is getting you thinking…and making all of us think too 🙂

  5. I know exactly what you are talking about. I've never been a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses kind of person, but I definitely sometimes get twinges of…envy, maybe?…when I read about what other bloggers are doing with their homesteads and their animals and spinning their own wool and whatever else. There is a limit to what I can do on my 1/10 acre, and while I would love to move back to New England and get a couple of acres somewhere (not too far from a decent-sized town, because I've grown accustomed to living among civilized folk!), I can only work with what I have to work with *right now*.
    Also, we live in a house that is way too big for our family (meant to buy a house smaller than our last one, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and we fell in love with this place), and I absolutely have some minimalist/eco-conscious chick guilt over that. I like your thought process on it; I think I may have to adopt that as my own… xo

  6. You are very, very right. Having your family identity is important, not worrying so much about all the things so and so is doing and comparing ourseleves. It is a dangerous slope, the difference between inspiration and comparision.

    I, too, am working on sweater this year! Well, and probably next year too seeing as we are getting closer to 2013 as we speak!

    Good luck!

  7. how this post hit home!!! i actually started my blog, thinking that with my own identity, i would work harder establishing 'me' than just running willy nilly around the blog world doing everything everyone else is doing!!! it's only party helped!!! it's so hard not to be influenced and inspired by all those amazing folks; the hardest part is in picking and choosing what works well for me!! (I'm in the midst of purging AGAIN…..will I ever be a minimalist—not a chance!!! but maybe I'll be able to find a few lost things in the process!!!) good luck.

    (Love the yarn!!!!)

  8. I think we are in similar places right now, Heather. Just last week I was writing something similar about how there are so many inspirational sources that I often get distracted by what other people are doing and forget about all of the wonderful potential in what I already have or am doing.
    I've come to the conclusion that we have to tread our own paths, and that it's ok if it doesn't look like anyone elses.

  9. oh my….."I need to create the identity and the life that works for me and my family, not what I think that life should be based on what other people are doing." I so needed to hear that…..I am always battling to remember this and do what's best for us…thanks for the reminder!!

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