Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Understanding

Do you ever get the feeling that while you're plugging away for a better life, you are considered a puzzlement to the rest of your community?

Your life revolves around making the lives of those around you better, yet still you feel sadly misunderstood by the majority of people who's paths you happen to cross each day.

Why is that?

Your eyes are always peeled to see what exciting, new, life enhancing discovery may be waiting around the next corner..


Always alert, on the ball. Nothing is too much to ask for this family/life/earth/body/*insert other* of yours.

Yet others still look at you with puzzlement and that bewildered expression when you tell them what you have been up to that particular day....

"You made a rack for growing bean sprouts? Huh. How uh...... good."
Why is that?

No lengths are too far for you to take, the humble homemaker, who takes pleasure in providing good, wholesome, ethical food for your family to enjoy and be nourished by...



Standing by, as always watching to see how this meal went down, taking notes for next time (which really should be written down as the mind isn't up for this kind of mass data storage).

Green cleaners, thrifting, growing, sewing, knitting, tip scrounging, making, baking, eating, taking.

How far will you go?

How far are you prepared to go?



For the nurturing of your family/life/earth/body/*insert other*

Do you feel you are understood?

OR

Perhaps a little Misunderstood?

34 comments:

  1. I don't feel misunderstood but i do feel like I am trying to put out a bush fire with a bucket sometimes

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  2. Hmm...how far? I think my friends finally decided I was totally nuts when we were all together at my house and one asked what I'd been making lately and I told her deodorant and hair spray. :) Misunderstood? Sure. And yet it just no longer matters to me. I am doing what I do bc we've decided it matters to us. BTW-once I passed a jar of the deodorant around, they were hooked.

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  3. I am definately in the minority..for one, I am a stay at home mum, and do not use child care..I bake, I cook from scratch, we own chooks, I tend vegetable gardens season to season, I craft, I sew, I green clean...I often get looked at as if I have a horn growing out of my head, or that comment of 'oohhh arnt you good doing all that' as if its something unheard of these days.....something odd...I do not know anyone else who shares the same interests as me, which is hard...most of my contact and discussions are from the blog community which I am forever grateful for.....I have encouraged some people to start a garden etc...so maybe it is just that those people need encouragement?

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  4. Never feel misunderstood anymore but seeing I have been living like this since the early seventies, I suppose I am looked upon as normal now, where in the seventies I was always the oddball. Why would you make soap, butter etc when the supermarket is easy?

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  5. I am definitly the minority but I have been living like this for many years after giving up stressful urban corporate careers.
    I can sit and enjoy my gardens, I can, and provide for my elderly parents and a disabled partner, and enjoy life, even if the life is not so easy to live, less stress is better to deal with the insanities of the world.
    People still are in the "I have it all and you don't" mentality, but yet they cannot figure out why their world comes crashing down around their ankles, and you casually float by.
    I love my hippie lifestyle.
    Denimflyz in Nebraska USA

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  6. Oh god yes. I'm early in the journey compared to so other readers I guess, I feel I'm pealing away from almost everyone. Some days I wonder if some old friendships will survive. I do my best to smile and nod, but I just don't connect with most mainstream aspirations any more, and they seem confused or even offended by mine sometimes :P

    How far will I go? If you are in a relationship then I don't think its really our call. I was joking with my wife the other day that if it were not for her I would probably have just wandered off and hit the road by now. She's keeping my feet on the ground :)

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  7. Nothing wrong with being thought of as a little bit strange, all the best people are. I love your sprout holder, ingenious! Have some lentils going at my house now, you're very inspiring. I wouldn't stand back watching that family appreciate the food. Mum always gave us the evil eye if we said anything less than favourable at the dinner table, I think I do the same. I've made an effort, you've been fed, smile and be grateful. Love a wood duck, kooky ducks that live in trees - very appropriate for the post.

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  8. Love your post, I really feel the same. I'm facing the same problems here in the Netherlands, trying to find a balance between being myself and keeping old friendships /relationships with relatives.
    According to the number of people that read your blog, there are a lot of people that take you the way you are. Keep up the good work, I love your blog.

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  9. That was a really really great post , christine and you can see it has resonated by lots of people in the comments. I have been down at the school gate where telling people I have to get home to milk the goat is like saying, 'I am just going home to paint my skin purple and shave my hair off ' ...same reaction of mouth open and staring. This used to bother me ...but it is funny after you have been doing this for a while you really don't mind what people are thinking anymore, though you wish for their own health they would try some of these things. I am in a new school community now where telling people i am milking the goat or building a trellis for raspberries is met with 'Wow , can I come and see?' ..so sometimes it depends who are around.
    I want to change the world , but you can't change people till they are ready ...in the meantime there are some great people in the blogging community who make me feel 'normal' , plus that ever growing circle of like minded friends. We are 'the new cool ' ...it's just that other people haven't realised yet.
    How far will I go? I turn up to the school gate with my work boots on and my red t-shirt with a giant sheep on it and in my head I sing quietly, 'I just gotta be meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!'

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  10. I used to feel like a bit of an odd ball but things are changing here. I do live in a very open and maybe alternative community, but change is happening. To look on the bright side, Christine, there are always our blog friends to have as a sounding board. Maybe not the same as a real community around you but you are definitely not alone love.

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  11. I decided some time ago that I was going to walk a different path to the main stream. Do I regret it - not a chance. My hubby is with me 100% - the kids are too(providing I don't embarrass them...vbg) - and the rest of the world can go jump. Got to love blogs like yours, Rhonda's and others. They are daily inspiration and keep me going when it all seems to hard. I don't regret walking this path - I'm happier and more grounded than I ever was before and I talk about it heaps. I don't care if other look at me "funny". If what I say even stirs a tiny spark of interest then it was worth the words.
    Thanks for a fantastic post.

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  12. i feel at odds with the world too..and i pretty much always have..i just don't get excited about the things that turn a lot of people on and i am naively surprised at how our society applauds financial wealth as a status symbol..i could say more but i think i need to express my views in small doses..so take heart..you are not alone..and i think you are brave to express your feelings openly..

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  13. I wish I had more allies in the bleak northern suburbs of Perth. Not that I object particularly to the way the others live, but it would be nice to be understood a bit more. Maybe I should try harder to find them -I know that they must be there somewhere!

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  14. Maybe but I know how much they love the baskets of fruit and veg they get from my garden. Or healthy home baked cakes and cookies. Hopefully one day it will catch on that they can grow their own.

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  15. Lol, I love it when others ask "No, what did you really do?" like sewing, cooking, gardening, collecting eggs/fruit/veges, checking animals etc is not actually counted as doing something! My reply is "Weren't you listening?" and that's all I say :D. That leaves some of them really confused!!
    Cheers,
    Robyn

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  16. I haven't been told as much, but I get the impression sometimes that my friends think I'm going through "a phase". But how great is it when you meet someone who displays a genuine interest in what you have to say about simple living!

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  17. I sometimes feel like my family and friends think I'm a little loopy, a little on the odd side - 'why make your own soap/cleaners/bread/jams etc when you can buy them at the shops' - but I don't mind. I now know so many other people here online who share similar beliefs that I'm not bothered anymore. I'm me and this is who I am, take it or leave it. :)

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  18. When I talk about some of my little "projects", people look at me like I'm an alien or tell me I'm just weird. I just smile, and give them a little wink, and say thanks. I think accepting their response as a compliment works best. It confuses them and leaves them wondering what exactly they might be missing out on.

    Your photos are awesome - they just fit perfectly.

    love,
    brenda from arkansas

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  19. I understand. But it doesn't really bother me if others don't. Actually, I'm often too excited to notice.. ;-)

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  20. I am baffled at the "normality" of supposed convenience of the many aspects of our now very busy lives. I have had many conversations and been labeled "weird" as I cook and tend to my garden. This is without telling them that I preserve, make my own cheese and stuff my own sausages. I just wish there was more of a passion for keeping our home and what is the minority should become the priority!

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  21. Boy did I need to read this post yesterday. The day had me in tears for the lack of understanding from others about the choices being made.
    Ah well, today is another day, and I say girl... go get them! Be odd and proud. I understand you :-)

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  22. That's why I have my blog community!! They get me, and I get them!

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  23. I have friends who feel that I am "over the top" and paranoid....I am reading Beth Greer's book Super Natural Home and mentioned it at a kids party on Sat....it went very quiet - even saw some eyeballs roll....but it doesn't affect what I will continue to do and how I feel about how we live.

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  24. dear christine,
    i feel the same......sometimes i think i am a allien on this planet.but i know i am not alone,i have my blog community and thats is good.
    have a nice restweek,
    love regina

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  25. Hello! I started reading your blog a few months ago and I wanted to tell you what a joy I find in your pictures and words about the slow life. I live in Ohio, USA. I am 27. I am a mostly a stay at home wife. No kids yet, soon hopefully. We live in an urban area and have been turning our home into a very productive homestead. I still work a little in my chosen careers as a massage therapist and yoga teacher. I've done the the former for 6 years and the latter 9 years, and have been successful as such. So when I run into someone I know through that part of my life and they ask me what I've been up to lately and I say, "Gardening, canning, preserving, running around gleaning fruit from pear trees long forgotten, playing with my chickens and new English Angora rabbits" they look at me and I know they wonder how in the world that could be more fun than teaching a glamorous yoga class. In truth they are both very fun. But I'm enjoying my simple life at home. In my mind this is one of the most yogic things I can do. Living more lightly on the earth and being a steward to the fertility of the life giving land I have been granted.

    I am grateful for your voice across this big world. Be true to yourself and just maybe more people will come around. If not, just remember, you did the best you could. Sometimes that is all we can do.

    Melanie

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  26. What a thought provoking post! Yes, I feel different to all my friends - my family are used to me. It's why I have fallen in love with blogging. There is such a sense of relief to talk with like minded people.

    I think some of the reason for people's reactions to us living differently is brought about by discomfort! I think when people see us living thoughtfully, they are forced to look at their own lives - Not necessarily something they want to do. I have noticed though, I am being asked more often about green cleaning, gardening etc. So being 'different' is worth it! Change is slowly happening.

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  27. This was a fantastic post and clearly you are not alone. You need to keep in mind that you are fighting against a very skilled, very wealthy far reaching opponent, the main stream media. I agree with everything that the others have said but especially what Linda said about people being forced to look at the way they live and questions their own beliefs. It is always hard to be the minority so you just have to make sure you have somewhere like your blog where you can connect with others who share the same values.

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  28. It's not accidental. There are huge vested interests in making us think that using antibacterial wipes and sprays in your kitchen, for example, is "normal" and that anyone who doesn't is somehow not a good mum!! It's hard not to feel marginalised in the face of the barrage - it's how we're meant to feel, to be seen. I wish we could shout louder "The emperor has no clothes! This is the best of lives!"

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  29. Hi,you have a great blog and I wasn;t suprised to read this last post.You are a great inspiration.We seem to have made similiar lifestyle choices - what I find difficult and sometimes hurtful(when it comes from someone I love and respect even though no way agree with there lifestyle choices) is the nasty comments, the eye rolling,and being told there is no way we could afford something expensive the way they can!!!!!! Peoples perceptions can be so wrong can't they, and there comments are a reflection of them only, their head space and where they are at in their life journey.
    I really hope you get some chooks again soon, because lets face it - watching a hen drink is one of the most peaceful things to see :)
    Hope your garden is growing well.
    Jude
    Sunflowers and Tulips

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  30. I often peep over your garden fence Christine, to see what you've been doing. I find your enterprise and enthusiasm wonderful. I'm more worried about the people who are inclined to think that 'doing it for yourself' is odd. I have a big shopping basket which I bought way back in 1982 - at that time we used to be given our groceries in paper sacks. So I bought a basket and when people commented, which they often did, I used to pipe up "it's my save-a-tree basket" and I got 'that' look then:) Don't be deterred Christine, you're having a fabulously creative life and your family - and the rest of us - are benefitting.

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  31. Too much thinking for me to respond Sorry Christine. :) I just wanted to say I love the photos you have used beautifully to illustrate your point in this post. x

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  32. Thankyou all so much for your comments and insights. I've been opened up to many different points of view here for which I'm really grateful! I hadn't thought of people being confronted with their own life decisions when hearing how othes are making greener changes, thankyou Linda.

    I've loved reading through everyone's thoughts and take comfort in the fact that no matter how much the 'real world' doesn't 'get' us, there is a whole blogging community to connect with and share knowledge/ideas with. Thankyou for your support :) xx

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  33. What kind of ducks are those? They are beautiful!

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  34. I believe they're wood ducks, Jules. They are so hypnotic to watch :)

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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