I used to describe life as 'crazy busy.' Waking up at 5:30AM, lights out around midnight. Packing 30 hours into 24. A happy, healthy family with dreams, a home, and good support network. Loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away.
In 2002 we moved from Minneapolis to a tiny suburban town in Nebraska, now annexed into Omaha. We built a full life within five miles of our home. I remember our friends commenting on our decision, often perplexed. Moving from Minneapolis to Omaha gifted us with two hours a day, on the day we moved. It was enough time back that we talked about it, learning to embrace evenings.
Life happens in chapters.
Before children, after children. Busy to quiet.
Over the years I, like many, have been intrigued by farm to table, homesteading, and sustainability. Lagom, slow living, minimalism.
Homesteading fascinates me. Urban farming, rooftop gardens, bee keeping, and raising chickens intrigue me. My interest is quick to drop though, being a mostly vegan suburban gal who knows chickens are too much work for our daily life (I don't eat eggs). And, my husband is afraid of bees.
If only we lived next door to a homesteader.
Over the years
I have tried a few concepts that many may find strange. I'm okay with that, it's all in the quest for personal growth, with a focus on sustainability.
- While training for my first marathon, a nutritionist introduced a food filter, if you could order/make the food item a hundred years ago then eat it, if not pass. A concept I still embrace today.
- A few years later Frontier House, an experiment on TV, ran on PBS. My family would record it on VCR and watch it with amazement.
- Let's not forget about the year I tried making cleaning products and laundry soap. Focused on minimizing waste and chemicals.
- In recent years I have shifted to choosing local over organic, which led to trying to eat seasonally.
Balance is key
No longer trying to fit grocery shopping and laundry between children activities, it's important to establish a daily rhythm.
Within months of moving to New Jersey, I started visiting farmer's markets and small local farms. Surrounded by small family farms providing the perfect balance. I can pick up eggs, milk, and butter from Sun Orchard thanks to a partnership with an Amish farm. While there I buy newly harvested vegetables and fruit while sneaking in a walk to see the children's farm.
- I like to visit Stone Barns when I can slip in a trip to Sleepy Hallow, the distance only affords visiting 3-4 times a year.
- I'm thrilled to learn Morristown now has a Grow It Green program.
- A book review for Homemade Gatherings opened my eyes to what I could do with our tiny four-acre plot of land. Creating a home of comfort over style, the author's message resonated with me, reminding me to live in our home. Fill it with comfort.
Our professional life offers us the ability, and need, to build a quiet home life.
A place to decompress, explore and learn as we prepare for our next chapter (yet to be defined). We living a well-crafted life, embracing minimalism and lagom (not too much, not too little). A bonus, New Jersey has introduced quietness into our life. Something I'm not eager to give up.
Thankfully we get to live a simple, quiet daily routine that allows us to plan moments of big adventure.
Now, if only the baskets of clean laundry would magically disappear... maybe, someday.