02 October 2011

Day 2: The Why

In this world of convenience, it may seem like too much trouble to make things.  It seems so much easier to buy whatever we need:  food, clothing, home decor, it's all at our fingertips.  But with all this convenience comes a price:  we spend more, so we need more money.  We work harder, longer, and make our schedules tighter and tighter.  We become too tired and busy to be bothered with home made anything, so we continue to buy convenience items.  And so on.

And the kids?  Well, we're working too much to be able to pick them up from school, so they must go to some sort of after school program or activity.  This, too, gets expensive.  And busy.  Too busy to bother with a meal at the table, so dinner is in the car on the way home from sports practice or day care.  The cycle continues.

It was not too long ago that I never would have conceived of making something at home, from scratch.  I mean, this is the modern world.  Why take 10 steps backwards to the way my grandparents did things when we have all of these options available at the grocery store, or even better, on the internet?

But you know what?  The more the cycle continued, the more tired we became.  The more tired we became, the more we were tempted to just use the television as babysitter to our children.  And my always thin patience was so fragile that there was no telling what would set me off.  But it wasn't until we became serious about being debt free a few years back that I started looking into frugal alternatives to all this convenience.  And then the floodgates opened.  Shortly after our debt-free journey, I read some interesting books about the food we eat.  I started examining our needs vs our wants.  I started to realize that there is no reason I must buy into modern consumerism, and there is no reason we must run ourselves ragged for a lifestyle that wasn't really making us happy.

We started scaling back our schedules.  We started trying to make convenience items like household cleaners and basic pantry items.  And interestingly, we didn't feel deprived at all.  We found time for meals together, for enjoying each other's company.  We started feeling healthier, less tired.  We had more disposable income to save for things we really wanted.  And we were happier.

We still are.

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