Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Becoming Radical Homemakers

I woke up physically sore from digging a new garden bed yesterday.  Our soil is really poor quality and so compact that we needed to use a pickax the entire two feet down.  Pickax's are heavy and my upper body is not used to heaving and hoing like that. 

Radical homemaking, urban homesteading, sustainable living:  whatever term you prefer...  it is all exhausting in the end.  I think I put in more hours now than when I was working full time at Fuller.  But the work is meaningful and rewarding.  A few days ago I finally realized that our home was truly a unit of production.  We cook, garden, repair and reuse, research, create, barter and have begun to preserve a small amount of food.  It feels really good to lessen our ties to the extractive economy.  Really good.

It also is incredible to have my husband as a partner in all of this.  Did I tell you, blog readers, that three months ago he, too, quit his full-time job?  There were many reasons behind his decision to quit; all of them were noble (and if I could share them with you I'm certain you would agree but you will just have to take my word for it).  I joke with him that he has "retired" at 36 years old and quickly put him to work, since I am the head of the home.  (That of course, is a joke.  We both aim to share responsibility and leadership in the home - it's just that some of us are better at it than others).  :) 

It might be surprising to some that there are persons willing to give up full-time jobs with great benefits and a salary that is more than enough for our needs but we have never been ones to operate within society's norms entirely.  (To be fair, the decision was a lot easier to make because my husband has a rental property in Los Angeles that gives us $1000 per month for our use).  Both my husband and I desire to create a life together that uses little and is rich in love, relationships, and meaning.  We have both found that money and buying stuff doesn't really contribute to that goal as much as we'd like.  And so we've chosen to make good on our words and begin to focus on the things that make life worth living. 

It's been three months since we've met this task head on and the result is even better than I expected.  It's not all peaches and cream, this is certain, but I can count on one hand the number of times I wished one of us was back at work, receiving a more substantial income.  I could not count on one hundred hands the number of times I felt thankful that we made this decision.


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