Are You Living an Outsourced Life?
Are You Living an Outsourced Life?
Have you ever wondered if you are living an outsourced life instead of your own personalized life? If you stop and think about how Americans have changed over the last 50 years, you may be shocked. We don’t have the same lifestyles, we don’t eat the same foods, we don’t worship in the same manner and we don’t have the same social skills. Our lives are dominated by technology. Is this a bad thing?
In some ways it’s not. We’ve come a long way in broadening our knowledge of the world through scientific discoveries, the ability to go into deep space and technological advancements progress daily. How much better off might we be with less of these advancements?
There has been a fundamental transformation of our society. We no longer have many skills once taught in high schools such as Shop and Home Economics. These skills provided a foundation for success in life no matter where life took you. Many people today lack the basic skills such as simple home repairing, sewing, cooking, making budgets, balancing a checkbook, and making supplies for cleaning the body and home. Instead of being able to do these life sustaining things we opt to outsource much of our daily needs. Mothers and fathers now need to work to pay for all the outsourcing. Is it necessary to have two members of a family working or are we just following the crowd?
Take a moment to consider the amount of money that is required to have a second family member working outside of the home. The numbers may surprise you.
Expenses of Working Outside of the Home:
- Child care (expensive and someone else has influence over your children)
- Costly lunches
- Work clothes
- Dry cleaning
- Hair care
- Transportation (gas or fares, repairs, depreciation of vehicle)
- Cleaning help for your home
- Pool maintenance
- Lawn care
- Eating out because you are too tired to prepare a meal
- Extra cell phones to keep in touch with your children
Have you ever kept an accounting of what these expenses add up to in your specific situation? Many people have explored the costs and determined they are better off living a more simple life. Stress can kill. There is a great article from salary.com that will let you calculate your mom (or dad) salary by listing your specific stay-at-home job description. Getting back to the basics does require one element that many people find hard to swallow. You have to be able to get over yourself. Get out of the rat race and stop following the pack. In the end, all those people you think are so important won’t mean a thing to you. They will take new jobs and move on. They may remain friends but they will not be your support system. The ones you can count on are the ones you love. Your family depends on you and one day you may depend on them. Think about returning your life back to a time when children were raised by their own families. A time when family members worked together, played together, and prayed together. This lifestyle is a memory for many middle aged people but lacking in our current time. Going back to these times is a type of homesteading. You can make more or less of this form of homesteading. It’s up to YOU.
How Do You Change Your Current Situation?
- First you have to be willing to make a change. Do you really need all the jewelry, designer clothes, and extravagant evenings out? Going out every weekend becomes a drag. Going out less frequently makes the outing more enjoyable.
- Do you need to buy all kinds of gizmos that you may only use one or two times? Get back to the basics.
- Do It Yourself. Make your own food from scratch. Ditch processed chemical foods for a healthier diet.
- Grow some of your own food and herbs. You will know that it is GMO free.
- Make your own gifts. Handmade from the heart will be much appreciated in our commercialized world.
- Plant some fruit trees and berries.
- Have friends over to socialize with real communication. Restaurants and bars can be so loud you can’t really communicate.
- Use the library to get movies, do it yourself books and magazines, and many other alternatives they provide.
- Learn how to preserve your food to save time on future meals. (Freezing – making two – three meals at a time, canning, and dehydrating)
- Learn how to do simple repairs
- Make memories with your family. Unplug the electronics and truly interact with them. Instead of going out to eat at a restaurant, pack a picnic, play some outdoor games or go fishing. The possibilities are endless. Check out this post on other ideas for family fun.
The thought of homesteading often brings the vision of 50+ acres somewhere in the country. Ideally, I would love two acres in the country but I know this is notgoing to happen. This sounds like paradise to me but it is not a possibility. We homestead on a piece of land that is only 81’ X 129’ much of which is taken up by our home and pool. On our small amount of land we have raised bed gardens, banana trees, an orange tree, a peach tree, a lemon tree, an avocado tree, 8 blueberry bushes, several raspberry bushes, an herb garden plus ornamental flowers, and bushes. In addition we have a three tier small pond that can serve as an additional water source along with our water barrels and newly installed deep well. It just takes some imagination and the desire to make it happen. You can homestead anywhere you want, even in a city. There are city gardens you can participate in. If you want to try your hand at raising a couple chickens many cities now allow this as well. There is not a one-size-fits-all to be successful. Just start and grow from wherever you are and slowly increase your knowledge. You can reach your goal with small steps.
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