Saturday, September 15, 2007

My perspective on a sustainable,balanced life.

I'm trying to get started with this, but I've got a very interested 11 year old bobbing around behind me, looking over my shoulder and telling me what to write. It's very distracting. (And no, Connor. I'm NOT going to write 'me as a happy mum.' !)

I've been reading other blogs over the last few days, and it's been very inspiring. Women are really making a difference, in their own small ways, and it's been fascinating to read of the things people are doing to simplify the lives of their families. The handcrafts, cooking and gardening are amazing to see, and (now he's doing the Oompa Loompa song beside me. He's not helping!!!) it's a truly humbling thing to see women from all over the world quietly going about the day to day business of nurturing the people who are important to us. I guess it's what we've always done, but it's nice to see proof that we're not alone....

However, one thing I've noticed, and that most of the blogs I've read have been written by people who are either retired or are SAHMs. I suppose this makes sense in one respect... you are the the ones with a tad more disposable time. But what about people like me?

I work full time, I have no partner, and I want to provide the fullest, healthiest and happiest life I can for my family. (Without turning them into spoiled brats.) I want my kids to enjoy their childhood, but I certainly want the rest of us to enjoy it too, if you know what I mean! I am fortunate enough to have earned my degree , so I have a reasonable wage to support us, but it isn't enough to provide everything. Again, I'm sure you know what I mean!

I feel like I've got a foot in both camps. I'm moving towards simpler living, but I'm not going to go overboard about it. There's got to be a balance of quality of life, time and money.

I work, and I love it. I wouldn't give up my career (such as it is!) for anything. The kids I teach are funny, smart people... and gee they make me laugh! Every day is different, and my work in the classroom is entertaining and fulfilling. We learn a bit, we have a laugh, and it's all good. The people I work with are (generally) great, and I've made some close friends from here. I feel very lucky I fell into this profession because given the size of my mortgage, I'll probably be working at the school till I'm 92. (I'm 44 now.)


I love pottering around at home on the weekends and the holidays..... I do all of our baking and I love that the kids have my biscuits in their lunch boxes, and they come home and demolish a quarter of a home-made cake each after school. We have take-away maybe once a month if I'm really tired, and I'm making more and more things from scratch and eliminating powdered packaged chemically garbage from our diet. I've never been a 'foodie', but over the past year or so I've broadened my horizons. (And dragged the kids along with me.)

We started a vegie garden last year, and my enthusiasm for it has only grown. My oldest son was sure I'd get sick of it, so it's nice to prove him wrong!! I enjoy planting new things and trialling how they go, havesting produce and eating it (anyone want some silverbeet???) and feeling good about feeding the kids organic food.


forget about buying organic produce... who can afford to feed a family organically??? We'd go broke! My challenge is to conserve our finances to be able to spend $$ on the things that are important to us.

So, I find it interesting that in my quest to be frugal, I'm quietly picking up many environmentally responsible habits. Who would've guessed that being 'tight' would be helping the earth? I'm happy that I'm doing lots of little things to improve the quality of our little corner of the world, but the bottom line is that I won't do 'environmentally' things just for the sake of it. I can't afford to throw the balance of quality of life, finances and time out of whack.

Does this make me shallow? Or merely practical?

Anyway, this blog is written from the perspective of a suburban girl juggling a fair few plates, racing from one thing to another and trying to do her best in everything she does.

Sounds like every other woman out there, doesn't it?

1 comment:

lightening said...

I think a balanced take is exactly the way to go. Things change as we go through life too so what's right for one person now won't necessarily be right for you and vice versa.

I love the way you view things and I think your role as a mother AND as a teacher both have an important impact on future generations. :-)