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July 6th - The Good Life

Friday, July 7, 2017

"The one fact that I would cry from every housetop is this:
the Good Life is waiting for us -
here and now."




Today Sarah tells us about the Nearings
and how during the Great Depression they 
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went in search of the good life:
"simplicity, freedom from anxiety...
an opportunity to be useful and live harmoniously."

Two decades later they had succeeded 
and wrote a homesteading handbook,

This book barely caused a ripple when it was published in 1954;
those were the affluent postwar years when a television in every living room, a barbecue grill in every backyard, and a station wagon in every suburban driveway was considered the good life...


 



The Nearings' grueling saga...is mythological in scope. 
Their daunting exploits don't just inspire, 
they exhaust.

I certainly can't identify with a woman who could build a stone house by hand when she was in her seventies and her husband was in his nineties...

They drank only water, juices, and herbal brews and consumed little more than raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds "that have finished their life cycle," and copious quantities of popcorn. There was no salt, sugar, tea, coffee, dairy products, or eggs in their pantry, and naturally they did not smoke or drink alcohol. 

Honey was used only sparingly because it "exploited the bees," and maple syrup-which they tapped and sold for cash or bartered-was swallowed with a smidgen of guilt because it sucked "the life blood of noble maple trees."
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Now I think that's just bat crap crazy. 

I strongly believe in capitalism, and I'm a pretty firm objectivist
so the socialist Nearings and myself 
wouldn't have gotten along very well politically. 

And I also like food, and firmly believe in the Word of Wisdom.
I also love sugar and salt and dairy products and eggs...

I don't think using the honey from the bees is exploiting them.
I don't think that maple syrup is sucking the lifeblood from the trees. 

Of course, I also believe in being a good steward 
and taking care of the bees and the trees, and the chickens and the cows 
etc etc etc...





But what I do agree with, is that the good life is out there 
and available to all of us,
it's here and now.

Here are some of the things that 
the Nearings' preached that aren't so crazy.

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Do the best you can, whatever arises.
Be at peace with yourself.
Find a job you enjoy.
Live in simple conditions; housing, food, clothing; get rid of clutter.
Contact nature every day; feel the earth under your feet.
Take physical exercise through hard work; 
through gardening or walking.
Don't worry; live one day at a time.
Share something every day with someone else;
if you live alone, write someone;
give something away; help someone else somehow.
Take time to wonder at life and the world; 
see some humor in life where you can.
Observe the one life in all things. 
Be kind to the creatures. 
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Life is so good,
now and forever.








***
Gratitude Journal
***

1) Today was a rough day. I'm grateful it's over, and that tomorrow is Friday.

2) Being productive. Even when I feel like I'm going insane as a mom, doing something feels good and helps me not go completely nuts. It feels so good to have not one piece of dirty laundry or a dirty dish in the house. Now if I could just get it put away, you know...

3) Music.

4) I'm grateful I have a piano in my home. I'm grateful for that day that I found it sitting in the thrift store for $100. I'm grateful Robbie's parents came right over with the truck and delivered it to our packed apartment, and then moving it again a few days later to our first home. I'm grateful Robbie is finally going to replace the keys...the kids took a hammer to them or something, chipped like crazy.

5) The best part of the day, Robbie coming home from work and the hello beautiful kiss. 
 
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