"The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have fantasized about building my own house; I have imagined figuring out what materials to use, planning the process down to the most detailed detail, and then using these two hands of mine to actually MAKE the place where I would live. I realize this is not an overly outlandish notion, but it is also not what is typically done these days. Most people who say they are in the process of building a house have simply hired a bunch of contractors to do it for them, but because they picked what kind of marble for the counter tops (in addition to shelling out all the money to make it happen), they feel entitled to all the credit.
This blog is not about learning how to build my own house. I do hope to become much more self-reliant, and possibly to the point where my home construction fantasies aren't quite so fantastical. To me though, being truly self-reliant means being able to provide life's most basic needs on my own: food, clothing, shelter, and water. Unfortunately and blessedly, I was born into this American culture where one never needs to acquire these skills. In many ways, I feel we have been disabled by technology and this consumer-driven society, where any and every service is available for the right price. I grew up in a world ruled by Coca-cola Santa Clause and a version of Jesus who preferred churches with $50,000 stained glass windows.
I want to step in another direction. I want to court and woo patience, discipline, imagination, and contentment. I want to learn to pause in the space between stimulus and response. In a practical sense, I want to learn where I am dependent, figure out why, and break those dependencies. I am ready to spend less and live more. My tentative, initial plan is to cultivate awareness in regards to money and spending. My dear husband and I are moving in April, and we have already established a goal of getting rid of as much stuff as possible before the actual move. We have started to sell a bit on eBay, so we're hoping to make a bit of money during the endeavor! Let Phase 1: Awareness and Possession Purging commence!