Two days after Christmas we packed up the car and drove down to my in laws log cabin in northwest South Carolina. We love going there to visit. Each trip becomes a week long chance to relax and live life as simply as possible. My mother and father in law have created a very sustainable life for themselves there. They grow and preserve 90% of their own vegetables, they raise chickens for eggs and they have been taking care of a cow since birth that will provide a year of beef for them over this new year. The house is heated by wood which they have plentiful amounts of on the 10 acres they own. As each year passes I realize they are living my dream life.
It's no secret that I am not in love with where we live. I've had enormous moments of unrest since 2005 as I contemplate in which direction to take my life. These moments have come and gone. They were shorter and happened more sporadically in the past. Now,the itch to abandon life as I know it no longer comes and goes but stays like a nagging regret.
My thoughts have been profound and I am asking myself on a daily basis "why?". Why do we spend over 50% of our lives outside of our home doing things we are not in love with? The answer is simple and obvious: to sustain our lives. Then I ask myself what are we sustaining? Overhead and literally the roof over our heads. I love our home but truth be told, it is simply a shell that we have filled with beauty and memories. Everything we love about it we created and put here. We are why we love this house.
When I think about the cost of living to sustain it, the taxes we pay and how I truly feel about where we live, I cannot find the value in it. Costs continue to rise and we receive nothing in return. The inept schools, the lack of community, the congestion....I have lived here almost my whole life and the changes I see not only disappoint me, but have begun to disgust me as well.
My self evolution over the past few years has changed not only my values but my habits. We can live with so much less.
I want to live with so much less.
If I do, I stand to gain so much more.
This week away in the mountains provided so much more than rest. It gave me clarity in our future and our family has become aligned in which direction the four of us will be headed.
This doesn't mean the For Sale sign is going up tomorrow. There are details - many details to be sorted and not only my future that rides on these decisions. Yet there is great peace and hope in what is to come.
"By a seeming fate, commonly called necessity, they are employed, as it says in an old book, laying up treasures which will moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal. It is a fool's life, as they will see when they get to the end of it, if not before."
~from Walden by Henry David Thoreau