Saturday, January 28, 2012

the "want more" syndrome

i had a bit of an epiphany ... actually, i have been feeling it growing in my heart for a while now .... but things have really fallen into place.

i reckon we are smack dab in the middle of the struggle that many people who do the "sustainable/tree change" find themselves wrestling with.  a whole hearted commitment to a sustainable lifestyle .... all of it ... including putting behind us the "want more" and "keep up with the jones" stuff.  we've made the move in a rural setting.  and now ... it's time to put some meat behind our words and really start thinking about what living on the land and being sustainable really means.

but oh my goodness .... it is easy to get lost on this journey!

one example would be what will JustEarth look like?  we vacillate back and forth constantly .... large, small?  four footed creatures or not?  what?

could it look something like this?  19 acres, with a few trees and creek frontage.  established, tho humble house.  could run a few head on it and then some.  is this what we should get?  fairly "on the grid" by old fashioned necessity ... no solar, no dam.  pump to get water up to the paddocks. so not sustainable in that sense.  but the size ... having "more"  oooooohhhhhh .... i love the idea!

or is JustEarth this? 6 aces, close to town.  lovely dam.  no house.  good price.  fewer trees.  so much potential.  but don't we need something bigger?  are we compromising by getting something smaller?  i mean .... really????  we could have a house cow and chooks, maybe a few pigs .... but not much more.  what about the never ending food forest and orchard?  we would be significantly more limited in size.  or do we just need to be more creative about how we approach it?

don't laugh.  i reckon heaps of families who do the big change struggle with this issue.  we ending up translating the "want more" thing to our tree change and try to justify it by saying we are saving more land.  egad!  we have left the "big smoke" .... we are committed to sustainability.  shouldn't we get as much land as we can and do the right thing by it?  what about our own time / family / physical limitations?  don't those come into play?  do we need to remember to be balanced from time to time?

breathe ... even in sustainability balance and perspective are important!

the other side of that coin is that we moved all this way .... shouldn't we commit whole heartedly .... jump of the deep end and see what happens (oh .... that's right. ... it's not just me, myself and i anymore .... gotta remember hubby and three munchkins who need us too!).  we have three growing children who need our time ... that is our priority. perspective!

and then there is of course the option of going from the sublime to the absolutely ridiculous.  in thinking about buying land .... if you opt to build .... well, how can i say this delicately.  plan homes RARELY are small, modest and humble!  yickeroonies!  it's hard to find any home under 200 sqm these days!  we've been going to a few display centres of late, just to get a feel for what is available.  (there is of course the option to NOT build, continue to rent and just work the land for a while .... another post for another day as this has real merit)

uhho .... i would be lying if i didn't say that there was a part of me that didn't LOVE some of the stuff i saw.  as i said to hubby as we wandered around a two-storey gargantuan monstrosity.  you know .... if someone gave this to me .... yeah ... ok .... i'd take it!  honestly!  who wouldn't want to spend every day of their lives living in a resort?  oh .... that's right .... then you'd have to CLEAN IT!  (and if you know me, you know that's not one of my strong suits!)

when you have guest bath rooms like this .....

honestly .... this isn't a master suite .... this is a guest bath!

i think, that when i want a resort style experience .... i'd rather actually splurge and go to a resort.... and enjoy that rather and the ocean views and luxury and "fun" that that type of experience affords us.

not what we saw today.  it was a real reminder to me of the need that i often get to feel comfortable and spoiled from a materialistic place rather than an internal, at peace with my heart before my Creator God place.  it's easy to get lost in "stuff" .... believe me, i know!  i do all the time.  but seeing the opulence of these places ... just really made me uncomfortable.  who needs that kind of thing, really?

when i think about it, we'll probably end up with something a bit more like this.  a sustainable kit home, very affordable and comfy ... built to lock up stage ...

and then .... we'll make it very personal and very homey by going to some old antique stores and junk shops .... looking for gems to fit it out with.  and maybe, if we're really fortunate .... have windows that look like this.... 

remembering that the joy is in the journey .... and the experience,
not in the size of what we have, but in how often we open
our door to share our lives and what JustEarth means to us.

The earth is the Lords, and everything in it,
the world and all who live in it.
Psalm 24:1

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are all doing alot of soul searching , Maggie. When you find 'Just Earth' , you will just know won't wonder if it is will just know. But it does help to have thought all these other things out first.
    We did it the other way around, built the big house and then started living more sustainably and learning more as we got older.... you can still manage it, but it does get frustrating when you know you have built your house facing the wrong way for the sun etc... We will never be as sustainable as we would like because of our climate,house design and even where we have planted our orchard.
    I really like Purple Pears example because they are close to town (less travelling and less petrol), reasonably small block but they use every single bit of it . I imagine they did a little at a time too, starting with a small garden and then getting bigger.
    From little things ....big things grow ...keep on enjoying the journey...and the planning is a great thing.