November 6, 2006

Something Totally Different For A Change.

I would like to summarize some thoughts that I have been chewing on for the last months. And I could imagine that there are some fellow knitters (and others, of course!) who agree with me. But feel free to disagree.
I am knitting out of the love for the material, the creation of something practical and long wearing. I admire the quality and beauty of the (usually) natural materials I use, and I am being conscious about where I get my materials, how they are produced and the history and tradition that just comes with this interest. And a desire for simplicity, a ball of yarn and a set of needles. I can take it anywhere and work on it.

To me that also transpires into other areas of my life. I am always seeking to simplify my life, fed up with the demands of society as we know it. "Be perfect, and you can only achieve that goal by buying our products" and "today's woman desires to be loved and admired, have this, it is a must". What I am being told from most fronts is that I should look hot, smell good, be a career woman and jet able to miraculously show of my sparkling house and healthy, exotic foods. To me that seems unreal, and the means I am advised to use (and the person I am told to be) are chemical, nutritional and psychological time bombs.
For the last years I have worked on perfecting MY version of this picture. I have yet to learn a lot, I admit I am rather challenged in some regards. The picture above is of the only cake I ever made, and that is just the beginning. But here are some practical ways that brought me a greater fulfillment in my life.
  • I clean with basic cleaners such as Baking Soda and Vinegar. Saves me a ton of money, cleans very well and my house smells fresh.
  • I cook with seasonal and common ingredients. Of course that is my version of it. After all Curry Powder and Molasses might not be a common ingredient to some, but to me it is as I am using that stuff all the time.
  • I see a supermarket from the inside about... every 8 weeks when I need to stock up on Toilet Paper and canned beans. I do go to my local Health Food store for muesli or rice or baking supplies etc. But it never amounts to much.
  • I support local farms and get my vegetables and fruits delivered every two weeks via a box scheme. I love that because it is less work for me, mostly seasonal produce and fresh as can be. I also get herbs and salad with that.
  • I love my weekly farmers market. Handmade cosmetics, marmalades and even beer. I don't really pay more (often I actually pay less as I would with a weekly supermarket run!) and I have local people that I can talk to and learn from in front of me.
  • I buy things like laundry detergent in bulk, from sources that produce such things from natural ingredients. I actually tend to use less and pay less.
  • I love to walk everywhere. I know how to dress for the weather, so rain or snow won't bother me. Heat does... personal preference.

And on top of all this I take charge of my families health and wellbeing in a way that is positive, fun and educational. I find this way of life to be more basic and yet more fulfilling than any painted picture advertised on TV. And I find it disturbing how easy we accept the misleading idea of a rich life that is now the norm.

Well, that's what I think. Feel free to comment.


yarner said...

Takes courage and quite a lot of information to implement a more natural way of life; I agree totally in principle, but often fall into chemical ways.
As an older woman, one of my pet hates is the constant suggestion that if you spend enough money, on the right products, you can delay time. What rubbish! Since it happens to everyone, why can't we just accept the effects of ageing? We construct our own ideas of what is attractive: for the sakeof all women, it's time to re-construct.

Clare said...

I agree. My own personal campaigns and for sleep, rest, play and cooking. I definitely feel that my quality of life is not good if I don't have time to cook properly or potter round doing housework or just doing what I feel. Of course, good food is a huge part of that. I think in modern society we forget to take care of ourselves.

Hugh said...

Congratulations :o)
It's great when people are independent in choosing what is important to them and choosing how they want to live, in amongst all the pressure from marketing companies and media.

And that cake looks fantastic - how do you do that? Is it some kind of stenciling with icing sugar? I hope it tasted as good as it looks :o)

All materials unless otherwise stated © Knittiana!