Time is money. Money takes time to make. Wealth is the ability to have enough money and the time to enjoy it. We underestimate what we can do in an hour, yet overestimate what gets done in a month. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away (woops Star Wars reference) dad went to work during the week, mums organised the home and sorted the kids and ran them to t-ball/basketball/school. After a long day Dad came home, congratulated the kids on their 3 pointer and plonked on the couch with his pipe, slippers and ABC News. The simple things of watching a movie, playing board games, snoozing on Saturday and having a nice meal together seems retro now, but it’s that detachment to basic living that has made life overwhelming. Mums like me were conned into a “have it all mentality” working full time to pay huge mortgages and for stuff we don’t need, whilst paying for services that were once paid by the tax dollar. By being contactable 24/7 by one device or another we are more stressed, pressured than ever and are feeling like we aren’t doing a good enough job. Boy my head is spinning!
So where did this journey begin for us? After 5 years as a social worker, I was compassion fatigued. While sorting out others problems for a living is commendable, it often meant our family’s needs weren’t being looked after. The forest may have trees but our backyard had been clear felled! We were eating more fast food than ever, had outsourced cleaning, lawns, childcare and were working to pay it all! Worse still the mental anguish at leaving a well-paying job was driving me nuts! Something had to change!
So I did the unthinkable – I resigned! Deciding my family rather than my community needed me more at the time my partner was greatly supportive. We knew we would manage financially but by day three I was going stir crazy….I was so preconditioned to the busyness that I didn’t know how to stop! So I did what I enjoy but didn’t do for lack of time….cook. Opened up the pantry and gasped at crap in there… packets and packets of processed basic foods that were expired (Oooo Cheds, Ooo wine) and loads of packaging that made me feel terrible for mother earth. I resolved to cook out of the pantry for a month. Use up the items that mums of yesteryear would have made do with. Learn to do stock from scratch. It felt good. Simplify the space, organise everything, cook beautiful meals for the family. Homecooked breakfast, lunch and dinner and six months later we have eaten out 6 times total, not six times a week! Our pantry is full of whole food and we are healthier than ever. It made me think there are probably mums like me out there and maybe by sharing my experience you may want to embark on this journey with me. I am grateful for working a few days a week and blogging away and it’s made me realise it is OK to slow down, take in life around you and enjoy what you have and not what you don’t. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Until next time, do or do not, there is no try.