Friday, 15 November 2013

Time Out From The World. Press the OFF button !!

Press the Off Button.
 

It has been a little while since I last posted anything and during this down time I have been forced to do some real soul searching.  A search I fear has yet to reach it's terminus.  While I have written many draft posts during this time I decided not to publish them until I have a little more clarity and inner peace, some are confrontational (personally) and difficult for me to deal with right now.  Often my draft posts are just scribbled thoughts that evolve into articles that help me understand why I live the way I do ratifying the importance of our/my continued steadfastness. 
 
My Family !!!  They are everything, without their love and support I might as well be living alone in the house pictured above.  Nothing more than an empty wooden box stuck on a rock surrounded by the depths.  Hell, that sounds melodramatic and a bit morbid.... Fill that same wooden box with the people I love and it becomes the Taj Mahal.  For me it's not about the "where" or the "what" as much as it is about  the "with who".  Minimalism provided me with the ability (and focus) to repress a life of forced but subtle proselytization (to the religion of consumerism) and finally see the beauty of real living. 
 
Minimalism..... obviously you know this is how our family lives.... We collectively decided to disentangle our lives from the pressures of consumerism, from the futile and the worthless, and from the plethora of selfish mindsets propagated by the world in which we live.  Simply and quietly we wish to live, harming no one and having the right to be different.  We try to be as self sufficient as possible and always look for better environmentally friendly ways of doing things.  Things to save us money, organic grown foods, low cost heating and living in general, basically everything we do saves us money, keeps us healthy, unites us as a family and helps us to live with nature not in opposition to it.  With all these savings in time and money we reinvest back into our family, maximising the time and things we do and share together.  Some monies also go towards charities and aide programs, but these are a personal choice and not really important to mention other than to say we feel this is also an obligation we have as a minimalist family.

After that long winded spiel I still have not elaborated on my absence.  Where have I/we been ??  Well, quite simply we pushed the "OFF" for a while, after all that is what minimalism is about.  One evening we simply decided to turn off the TV, get off the Internet, and get back to basic living.  So that's exactly what we did.  We spent our evenings together cooking our meals and doing the normal stuff all families have to do.....BUT then when all the chores were done every night we took turns in choosing the evenings events.  Sometimes this was sitting together reading, discussing news paper articles and worldly attitudes, playing card and board games, embarking on some collective hobbies, really just spending quality time together minus the "world's" input, while still part of the world we tried to step outside it's reach and get back to the basics of living.  On weekends we prepared our organic veggie patches ready for planting, put up some new fences around the garden, fixed a few holes in the walls inside before a coat of paint, changed this, changed that, cleared the blackberries back to manageable levels..... It was fun and we grew closer the more we did together.  As a side note we stumbled upon two really great money saving ideas.  Firstly we installed LED down lights from Bunnings (three lights per unit, 4 watts each and super bright) throughout the house, the reduction in power use was very noticeable... YA!!!  Then we updated our shower heads, saving 80% on our usual gas bill (we have gas hot water heating) and also saving on water.  These little tweaks actually saved us much more money than we realised... total investment was around $150.  Prior to this we would use a tank of LPG gas every two weeks ($140)... now our tanks last over 8 weeks each... we got back our $150 outlay within two weeks of installation... Win/Win all round...
 
So that's us to date, yep we dropped out for a while and we will do so again when we feel life is closing in a little too much.  Every time we do this we grow closer as a family and remove one more layer of worldly over abundances.
 
~~ Try it yourself sometime, just press the off button and see what happens ~~
 
~~ James Miller ~~