I feel contented

I read a lot of blogs which discuss the way to a simpler life, including being a less consumerist society; worrying less about material posessions and personal wealth, and taking more time to appreciate what we already have, rather than what we would like to gain.

I have a wonderful husband, two great kids, fabulous parents living close by, several really good friends, a home of my own, minimal money worries, fresh water, clothes, food, a pleasant environment in which to live, and apparently my part of the world is not about to be decimated by global warming any time soon!

It’s raining outside, five hours ahead of the predictions offered by the Met Office, but still I feel contented. I have done all of my outside chores for the day, including washing and drying (on the line, which was fabulous) three loads of laundry. I have got dinner all planned, my children are playing quietly on the living room floor (although Cheeky is getting a little frustrated with some lego which is not doing what he wants it to do!), my husband and best friend will be home in an hour and we will enjoy another lovely cosy evening together.

I am blessed that I know how to cook nutritious meals for my family, and lucky enough to be able to afford the ingredients to make those meals. I am fortunate enough to have a minor aptitude for a couple of crafts, like crochet and knitting, and making something always makes me feel relaxed and happy.

Overall, I’m finding it hard at the moment to personally get despondent about the current state of world affairs. On the whole, I think that we have a fair bit to be happy about. This economic ‘crisis’ is serving to bring back all sorts of crafts and skills which we thought were dying out. For instance, more people than ever, it seems to me, are making their own bread, or cooking from scratch now that the price of food is rising. People are picking up crafting activities again in order to fill the gap in so many ways, be that in repairing something rather than buying new; making a gift for a friend rather than buying something far more expensive (but with far less meaning and actual value to the recipient) or simply turning to crafts to pass time that would have been spent pursuing more expensive activities out of the home. More people than ever are signing up for allotments, or turning to their own gardens to grow their own fruit and vegetables, and I think that the next generation can only benefit from seeing their parents showing more respect for the environment and teaching them valuable skills like horticulture, sewing, basic maintenance etc.

The human race has been through many hard times before, and I dare say will have many more to come in the future. But I think that, where possible, we should all make the most of the opportunities that are presented to us by this time.

Of course, around the world there are many people who are suffering far more right now than those who have lost their jobs in the economic slowdown. People in war-torn countries, and those who have been so awfully affected by the Australian bushfires, to name but two groups. And yet, it is heartening to see how people pull together after such calamities to help people in need. Right now, around the world there are many people trying to comfort the victims of the bushfires, by making quilts, replenishing book collections, re-stashing a crafter to name but a few. So not everyone in the world is wholly self absorbed and self obsessed. In fact, as my mother said to me only the other day, most people will willingly help those who need it in times of trouble; we just don’t hear about them from day to day, and so it’s easy to paint a negative picture of humanity.

So I’m prepared to look on the bright side and stay upbeat. After all, there’s not a lot of point in being miserable, and it certainly doesn’t help anyone (I can attest to that from personal experience!). If we are entering a major world depression, lets make it a time when community counts; when people actually know and look out for their neighbours; when we try even harder to help reduce our cost to the planet without completely bringing commerce to a standstill! I think it is a time for adjustment and re-evaluation, and I look forward to my ongoing self-evaluation and to seeing what positive changes I can make which will enhance my feeling of contentment.

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