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Monday, September 18, 2006

My Time is Worthless

This is an editorial, please notice the abundant use of the words, me and I. Remember, editorial about mememe.

A comment was made on the article that was published yesterday that stated “This article assumes your time is worth nothing”. Of course that statement means that my time is worth nothing. I do get paid that same amount for all the work I do. So why on Earth would I want to waste my precious time? Because I am not wasting anything. I work and play daily. Yes, there are some days were I feel overwhelmed, but that is due to my poor timing, too many veggies come into harvest at the same time can really get to you. So, why don’t we break down my worthless time.

530am wake, get coffee going. Check e-mails, and try not to respond to something in my semi conscience state.
6am start breakfast and make sure the alarm goes off so my husband can go to his full time job {a job he loves by the bye}
630am write up this blog after seeing my husband off. Now that I am awake, I respond to e-mails in a sane manner.
7am wake oldest son, feed him and remind him he has to get dressed for school
7am-8am, write 1,000 words in my novel {with interuptions}
745am, school for the kiddo
8am start research for new article or work on present article while eating
9am wake two small children and feed them.
930am after everyone is dressed, go feed animals, look for eggs, wonder the garden looking for what is ready for harvest or pulling the stray weed.
1030am playtime until lunch
12pm make lunch
1230 nap time for the two youngest, start the quiet portion of my food preservation.
130pm wake kids and have a short playtime
2pm start the loud part of food preservation while cleaning up kitchen
3pm clean up my mess and children’s messes. Vacuuming.
4pm start dinner
5pm eat
530 hang out with my family, catching up on everyone’s day.
6pm watch local news
630pm help oldest with homework
7pm-830pm free time {here is when I take on some extra projects, or play with kids}
830pm bath time for children.
9pm bedtime for children {reading to them}
930pm alone time with husband
sometimes 10pm husband goes to bed, I turn on the news and check e-mail
1030pm-1130pm I read. If it’s a good book I can be up reading until 1 am and still get up between 5am and 530 am.

these times can be off by 15 minutes do to things I am unable to control. And are controlled by weather and season.

What’s that!?! You have a paying job? Yes, I do have a paying job. I love my paying job, and I love my other jobs.

Now my weekend schedule is a lot different. I get to sleep in! Weekends are when we go outside of the homestead, go to the farmer's market or a U-pick it farm, butcher, and hang out with our friends. And I get more time to read. { I like that} Also in my free time {as when there is no food to can} I make chainmaille jewelry and armor. Or start a new project. This winter when we spend more time indoors I will start my wattle fencing.

Modern homesteading is not something everyone will be willing to do. I don’t expect that. Most of you that read my blog do not live in a rural area. I doubt most of you would really want to. And that is your choice, as this is mine. I work for rewards just as hard as most people with jobs outside the home. {This reminds me of the argument between stay at home moms and working moms, I am both}

I am unclear on how someone defines worthless time. To me that is unproductive time. Am I unproductive? To me, making my own noodles is more rewarding then having the money to spend on buying pre-made ones. I spend my time teaching my children math and science by cooking with them. My rewards for making pasta are important to me, I now have a useful skill, and need not fear going hungry, as I have in the past. I have pride with this new skill, and yes, I do save a bit o’ money. It does add up in the long run. {this isn't just about the noodles!}

I love not having to rely on other’s for my source of eating, or entertainment. Yes, I do have convenient and modern things in my life that I readily use, such as the internet and television, telephones, books and chocolate {and olives, ~drool~ black olives} But if all those things were to vanish because of finances, I would be fine with it {though I might have book withdrawals} My life success does not depend on how much money I do have. So why do I read a blog like Get rich Slowly? Not so much about finances as I like the author of the blog, I like the way he writes and interacts in his posts. I like his personality that comes through in his articles. I enjoy reading the readers responses and even include my own at times.

As I write this, there was only 2 comments to the posted article, the one that assumed that I assumed that people had time to waste, and my response. So either I did such an awe inspiring job that people were struck speechless, or many just didn’t care. Either way, homesteading is not about being frugal or saving money {though it does do that} it’s about being true to myself, to build a different type of pride in a modern age, in my boys. It’s about my pride and self worth. It’s about being “the salt of the Earth” This is a lifestyle that now-a-days can be chosen. It might seem extreme now, but without people like the micro-farmer or the organic gardener, the homesteaders and family farms, you would only have factory farms, pesticide laden vegetables and over processed foods to choose from. With these “extremists” around you get to have a choice in what you put in your body. And I for one thank every single one of my homesteading friends, those I know and those I have yet to meet. I am grateful to the men and women I buy from at the farmers market, and to my future raw goat milk hook-up. {whomever that may be}

Yes, I did say I had some good news on the green shelter front. We happened to find a owner/builder program that specializes in green buildings. Happy dance! I am not going to tell you who at this time. Once we have gone through the process and had an outcome, I will tell you all the pro’s and con’s. But the project is now a go, and I couldn’t be happier. OFF THE GRID. . . here I come.


Justin said...

What a heartless comment by whoever would possibly insinuate that your time is worthless! We all extract joy and meaning from life in our own way. Our experiences in finding joy are not to be criticized.

I say you give that person a good swift kick, and I bet you can tell where I think it should be placed.

Phelan said...

Jason, if the comment had been made here on my blog, then yes I would agree it was a heartless comment. As it is posted to an article written on a finance site, I can see his side, even as uncouth as the statement was. There are people out there that prefer to do things much easier and money is their primary objective, or at least it ranks very high in their lives.

I am trying to think of an analogy that would be fitting here, maybe I need more coffee, because all I can think of is the Harley saying "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand." That of course means that if I have to explain the feeling of riding a bike that there are not enough words, nor the right descriptive use of words to allow my listener/reader to know the true feeling of riding. You would actually have to get on the bike to know. And that is similar for homesteading. My last few months have been recorded here on this blog for the world to read, the good and the bad, yet I do not expect everyone to understand why I am working so hard at this {sometimes I don't understand} nor do I expect everyone to run out and become homesteaders. {If that happened, there wouldn't be anymore country side!}

I can completely understand why some one would think that homesteading is a complete waste of time, as I have stated before, with all the modern conveniences, it is unnecessary, so I guess it does indeed come back to your statement;"We all extract joy and meaning from life in our own way." Obviously the commenter’s joy and meaning do not come from self sufficiency as mine does. And that is not unnecessarily a bad thing.

Off to get more coffee, maybe then I won't ramble so.

Bec said...

I just thought I'd mention that I found your blog through Get Rich Slowly and have added it to my feed list. I didn't comment in your post over there because it was such an overwhelming amount of information that I wanted some time to digest it - but now I rather wish that I had, just to temper that one comment with something a bit more appriciative!

Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with all of us.

teripittman said...

I don't think they meant that homesteading was not worth the time. They were talking about the other activities like canning or making your own yogurt. I'm sure that someone who's never done those things would have problems understanding that they can be pleasureable (yes, even canning is when you look at all those jars full of good things to eat.)

We moved up to the woods this summer, because I spent all my time working to make enough money to pay other people. Yes, it was easier to flip a switch and turn on the light versus running the generator every few days to charge a battery. But my time truly is worth something and I do not want to spend it chasing money for someone else.

Julie said...

You quoted, "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand."

I was thinking the same thing when I read that poster's comment on the finance blog. To me, what you do is a lifestyle. Sure, people can try to save money by canning foods, etc., but the reason why it works so much for you is because of the feelings behind the I right? It's "worth it" to you to homestead not just because of the money you save, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes along with creating your own livelihood.

Phelan said...

bec, welcome to my blog. Now worries about not responding on Get Rich slowly. You flatter me, "knowledge". I am still in the learning phases, so many things will pop up about my mistakes.

Teripittman, I do realize he wasn't really talking about homesteading, just wasting your precious money making time. I dreaded canning at first, and now I find it very enjoyable. I am happy to meet another homesteader {?} Though I am jealous that you have trees!

Julie, you are right.

Susan said...

I think that the tone of the GRS article seemed to be that one could save lots of money by living that way. I don't think it's a bad way to live, not at all--I'd love to have the option of staying home with my kids someday, but alas I don't. But from a pure dollars-and-sense point of view, if you're comparing your canned green beans to the ones a person could buy at Aldi, obviously that doesn't work. But yours probably taste a lot better... at least, that's how I am with my whole-Sunday-afternoon tamales versus the kind that come in a can!

But if all you're looking to do is pinch more pennies, it's probably not going to help.

Phelan said...

The tone of the article was not meant to be anything more than my enthusiasm for what I do.

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