Mess/time/motivation ratio

I guess I could sit here and work out some clever formula to calculate this ratio but I just don’t have the time.

Again my choice of a slow, simple life brings me a conundrum.

I used to live in the city where school and shops were closer, I had domestic help to clean my house and clothes, as well as an automatic washing machine and dishwasher. I had someone to do my gardening. I even had help most days with the cooking. I could buy pretty things too.

Now I still work a full day, my driving distances are further to school and shops, I do my own cleaning, wash dishes by hand, and I have a twin tub washing machine that demands a little more attention than an automatic. I also have to do the garden although, because it is mostly wild, this just entails keeping the pool clean and sweeping the paving and of course my vegetable garden. I also do the cooking.  On top of all this I am now doing way more art, learning to make cheese and grow food and make things from scratch.

Autumn + bush + sand + storm + a swimming pool = mess

So now I sit and wonder why I thought I had a hectic life?  What did I do besides my job?  Why was I always looking for a better way of life?

I would never have thought that all the washing and cleaning and cooking would make me a happier person but it has. I am financially poorer and way busier albeit in a very beautiful part of the world. Things that never appealed to me take up much of my day – and I am happier for it. I am physically much more active and I can look back at everything I do with a sense of achievement and satisfaction.  It’s a busy, very basic life – and its good.

I have had to make some concessions – I live with a little more dust, and my cottages only get a good cleaning once a week.  Some weekends I skip some tasks, and they just have to wait. It’s about being more flexible too.


7 thoughts on “Mess/time/motivation ratio

  1. Your cottages get a good cleaning once a week? My dusty house gets a good cleaning once a year, as I do each room thoroughly every few months!! As you say, its about being flexible. Also making time for the moment when it is special: once missed they do not come again.

    Glad you are content with the change in lifestyle, well done, a brave decision:)


  2. A long time ago, when I lived out bush, 100 miles from anywhere, the rare visitor would ask what I did all day…but the days were filled with basics tasks of living off the grid.
    I milked goats, grew vegies, baked bread, spun wool, did other handicrafts, wrote letters – days were well and truly full! Maybe the only thing that is ‘slow’ about a lifestyle like this is the time it takes to do something – such as washing clothes. And that does leave time for reflection, a precious thing that is often not available to those living a faster life. I reckon the way to survive the changing times is to be flexible, and that puts you ahead of the crowd. Well done!


  3. Great post Jackie. The happiness may be to do with the fact that you are doing more stuff for yourself + those you love, rather than for the corporate bosses + customers.
    Fewer external expectations = less pressure = more happiness?
    Just a thought…..
    Enjoy your weekend.


  4. From where I sit, you are living a life most of us only dare to dream about. I told many of my fellow travelers about you, your life, and your blog and the response was universal – how incredibly strong and brave you must be.


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