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pioneer
Posts: 167
Location: Herding farming god of travel and fast horses.Holy fool.
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For me being alive is work.Waking up getting ready.Planting a garden.Chopping firewood.Hunting.Herding sheep.Riding horse.Shoeing horses.Shearing sheep.Taking care of children.Cooking.Hauling water.I have worked a "job" since I was 15. I can't seem to wrap my mind on working for the man ever again.I feel sad at times because I cant make my family happy financially. Alot of fights our over money.If I were to a job,job where I live I would not be home 5 days of the week.It doesn't make sense to me morally to be gone from home that long.'m not lazy I work hard it just doesn't bring those dollar bills.We our losing our tradtional ways in southwest because of technology and western culture.The old way is slowly going but I am stuck in the past.The only way to fight it is by using technology and using Navajo language.My purpose for this article is not so much to complain but to possibly find a solution to this problem that plaques my soul.I'm not sure how to solve this problem.Get a job is just not a solution for me.It makes me sad and depressed at times.How do you live in this system of consumerism?How do you live a life worth living?How do you live the old way but also live in the modern world?These our my questions to you thinkers of the world.
 
master gardener
Posts: 4263
Location: southern Illinois, USA
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I see nothing wrong with consumerism (I do have problems with some practices that have grown out of it).   I know of an individual who grew up extremely poor. More than anyone I have ever known, he wanted to be middle class. He lives in a subdivision with doctors, bankers, and lawyers.  He has a vacation home in Arkansas and a condo in Wisconsin. He is happy.   His life is not for me, but I won’t pass judgement on those who choose to live it. To be sure, he is mystified with my choices.

I understood many decades ago that I would have to buy my freedom.  Although this can be interpreted a number of ways, more than once I had to re-enter the system to get needed funds.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2339
Location: Denmark 57N
585
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Perhaps the obvious answer is to monitise one of the things you do. Sell things to tourists or hire out as a shearer etc, but I feel that's not what you are after. I don't know what your situation is but so long as there is enough money for taxes/rent/bills and anything else you need, then so what if you don't have other things? Unfortunately there really is not any way to live without money and have any standard of living.

If you want to justify your work to others then next time they complain hand them a bill for whatever the last thing you did for them was. How much does it cost to get a farrier in? how much is childcare for a week? what would that hunted meat cost at the store? Domestic work is still work it still has a value.
 
Ben Skiba
pioneer
Posts: 167
Location: Herding farming god of travel and fast horses.Holy fool.
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Thank you John and Skandi,sometimes a person just has a dark day.This is the kind of thought provoking words I was looking for.You have helped me today more then you know and have given me some things to think about.
 
gardener
Posts: 870
Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
368
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Being present for your kids is a very, very precious gift too. If you have this kind of contact where you build them up, strong confident and balanced they can go out into the world and get those material goods if they feel they need them to be happy when they have grown up.
They might reject it or want to help in the family business.

It doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do to get the dollar. Maybe everybody can help think about what to do. It will make them realise it’s not as easy as it seems. Which might make them appreciate what they have now more.

Hope this helps.

 
pollinator
Posts: 431
Location: South East Kansas
95
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As someone with a 40 hour a week job it can be depressing and hard. Sometimes I find myself not wanting to do anything but sit and try to relax after a hard day at work. Now for something happier, I found and read Early Retirement Extreme By Jacob Lund Fiker (here is a link https://permies.com/forums/forums/wikiBacklink/list/9018). ERE as it is known helped me to see a different way.  I am still studying how to do this and working my job. I also like the BEER plan that Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop wrote about in Building a Better World in your Backyard (here is a link https://permies.com/forums/forums/wikiBacklink/list/109851) These two books have shaped my thinking about having a job and working.  
 
Hugo Morvan
gardener
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Location: France, Burgundy, parc naturel Morvan
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T Blankinship. Good angle. Practical tips.
Ben, you sound like an old school homesteader, maybe you’re even of native descent.
Isn’t there a market for teaching these skills to people? I don’t know.
But i do know that having the idea that things can change having that dream that things are going to be better can drag people through hard times. Itmight not even be you Ben who’d be helped by having a dream of how an ideal situation would be. Even if the dream might never come true. That’s my life experience.
And herbal teas like stJohn’sWorth help me personally to see things a bit brighter. And if i can’t sleep valerian/hops. I don’t know what kind of plant medicine nature provides where you are.
 
Posts: 8011
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1787
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This is a difficult one...
In my early twenties I hung on to the idea that I could go and live outside the economy.
Cabin in the woods, a mule, nuts and berries and grow everything else.

The reality was a struggle and with some successes.

My guy ended up bucking hay, training horses, doing any outside local day work he could find for $2 an hour while I was home with the kids.  

I was able to get a loom and weave things for sale...it was during the boom time for hand made craft so fairly easy to market back then but still a very small income.

We still needed some cash even though we traded for dental work, with an occasional doctor and our friends and neighbors.

The biggest challenge was the bit of land we settled on...a seasonal creek, no road access, a spring that was a trickle, steep and rocky, no top soil...not much sun exposure because of it's orientation.  

and with in the group who lived there we would do things like trade the only running truck for a herd of goats after planting the hillside in fruit trees

Now, I feel like I know so much more and could have made it work...the network with helpful information and ideas was much narrower to non existent back then.  The communication with our peers was a potluck a few times a year...and limited connections with close neighbors...no phone, no electronics, no utilities.

We lived with as little as possible and were falling behind in so many ways.  I was the one who finally said it's time to pick up and try this in another way. Steve is willing to persevere against all odds...I'm ready to pick up and change direction if I feel things aren't working.

The big take away for us is that we were so much better at living without than earning money and that holds true even now.

We stayed out of debt conscientiously.

It's important to find a way to make some money doing something you love.
Eventually Steve was able to build up a good business using hand tools, carving wooden spoons and bowls...later became an 'interpreter' where he was paid to demonstrate that AND sell his work...I was able to work at home all the while our kids were young through high school and even while my mom lived with us. Teaching weaving added some income also.  We traveled to craft shows.

Just stay open to opportunities like you are...and be willing to compromise in those areas that are crucial to your families health and well being.

I like what I think you are saying, that you want a 'whole' life not one compartmentalized into 'work' and 'home' and 'play'.

...it can happen

one more thought and interesting irony....in the end, our income stream was almost totally dependent on the consumer economy and leaning towards those consumers with disposable income...go figure.  A more in tune income would have been a CSA or some skilled service?







 
gardener
Posts: 613
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
229
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Judith Browning wrote:This is a difficult one...
In my early twenties I hung on to the idea that I could go and live outside the economy.
Cabin in the woods, a mule, nuts and berries and grow everything else.



Judith, I really enjoyed reading your story. I find myself really curious to hear the back-stories of other Permies lately. It seems to provide so much more depth to the present tense nature of the forum, which can feel at times like a fast-moving blur of activity.  
 
Ben Skiba
pioneer
Posts: 167
Location: Herding farming god of travel and fast horses.Holy fool.
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some times i wonder if i'm gonna make it out the struggle.My lady cant seem to put the bottle down.I can't seem to put my big boy pants on and get a job haha.Your world seems different to me I'm in my own world I don't belong in yours.Im different always been.Half of me wants to reject the modern world and be holy again.My teacher was saying today money buys you freedom brother.If you hustle you can do the things you want.Everyone is pushing me in this direction.I will try it to appease them.At some point I feel I need to make a pilgrimage on horseback.Anywhere I need to go riding and walking only no motor vehicle.limited technology.A flashlight ,a flip phone for emergencies. a sleeping bag and a camera to document.I need to unplug.I want to document the whole process.I have done this previously in Montana.Totally just unplugged.Even just turned my phone off for a week.The freedom is suprizing.I feel that pilgrimages our a necessary thing in our lives that people forget about. Alot of wise words in this thread from everyone.I'm going to hustle to make my family happy but when the summers over I believe in my heart a pilgrimage is in order.
 
Michael Helmersson
gardener
Posts: 613
Location: Geraldton, Ontario -Zone 1b
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Ben Skiba wrote:Your world seems different to me I'm in my own world I don't belong in yours.Im different always been.Half of me wants to reject the modern world and be holy again.



I don't think any of us belong in this world, but some of us adapt better than others. I never felt like I belonged in school and was glad when it ended. I thought I would be able to regain my freedom and find a way to coexist with the world somehow, but it got its hooks into me and pulled me right in. I made money and achieved things that I thought were impressive. I raised a couple of kids and played by the rules until the world's illusion started to lose its clarity. I walked away, and now I'm coexisting with it but with full awareness of what it has to offer and at what cost. Men and women are natural beings that belong in nature, not concrete and glass. Each of us has to negotiate some acceptable blend of the two in order to maintain their sense of self. Being swallowed whole by the world seems to end in a rude awakening somewhere down the line.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 8011
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1787
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Ben Skiba wrote:some times i wonder if i'm gonna make it out the struggle.My lady cant seem to put the bottle down.I can't seem to put my big boy pants on and get a job haha.Your world seems different to me I'm in my own world I don't belong in yours.Im different always been.Half of me wants to reject the modern world and be holy again.My teacher was saying today money buys you freedom brother.If you hustle you can do the things you want.Everyone is pushing me in this direction.I will try it to appease them.At some point I feel I need to make a pilgrimage on horseback.Anywhere I need to go riding and walking only no motor vehicle.limited technology.A flashlight ,a flip phone for emergencies. a sleeping bag and a camera to document.I need to unplug.I want to document the whole process.I have done this previously in Montana.Totally just unplugged.Even just turned my phone off for a week.The freedom is suprizing.I feel that pilgrimages our a necessary thing in our lives that people forget about. Alot of wise words in this thread from everyone.I'm going to hustle to make my family happy but when the summers over I believe in my heart a pilgrimage is in order.



...from my outsider and very limited view both the bottle and the pilgrimage sound like a need to escape rather than face life together as a family?

There's that baby though who's going to depend on you both for quite a few years yet...that responsibility doesn't necessarily take much money but it certainly takes cooperation and focus from both parents.

Attitude is everything...money is rarely the only answer.  

 
 
Ben Skiba
pioneer
Posts: 167
Location: Herding farming god of travel and fast horses.Holy fool.
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Thank you Both for your thoughts.Why can't we give hearts instead of just thumbs up? This is like my complaining thread i feel kinda bad haha.If you have ever read Masanobu Fukuoka's One Straw Revolution he has a mid life crisis.His third eye opens up he's like wait a minute.Somethings off here.The gig is up.He can see thru the mist.He quits his scientist job and returns to the family farm.Developing his farming technique living with harmony.That's what I feel like.My eyes our open and  I can't  shut them now that I've seen the prestige.Judith you our absolutely right we our both running from something spiritually.My pilgrimage will be short maybe 2 or three weeks of riding.Something about being on horseback I can't seem to get away from.I've opened some doors in my area for possible"jobs"One with a farrier and another volunteering on a cattle farm near me?Will see what happens.I'd rather herd sheep all day lol.I love my children very much.I plan to be in their lives constantly until they turn teenagers and tell me Dad get outta here your embarrassing me haha.You all have a good day thank you for walking beside me metaphorically in this journey we call life.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 8011
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1787
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wishing you and your family much love and happiness and a satisfying life together.....

I have the eternal optimistic view that if we begin to understand what we need (not always the same as what we think we want) we can take steps in that direction and suddenly find ourselves living the lifestyle that might have seemed impossible not long ago.....small steps, recognizing opportunities, and a lot of honest self reflection furthers the journey.

The life you aspire to is inspiration itself...you'll get there

 
pollinator
Posts: 446
Location: NE Ohio / USDA Zone 5b
66
2
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Ben Skiba wrote:For me being alive is work.Waking up getting ready.Planting a garden.Chopping firewood.Hunting.Herding sheep.Riding horse.Shoeing horses.Shearing sheep.Taking care of children.Cooking.Hauling water.I have worked a "job" since I was 15. I can't seem to wrap my mind on working for the man ever again.I feel sad at times because I cant make my family happy financially. Alot of fights our over money.If I were to a job,job where I live I would not be home 5 days of the week.It doesn't make sense to me morally to be gone from home that long.'m not lazy I work hard it just doesn't bring those dollar bills.We our losing our tradtional ways in southwest because of technology and western culture.The old way is slowly going but I am stuck in the past.The only way to fight it is by using technology and using Navajo language.My purpose for this article is not so much to complain but to possibly find a solution to this problem that plaques my soul.I'm not sure how to solve this problem.Get a job is just not a solution for me.It makes me sad and depressed at times.How do you live in this system of consumerism?How do you live a life worth living?How do you live the old way but also live in the modern world?These our my questions to you thinkers of the world.



I've recently taken to following Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work (and Life) You Love - the whole idea of his work is finding or *creating* work that allows us to live the life we want.  

Currently, I work "a job."  Provided that one can do so in a healthy, happy, way - there's nothing inherently wrong with that in my opinion...especially if you're lucky enough to land a "dream job."

That's what I thought I had...but it wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, due to the fact that the only constant in life is change.

However, during the past few years of the day job, I've stuck to what Judith wrote about being conscientious about staying out of debt.

I did so integrating Financial Peace University into my life and feel that debt freedom provides more opportunity than anything else.

How do I live in the system of consumerism?  Find others of like mind, connect with those who share the same values I do...many of whom are here on permies.com

How do I live a life worth living?  I've become mildly obsessed with finding my passion, my purpose, and my why.  It's giving me a fresh perspective on life.

How do I live the old way while living in the modern world?  The same answer as above applies.

I think there's a pleasant balance between the old world and the new...I mean - we *are* using the internet to communicate with one another.

Personally, I take solace in the fact that here on permies I'm surrounded by people who make me feel less weird than the others that surround me.

You are my people and we are yours.  Keep on keeping on, my man.  Sometimes all we can do is take it one day at a time.

 
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