Oh goodness, I've learned SO MUCH in my years here. Off the top of my head:
(1) Communication techniques! I've learned a lot about being nice and sharing my own opinion rather than telling other's they're wrong. It's really helped me not only online, but also in real life!
(2) That just because something is "cloth" doesn't mean it's natural or good. Polyester is plastic! (I feel silly saying that now, but 8 years ago when I bought cloth diapers for my son, I thought "It's cloth, so it must be good and natural and safe." I was wrong! It sheds microplastics and gave my son rashes because it didn't come clean like cotton). I came here to learn about gardening, and ended up learning about so much more!
(3) That I can make things out of wood! I'd always wanted to carve a spoon, but never felt I could. Along came the SKIP program's roundwood woodworking badge
and the badge bit for carving a spoon
. Next thing I knew, I'd carved a spoon, then made a mallet, made a bench, made a stool, and used my skills to make a kiwi trellis.
(4) That my work had value to others. I never thought I could sell my stuff and people would buy it. But since the digital market
costs nothing to make a listing, and takes such a tiny percentage if you make a sale, I thought, "Why not?" And people bought my stuff and I felt like I had value and skills that were worth something. (Now I'm so swamped with homeschooling my two kids and working from home, that I don't have much time to create, but the experience still really built me up in a huge way).
(5) That there's other people like me! The feeling of community and friendship and support here on permies is immense. It's neat knowing you're not the only one that piles rocks to attract snakes, or is excited about rare perennial edibles, or are proud of your clothesline (I stole these all from the 17 pages of "You Might be a Permie If..." thread
Wow, I just checked my join date. It was February 24th, 2014. That's exactly 7 years and 1 day ago! Permies has been with me from when my son was just 4 months old, to when I was trying to pick a tree for his first birthday
, to my soul searching as to whether we should have a second child
(yes, we did, and yes, she's awesome! Though it certainly was a larger trial than we were expecting
). A big thanks to everyone here at permies for being such a huge part of my life!