Limit Your Desires

21 Mar

The title of this post is drawn from a Buddhist tenet…Limit your desires. It means, to me at least, to stop looking for things to want. Focus on the things you need. If you are constantly desiring something, when will you ever be happy? The other week I saw one of the memes on Facebook that just makes you go, “you know what, you’re absolutely right.” And it wasn’t one of those annoying willy wonka political memes. This was just a simple design with a simple message-“There are people who are happy with less than what you have.”

Throughout our entire homesteading journey, my husband and I have been looking for ways to downsize and simplify our lives. And we’ve done pretty well. We don’t go around buying stuff just to have it anymore, we look for ways to repurpose stuff we already have, and it’s really worked for us so far. But there are things we have been putting off getting rid of. And I think it’s for no other reason than being used to having it there. Take for example our cable and TV…When we do watch TV, it’s to stream Netflix through the Wii…rarely do we ever watch anything on any of the network shows. Occasionally I’ll pop a DVD on for my daughter just so I can get some stuff done. But, even that makes me feel guilty. I should start getting her to participate a bit more, even though she’s only 2.
But still, at least once a week, either I or my husband will say “we really should just cancel the cable,” and the other will nod and say “yeah you’re right.” But months later, we’re still paying for a service we barely use.

I’m finding that the saying is also holding true in our search for a new home. Early on in our new home search, we were looking for a home with plenty of room for 4 people (since number 2 is swiftly getting closer to his arrival) and plenty of land. But what constitutes plenty of room and plenty of land? More and more I’m reading about urban homesteaders who live in city apartments and do all of their homesteading on roof top gardens, or balcony gardens and manage to do just fine. I’m not saying I want to give up country living for the city…goodness no. But, I’m also learning you don’t need five acres and a large farmhouse.

So, as much as anyone, I really need to learn how to limit my desires, or at least start changing what exactly it is I am desiring. And I’ve got a long way to go in this department. If anyone doubts that, they need look no further than my shoe rack 🙂

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2 Responses to “Limit Your Desires”

  1. Kristy Hogbin June 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this post! So through all of your downsizing,etc. do you find it is easier to keep things picked up? I think back to Little House on the Prairie when they fit their whole house in a wagon and that kind of has appeal as I trip over 3 pairs of shoes and a toy fire truck while I am trying to cook!!

    • heathenhomesteader June 14, 2013 at 9:27 am #

      I know exactly what that’s like. For all our downsizing, we have a two year old who seems to make it her personal mission to thwart our every attempt at organization. Yeah, it’s hard to keep up, even with cleaning house. For me, it’s tripping over her blocks (or worse, stepping on one!) in the middle of the night while getting a bottle for the baby. We don’t have a perfect system down yet, and we still find ourselves overwhelmed by the mess. I think to truly master this, everyone has to be on the same page. And while Andy and I are, Emmy isn’t there yet. I’ve been thinking about doing some research into ideas about age-appropriate chore lists and such, but I can’t even get her to have the attention span for potty training, so I don’t know how well it will go.

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