Learning has been one of the main focuses of the last year. I have learned to live with less stuff while filling my home with the love of my family and the times that we share. I have reconnected with the lifestyle of my older family members and have therefore strengthened those relationships. Trying my hand at new skills has been very fun and a wonderful way to share time with the kids. I loved learning how to bake bread even if I still have not found a recipe that love yet.
With all of the great things that have happened of course there are some not so great things. Thanks to my love of reading and the ease of access to information via the internet I have been able to learn a lot about food and health. For a brief period there it all became to much and I would find my self standing in the store convinced that there was nothing that we could eat and still survive and be healthy. I know others have been there and it is absolutely no fun. After a while I began to relax and things have been so much better and the rare purchases of prepackaged crackers and occasional pizza nights have not resulted in any permanent damage.
For a while there I was convinced that if I and the family were going to live this lifestyle we would eventually need land and animals. We were going to go country. Since then I have come to my senses. It would be really neat to have a couple chickens and even ducks look pretty neat to have around. There is no way that this family is going all in on a farm. We love to move around too much going from here to there. We love camping for weekends during the summer and heading to the beach at least a couple times. We like the freedom of leaving our home and visiting friends and family for a day or weekend. While farm life looks so wonderful and at times down right romantic the whole point of our lifestyle change was to be happy, the farm lifestyle would wind up being like a ball and chain for us. However, I have a new respect for our local farmers and would rather support them by purchasing their goods.
After a year I am still learning and my family is fully on board and thriving among the changes. I have experimented with how others have set up their simple lives and we are just now starting to take the basic framework and really individualize it to fit our family. There is no right or wrong way. Everyone will have a different way to simplify life. I am starting to see that the most important part is to find what works in my situation for my family and go with it.