Throughout my (somewhat short) journey into the adventure of homesteading, I keep finding myself wondering why I am seeking it. Wouldn’t it just be easier to buy an ingredient for a recipe — or even the desired finished product — at the store? Or wouldn’t it save time just to take a shortcut and make refrigerator jam instead of learning the ins and outs of pectin? The lure of IKEA looms when I want a new end table/bookshelf/coffee table, when I know we have a nice supply of reclaimed wood in the garage and easy access to pallets that will otherwise go to the landfill (gasp!). So why do people do this thing called homesteading or DIY or whatever one may choose to call it?
I looked around at other homesteading blogs and did some internet searches, and there seemed to be a myriad of reasons — beliefs of living close to nature, wanting to know where your food comes from and how it is processed, wanting to live as frugally as possible ... All wonderful reasons. But the underlying theme of the reasons behind people’s choices to take on the seemingly never-ending tasks of making a homestead was the joy that it brings them. The joy keeps them moving forward instead of looking back at the easier, just-buy-it-at-the-store versions of their former lives. When a person has true, lasting, fulfilling joy, it easily spreads to others. Perhaps this is why I find the homesteading lifestyle so appealing; the joy of it is so deep that it easily shines over the dusty boots and dirty, worn jeans of its purveyors.
I know there is nothing earth-shattering in this post. I haven’t told you anything new or even exciting; these are all things most of you already know. No pretty pictures of my homestead this time, even! I just wanted to share my thoughts and hopefully encourage a reader who might need it. I would love for anyone who reads this to send me a line and let me know why you homestead and how it has changed your life.
Photo by Fotolia/nixoncreative