Becoming a Bit More Self-Sufficient {Part 1}

Becoming a Bit More Self-Sufficient {Part 1} Feature Image

I’ve been on a bit of a daydream vacation over the last couple of weeks. I sort of get in these dreamy mindsets whenever Wildland Man is away on a fire. It must be a coping mechanism. And it surely isn’t coincidental that my dreaming of the future almost always involves us being together, not separated during a fire season.

Maybe I should talk to a therapist about these daydreams.

Nah, I’ll just share them with the entire world. Maybe y’all can help me make sense of them 😉

So, here’s the thing, at least as of lately…my visions of a perfect future with Wildland Man seem to land on one of two picturesque ideas.

In one dream, we purchase a small RV, refurbish it to an adorable rustic chic country charm interior and travel the lower 48 for a while. We sell all our belongings and have everything we own in our vehicle and camper. We are fully detached and completely independent.

In my second dream, we are settled on a few hundred acres living the homestead life. We’ve got a cute little farmhouse, several outbuildings, a variety of livestock and we are truly and fully living off the land. We have a garden, an orchard, a milk cow, chickens and beef cattle. We are even growing our own wheat to grind for flour. It is the true definition of stewarding the land.

I know...it is not lost on me that these two visions of a perfect future appear to be perfectly in opposition to one another.

One is living with very little and not calling any one place home.

The other is laying claim to a large parcel of land and never leaving.

But, as I was working to write this post this week it dawned on me, while on the exterior of it all, these two daydreams are a bit of polar opposites, they are actually quite similar in nature at their roots.

They both call for self-sufficiency. Not depending on anyone or anything else. Having everything we need within our reach.

Which further illustrates a point I hope to make over these next two blog posts:

You don’t need to own a homestead to be self-sufficient.

Why Bother?

For those of you that aren’t daydreaming of unplugging or decreasing your dependency on the world at large, you are probably skimming through this blog post and thinking, “Why bother? What’s the big deal with being self-sufficient?”

And I get it. Today’s culture surely doesn’t boast self-sufficiency. We are told via most mainstream media that we NEED things. We need the latest fashion, the best beauty products, the most advanced technology, and all the convenience foods.

We are used to having all these things at our fingertips. We’ve been trained to blur the lines between needs and wants. We’ve become entitled to privileges people in other countries don’t even have the option of. We’ve grown to expect certain modern day amenities to be available to us at all times.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling you out. When I say “we” I mean me, too. I know that I’ve become too dependent on technology. In fact, that’s specifically why I’m so intentional about unplugging at the end of the day.

I know that I’ve fallen for convenience buys and quick fixes. And I swear, whenever our power goes out due to storms, I panic a little inside at first. Eventually I settle in and realize we’ll be fine; I’ve just grown so accustomed to having my air conditioner or being able to flip a light switch on that when those commodities are stripped I feel a bit lost.

Once upon a time, humans were responsible for gathering their own resources. Sure, they may have been able to work in groups or tribes and help care for each other, but they weren’t calling a power company to fix their electricity or swinging by the store to pick up dinner. They were hunting, gathering, farming. They bartered and traded and shared resources. But they, themselves, as humans, were ultimately in control of their own survival.

It’s not like that today. We can go to the store to get what we need. Or we can get online and find the information we’re looking for to accomplish our tasks. We’ve pulled back from real problem solving skills and allowed technology to do that part for us.

Now I’m not necessarily preaching to go off the grid and live off only what you can kill or grow. I’m simply asking you to take stock of how you are currently living. Tally up all your dependencies. And, then, take a step toward becoming a bit more self-sufficient.

While I’m certain I wouldn’t be comfortable living without running water or electricity or simply being able to hop in the car to go get groceries, I am saying, I think I could hack it. At least if necessary.

The country life kind of sets you up to become more self-sufficient in all things. It’s not worth the trip to town so you figure out how to fix what is broken. You plan your grocery trips and meals two weeks at a time and make due with what’s in your pantry in the in-between. You grow some of your own food.

I think you’ll be amazed at the opportunities you can have to become more self-sufficient in your daily life. Whether you live in an apartment downtown, or a house in a nice neighborhood, or are cross-country living in an RV…you can become more self-sufficient. You don’t have to be living on a homestead on several acres to be less dependent upon the world around you.

I suppose I appreciate the independence of it all. Not needing anyone to support our lifestyle. Be it the living off the land idea of a homestead or traveling across the country to appreciate all forms of nature in an RV. My daydream vacations are steeped in self-sufficiency.

Next week, I’ll be sharing several tips for you to try out when it comes to becoming a bit more self-sufficient. I’ll hope you’ll swing back by to check them out.

So, for now, let this idea of self-sufficiency sink in a bit. Let the thought swim around in your brain and consider giving it a chance. I mean, what harm can come from a little less dependency on the world around you?

Would you consider adding to the conversation by commenting at the bottom of this page? I’d love to hear your take on this topic…

  • Do you think of yourself as self-sufficient? Why or why not?

  • What areas in your life do you find yourself to be too dependent on outside resources?

  • Why do you feel it is important to be self-sufficient in today’s world?

Be Still & Know…

the Country Wife signature for the Country Wife Chronicles blog

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