Monday, May 9, 2011

two groups

Sometimes I feel like this entire world is split into two groups: the people who are working towards something good that makes them happy, and those who are not. It's not that I dislike the latter, content people keep this ship on course...

But I am falling in love with everyone of the former.


Blogger Irma said...

I am, slowly, slowly.... in the first group. Every tiny change I make gives me such joy. And for me it's not about "returning to the land", and it is most DEFINITELY not about "End of Days", which seem to be the two most popular goals in this sometimes divided movement.

For me, it's just about using less and taking more time while appreciating more. I could drive my car for sixty seconds to the grocery store, then spend thirty seconds buying honey. But instead, I will don my bee jacket and tend my hive (it swarmed two days ago, dammit, and I didn't catch the queen. GRR) and wait til the end of June for my first honey harvest of the year. Then a few days later, I will knead bread that contains that honey and watch it rise on my counter. While that is baking, I will make my butter, and wander through my garden to see if anything is ready to accompany that bread.

My life in the corporate and suburban world is fast fast FAST. Any opportunity I find to slow it down? I take.

May 9, 2011 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Jenna, I love how positive you are. No matter what, you always find the good! I wish I lived nearby. I think we'd be good friends!

May 9, 2011 at 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dove head-first into the former. Very unintentionally actually. I used to be content to be content, but now I find that I'm more than content with constantly working towards good things.

May 9, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

After working for the past several years (15) at a frentic pace, 2 jobs at times. I decided it was time to come home. We are trying to live happily on much less. This morning, my son missed the bus and I was able, without hesitation, or panic to drive him the 2 miles to school......which, had i been at work, would have been a panic attack in the making.
As I drove home, I breathed in the sunshine and said a little Thank You for being able to have been there, at that moment....cuz his years in school are almost through. I believe that your doing incredible things lighting the way for us to learn such a simple lessen. Slow down and just live! thank you so much!

May 9, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

love you too!

May 9, 2011 at 11:01 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

Funny, I have always said that I can't understand living your life without some sort of passion. Something to always look forward to and enjoy when it happens.

May 9, 2011 at 11:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Awww... We love YOU, too!

May 9, 2011 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Bless you for saying so. It's a wonderful realization that you can indeed surround yourself with like-minded folks and what that adds to your life. Enjoy, Jenna!

May 10, 2011 at 5:22 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Thanks for the love, love you back! I was thinking the same thing as Trish. By sharing your everyday life with us you have created this little community here on the web for like-minded people, it makes me feel like there really is hope out there and that my now young adult children will be able to live in a world where less is more. You really are such an inspiration, even if I am old enough to be your mom!

May 10, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Actually? I enjoy living a life of contentment *on the way* to where I'm going.

Why put off happiness and contentment? There will always be another goal to reach after I reach this next one, so I'm choosing to enjoy it all right now-- the journey, the lessons, the hard work, etc. Just some thoughts. I enjoy your blog so much! ...Debra

May 10, 2011 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

All too often people fail to stop and smell the roses on their way to achieving what makes them happy. The journey needs to be appreciated too.

May 10, 2011 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger shannonstoney said...

Just ditched a life that was making me very discontent, for one that's better, working toward food security, at least in this community. Before, what I was doing was apparently socially productive--teaching at a community college--but in fact it wasn't: the students were so behind that there was no way they were going to get through college, and their money was being wasted. Most were there because they were unemployed I think. And the city was horrible: a lot of power-tripping, violence, pollution, etc. I thought that city was going to kill me one day.

May 10, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love you too Jenna!! heheh. I went and rented a fiddle yesterday. It's mine for a whole month, and after that I've got my birthday. I'm hoping to get one I get to keep as a gift.
never would have tried without you making it sound so easy. Reading about fiddling on here made me fall in love with it again.

May 10, 2011 at 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love being able to live a slower life. I don't dream of big fancy vacations and a city life anymore and quite frankly I can't believe I ever did!
I love being able to keep my house, take care of my animals, tend my garden, cook dinner for my husband and knit for entertainment. I'm a feminists worst nightmare :-)

May 10, 2011 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Miss Victoria said...

I don't post much, but I do read regularly (and wish I were close enough to come for one of your workshops, rather than way over in Nova Scotia). Jenna, you and I are about the same age, and you inspire me all the time with daring to work towards my own dreams -- which is to have a fantastic garden on my own land (with dogs and bees and chickens and rabbits and maybe a cow and well, if I'm going to be there all the time anyway, a horse and peacocks) and produce food enough for myself and as many guests as I can host, and write the rest of the time.

I'm not there yet, but it's posts like this which remind me of what I'm working towards. I've always been the sort to choose the utterly ridiculously un-mercenary approach (almost finished a PhD in Medieval Literature, thank you), but sometimes I despair of achieving what I want. Most of the time I love the process, but just at the moment I needed to hear this.

Thank you.

May 10, 2011 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger John Taylor said...


In my house we love you too! My girls and I have enjoyed growing our own food and are working towards getting our own farm in VA.

Grace and Peace,


May 10, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thanks to you and the inspiration your blog brings to us we planted a garden with a variety of heirloom veggies and picked up out first 'flock' of chickens Friday night, four little silkie chicks and are currently looking for a farm to rent to get out of the city and work towards sustaining ourselves. We're even signed up for a beekeeping workshop and are starting our vermicomposter this weekend :) Thanks for always keeping us inspired Jenna, your blog is invaluable.

May 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Short, sweet, well-said, and I couldn't agree more :D

May 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotta say there is a third element: no matter what they do—sit still, learn, move, play—they are never content. Learning and growing is an amazing blessing. Sitting and appreciating is a peaceful one. But beetchin' and moanin' just don't make for a long, happy life!

May 10, 2011 at 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine how wonderful this world would be with more people like Jenna in it! Non-violent, willing to work for what you want. Depending upon ones self and not everyone else. Taking care of the land and not destroying it, our streams, etc. I just started to plant my garden last night. Worked in it until dark, then fed the horses and patted their necks, giving thanks for all the blessings in my life.

May 10, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Lara Katherine Mountain Colley said...

And those folks out there working away love you back!

May 10, 2011 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree completely! I stumbled upon your blog recently and I'm so happy I did. I long for the day that I can return to the country, (where I grew up), and become more self-sufficient. Until then, I try to make my suburban existence more "existential" by growing my food, making cheese, knitting, etc. I love to see so many people longing for the same thing. The 9 to 5 thing just pays the bills, but the rest feeds the soul.

May 10, 2011 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger candisrrt said...

Irma, I hear ya. I just want to know where more of my stuff comes from. My grand daughter came over today and took the first cluster of cherry tomatoes off the vine, and didn't think twice about putting them directly into her mouth. It was just wonderful to know what was in them and that I didn't have to worry.

I love reusing stuff and am learning more and more. The more "simple" I get, the happier I am.

May 10, 2011 at 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kimberlie Ott and Shannonstoney-- I'm right there with you. I work in higher ed, for 2 more days. I decided to quit to pursue... passions (which are still being defined after years of being squooshed). So here's to living more simply to gain more personal depth and freedom.

May 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger DebH said...

took me a few long years of raising kids and conquering a battle of cancer to wake up one day and say...This ones for me now! I changed my life and my direction and do what I LOVE. I guess I knew all along it was just waiting for me.

May 11, 2011 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Teresa H. @ Oak Tree Farm said...

I suppose I have a funny way of looking at things, but it has been my experience that people are very complex and that almost everyone I have ever met possesses wonderful qualities and insights to share. Even people I have found difficult, I have learned to love for the ways that they challenge, or demonstrate insight into what can happen to a wounded soul (which can lead one to compassion and the promotion of healing), or even how they might remind us of a road we might not want to take. I truly believe that almost everyone has something to offer the world. I also believe that everyone (sometimes by choice, sometimes for other reasons) is in different places on this journey through life, and we all learn from one another. Some, people who do not know how to offer something to the world, may never have known love or have only experienced pain in their lives, and they present to others an opportunity to discover and share our compassion and help them along this road that we call life. I love your blog Jenna, and I agree it is important to work toward making things better, but I also want to equally embrace and love all that life has to offer - the yin AND the yang -- I think everyone is my teacher - if I am paying attention.

May 13, 2011 at 8:22 PM  
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May 14, 2011 at 4:27 AM  

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