I found this quote on Pinterest the other day.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~Leonardo da Vinci
After I initially read it, I gave myself a smug pat on the back, since as a homesteader, I’m all about simplicity, of course.
I have quotes about simple living plastered all over my house, and I am constantly using the word “simplify” in my conversations.
But as I pondered it, I began to wonder if maybe I don’t know as much about simplicity as I think I do.
My mind wandered to the activities of the previous week…
We had a mama goat die, which left us with 2 bottle babies. I had spent countless hours in the barn milking extra from the other goats and cow so the orphans would have something to eat… Not to mention trudging down to the barn 3-4 times a day to make sure they had regular feedings.
And then there were the bum calves we took on last week. The neighboring ranch had a few extra, so we agreed to put them on Oakley for a while. But, my timing was poor, since she happened to be in heat the very day that the calves arrived. Quiet ol’ Oakley is a wild woman when she is in heat, and it took a whole lotta extra energy to wrestle her and the calves so they had a chance to nurse. Not to mention that I was monitoring her to make sure she was spending sufficient time with the borrowed bull we have right now.
Our abnormally warm spring has made me feel in a hurry to start working my garden/beds and preparing to plant. The great debate right now is should I plant the potatoes a whole month and a half early, or wait? We are also getting an additional 150 trees planted this spring, so hubby has been running around like crazy scrounging up a plow and tiller set-up so we can prepare the rows.
And then I log onto Facebook the following night and read the statuses of my non-homesteading friends. They are talking about what TV shows they watched that night, and I know that they got home from work, had zero chores, and then probably ate their frozen dinners on the couch after zapping them for a quick 8 minutes in the microwave.
So. When you compare it like that, who REALLY has the simple life?
Now, don’t misunderstand. I wouldn’t trade my life for theirs. Ever. I love what we do and I find it totally worth it, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s misleading when we always refer to homesteading as “simple living.”
I think people consider homestead life to be “simple” because we do many things that remind us of a simpler, slower time when technology didn’t control everything- gardening, cooking from scratch, canning, animal husbandry, etc.
But let’s face it, homesteading is a lot of work. While growing your own food and keeping animals isn’t necessarily rocket science (thank goodness!), it does take a lot of time and energy. (Which is why I wrote this post on 10 minute chore ideas!)
When I compare my lifestyle with someone who lives in town, has no animals or garden, and buys all of their food pre-made from the grocery store, I hate to admit it, but it seems that in some aspects, they seem to be living much “simpler” than me…
So no matter what type of homesteader you are or aspire to be, urban, apartment, or semi-rural, keep in mind that while this lifestyle is absolutely worth it, it will “complicate” your life to some degree.
Er, maybe not so much.
Ok guys- weigh in with your thoughts in the comments! Do you agree or disagree?