In the blog The Art of Non-conformity Chris Guillebeau discusses how to live a life of non-conformity…
Can I do this with the two kids, the Man and the dog?
Well Leo Babauta from the blog Zen Habits along with his six kids and wife manage to live a life travelling down an uncharted road. Just not sure I can convince the rest of the family to live with less!!!
But I’m sure there are other options we can try.
But the road less travelled when you’re 40 years of age, have two teenage children who constantly need bus passes (there is no way I’m home schooling, I don’t care about the benefits, I’d rather pull my teeth out millimetre by millimetre), sport fees and much as I’ve tried putting bricks on top of my kid’s heads, it just doesn’t stop them from growing.
Plus I live on a rather large Island which has various names, such as “The land of the long white cloud” (many people say it should be a ‘grey’ cloud due to our climate, or lack of one), also known as Aotearoa or as its most commonly known, New Zealand. It’s not warm enough to live in shacks, grass huts, tents (even in summer you may go camping, but you never leave your beanie behind!). New Zealand also suffers from a syndrome from our early settlers who presumed the island being in the Pacific would be tropical – far from it. This essentially means any house not built in the last five to ten years is draughty, and not insulated for the bitter South Pole wind that whips the land incessantly all year round.
Now my house isn’t one of the newer warmer versions of housing, it’s an old villa. Think back to your student days and you can picture my house, in need of plenty of love, lots of attempts to renovate, but never finished, but we have insulated several winters ago and I love our heat pump, but this isn’t cheap. I need money to keep my family healthy.
The principle of living a life of non-conformity is not impossible but it’s not easy either. I need to be practical, if I want to keep my sanity, and prevent my family from putting me out to pasture at the Nutty farm. (Believe me when I say, I have nothing against insanity, as most people who know me, would say, hhmm, she’s not quite all there.)
Currently I work part-time and it works (kind of, but we are always a little bit broke, but mostly due to bad management rather than not enough money). Working part-time means I can be a taxi for my kids, be home if they are sick and it means there is some flexibility within my job, I can either change days or work from home, when I do have sick children. Plus working part-time means I can feed my family with home baking, cook from scratch, grow a vege garden and best of all write….
Working part-time though isn’t ideal when you live pay week to pay week, and when your living expenses is more than your income.
So what is a Gal to do? Yes I and my family need to live simpler lives. And I do. I very rarely shop and when I do I buy most of my clothes from second-hand stores and my poor suffering children are always moaning they need more clothes, but they wear a school uniform, so how many clothes do they need (when they pull out the ‘poor old me’ we act, I remind them of the kids we see out and about in the weekend in their school uniform – this generally shuts them up!)
First of all, I will strive to get expenses under control. Budget and pay off debts. Look for more freelancer work…And secondly, finish the damn novel. I may not be JK Rowling, but it’s a start.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
Have you struggled with non-conformity? Are you travelling down the road less travelled? If so, what are you tips for myself and family. I’d love to hear them.