On Self-Reliance

I haven’t been blogging much the past few weeks. Partly because I go through phases of not having much to say, and partly because this not having much to say phase happened to coincide with a having much to do phase.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about self-reliance. The characteristic that drives do-it-yourselfers to get up and do instead of paying someone else to do so. Even if it takes you 10x longer. The characteristic that drives people to do it themselves, when the only other option is to not have it done.

In the past year, I’ve learned to sew (really sew, not the straight lines I used to barely squeek out). I’ve learned to make cereal, yogurt, bread, pizza. I’ve learned to chop my own onions, broccoli, carrot, and garlic instead of buying them already prepared. I’ve learned how to mix up my own tub scrub and toilet cleaner.

I’ve learned these things because this year we’ve had tough choices to make. There hasn’t been enough for everything. But there has been enough.

And I’ve learned that I am enough. For myself, for my husband, for life. I have what it takes.

There are some things that I will be happy when I can pay for someone else to take care of. I’ve never been skilled at pedicures and really miss dry cleaning sometimes. But for a lot of these things, being forced to take care of it myself has really made me wonder why I ever paid for it in the first place. Seriously, do you guys know how easy it is to chop broccoli?? And homemade pizza dough really puts the frozen pizzas to shame. I don’t often miss the meals out much because we enjoy our home cooked dinners even more (but I absolutely miss Friday happy hours).

I do hope I remember these lessons. I hope I can hold on to this self-reliance, even when it is not so completely necessary. And I hope that if I ever get so busy that I don’t have time to chop broccoli, I remember to take a step back and make sure that the things making me so busy are truly worth it.

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2 responses to “On Self-Reliance

  1. Your kitchen sounds like ours! Eric has been going crazy over making everything from scratch, and he is also on a fermenting kick, which has saved us so much money. We’ve got a sourdough starter, kombucha colonies, yogurt, etc. It is a lot of fun, and I really do feel empowered knowing that we can do all of this on our own, having fun and saving money all the while.

  2. I’ve always looked up to you because you’re the most self-reliant/independent person our age that I’ve ever met. It blew my mind how you worked 2-3 jobs and had a housepartment as a college junior.

    Em, you’re going to be oooookay. I doubt that self-reliant spirit is going to slip away from you. 🙂

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