Thursday, 19 May 2011

Last Night I Wondered...


I was watching an episode of Grand Designs last night - the one about the guy who built a straw bale house and created a life around subsistence living... It was an idyllic setting - if not slightly ramshackle - but inspirational nonetheless... This guy was living a truly simple life - digging his vegetables from the garden and making things; beautiful things, with his hands... Every time he spoke, it was with ease and grace and a kind of calm that is reserved for those with Buddhist-like disciplines... It got me to thinking about life; the way we design our lives and the choices that we make that ultimately shape how our lives look, think and feel. For me right now, life is busy (yes, even on a farm in the country!!!). Every day is broken down into the smallest increments of time - 10-minute blocks of focus - which means that in any given hour I could be working on 10 different things (and sometimes none very well!) Of course, I've designed things this way - right now, at 42, I figure I'm up for being as busy as can be and welcome the opportunity to fill every moment with wonderful projects and exciting ventures. No time like your 40s I say for getting things well and truly going! But, it got me thinking - what if? What if my life looked different to this - how would I shape it? Could I live a totally subsistent life? Do I have it in me to spend each day toiling the land? What if, I'd chosen another way of doing things... Is it crazy to fill life up with such doing, doing, doing... Perhaps we need a little more being, being, being... Do you ever wonder about what if? What would you do if you could do things differently...
pic from terrain at styers

10 comments:

Karena said...

Shannon a great thought. I would own an art gallery in a vibrant exciting part of the city...and who knows what else!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Come and enter my New Giveaway from Serena & Lily!

Liss said...

It's funny you're writing this right now because I had a dream this morning I was travelling around Europe, my old stomping ground, at a leisurely pace, taking in my favourite galleries - I was woken with a startle at my two five-year olds screaming at each other about barbies. It got me thinking as much as I dream about 'that European life' I'm sure if I were living it, being on the very brink of 40, I'd be yearning for my family life I had now. There's always time to do my European galleries and life, right now I'm happiest in my suburban, chaotic life with three young kids.

PS: Was so lovely meeting you at P&G House last week xx

Love in a B and B said...

I always think it's interesting how we all sit in city offices dreaming of sea/tree changes, but those who really do it (like you and me) tend to be the ones who are super-motivated: so, we fill up our new lives (and the new place) with just as much activity, which in turn creates pace, complexity and pressure of its own. I said just the other day to hubby: we should run away and live by the sea. Oh! We already have! xx K

Nicola Duncan said...

I hear you, Shannon. We can so easily fill our lives with 'doing'. Maybe, though, it's not so much about one or the other - being vs. doing. Maybe it's more about 'being' while we're 'doing', being who we want to be, being true to who we are, while we do what we do every day. And then leaving a gap here or there, for silence and stillness, helps us remember and reconnect with who we are ...

Nick said...

I only saw the end of that episode and it looked gorgeous, particular the garden. I for one am trying, (though I admit not very hard) to live a life like that. I have my veg garden, orchard, mudbrick house, little craft business and am trying not to stress the big things, just be. (I will relax,by god, if it kills me!)

Tara Dillard said...

In addition to maximizing my activity I now consider if I am properly in stewardship of my talents.

It has been a game changer in my life.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

deux chiens et un garcon said...

Hi Shannon

Have your ever read or heard any of the speak of the late Joe Bageant. I heard him talk on radio national about aspiration. How it can be our downfall. He talked about living in Mexico and how the simplicity of the people living in the village made everything tick. The Baker's son only aspired to be the next generation of a baker and so on. By always wnating more, more than we can really afford brings us into us striving, gettng into febt, always feeling inadequate. I'm ramblig a bit, but he is a great read.

Happiness to you.

jill x

deborah said...

Yeap I think about this constantly. What do I really need in life to make me truly happy. What creativity could I allow if I wasn't always in pursuit of a goal. I've come to believe if we are truly at peace with who we are then maybe we can realease striving and see the beauty in being... I'll let you know if I get there.

cinnamon hill said...

mmm... just wanted to say that I love what Nicola Duncan said ... that really resonated with me !

NixieKnox said...

This post and subsequent conversation really resonates with me at the moment. I find myself frequently stressing about life, getting caught up in the day to day and wondering what's it all about? All your comments were so interesting and so inspiring.
A chance meeting with some people on a beach yesterday opened up an interesting discussion with my husband about taking a year off, renting out our house, chartering a boat and packing the family up for a year of cruising. Funnily enough it doesn't seem like just a daydream .. you really do have to make things happen in the search for meaning or being, don't you?