I have to confess that, at times, I question our reasons for choosing voluntary simplicity. Our intention was to make life less stressful, and to allow ourselves time to pursue other interests, rather than just managing and acquiring stuff. But is that still our aim? Or are we just trying to define ourselves, as eccentrics, and, in the process, are making life more difficult?
Since we’ve been in this port, we’ve found our answer.
We’ve been staying in a rather well-stocked house. Rather than two pans hanging up on the wall, there is an entire cupboard devoted just to pans! There is a dishwasher, a microwave, a television, and a whole closet just for towels.
At first, we went crazy. We piled up dishes like there was no tomorrow, then ran them through the machine. Beanie played on the living room floor, with her cartoons constantly running in the background. We each used our own towel when we showered. We drank soda–in cans!
By day three, though, we had a pile of three towels in our room, being reused. Beanie turned off the television and went outside, where she spent the rest of the day. I noticed that we were only using two pans, including the cast iron skillet that we planted here a couple years ago. I found a clear pitcher and started the sun tea. I started hand washing our three plates right away after each meal. We’re down to using one cup each, per day.
None of this was conscious. And since we’ve started only using what we need, rather than excess, we’ve spent much less time on household tasks. And that is a good thing, because we still have so much to do on the boat!