"There's no use trying," Alice said.
"One can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice,"
said the Queen. "When I was your age,
I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes I've believed
as many as six impossible things
Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes
I have finished reading the above book. I read it so fast but have taken the last week or so to let it sink in and think about what I have read. It truly is an interesting, thought provoking and educational read. I am not going to write my review. ( I just reread what I have written and it does seem like I have written a review LOL) It has all been said before and you can find that information on the net or by having a look at the book website below. I would just love it if more people read this book and became Radical Homemakers. There is no exact place to start and no exact place to finish. It is a changing of the mind. It can be started in so many little ways and I have found it so rewarding that sometimes I feel like doing a hop, skip and a jump because the weight on my shoulders lifts and I feel so rewarded and blessed.
For me this book just sums up all the things in my head that have been swirling around for so many years. I am not interested in arguments about feminist movements and such. All I know is that the new world of work and drudgery leads to nought. The pursuit of career and postition have never moved me the way that I live now. And yes I have climbed the wrong ladder many times and had to climb back down to get to the path I am treading now. As I read the blogs and books written by others on this journey I am so inspired. I don't bag myself out for not being able to spin my own wool or make my own cheese or grow all of my own food. What I do find is community. Funny how that community is not living beside me and is sometimes all the way over this planet but it is community. It is sharing and encouragement. So I give things a go and I add new skills to my homemaking and living resume. What my ancestors are not available to teach me now, I am ready to be taught. I find the inspiration and actual facts and teaching of these new skills via the blogs and books I read and via the many videos online that wonderful people take the time to film so I can watch and learn.
When the book discusses male and female roles and all the theory that goes with this, I find myself, my inner being never moving from it's belief. You see I like being in my home and I like looking after my man. I truly enjoy some of the most simple things in my life like hanging out fresh laundry on the clothsline, ironing and putting away my cloths ready to choose an outfit next time I open the cupboard door. I like a clean house, I like cooking a cake, I enjoy learning to sew and knit and garden.
And on the other hand I love the things my husband does for me. I do not mow the yard or chop down trees or build things out of wood. There is nothing wrong with a woman doing those things it is just that this is our relationship and our home and we have a lovely flowing relationship that works. He loves to be looked after and so do I. We compliment each other. We support each other. We encourage each other. Everyones home will look different but in the end someone has to do the little jobs and if each person is arguing over who's place it is in the home to do those things then it can only lead to discomfort and agression. We can count on each other to help the other if asked. For example if I ask for Mick to vacum the house, he will do it, not begrudgingly but with a helpful spirit. I get up and make his lunch each day and see him of to work. He takes interest in my projects and shows them of to people. He especially likes my food and never fails to tell everyone who will listen as to how he feels he never eats the same things twice.
For many years I went with what society seemed to place in front of me. Raising a family and working fulltime. I was always good at what ever job I had and would rise quite quickly through the management steps. I had some fun and learnt some skills but, and this is the big but, to what cost was all of this. I have no money to show for it and those skills I have chosen to keep reusing are the ones that have helped me in my life now. I am not one for regret but I will say that I have had many a moment where I wish that I could do it all over again and choose differently. I cannot get my children back to being young and doing things differently with them. Time is such a precious commodity and we try so hard to save time and do things quickly and effeciently but somewhere along the line we lose out so badly.
My Dad gave a speech at my wedding. He said few words and put a tear in everyones eye. He said that he wished with all of his heart that he could have back all of the times that he told me he was too busy for me to come crawl up on his lap for a cuddle and that it was just to late for so many things he wished he had done.
So to me this book is about those things that are so important. Recapturing family and family ties. Recapturing the home. Recapturing your life. Living within your means and making that threshold achievable. Being honest and realistic in what we actually need in our lives. It is about enjoying being different, really being proud about your life choices. It's about the fact that you are simply not alone in this journey as there are so many people doing the same thing and making the same choices.
Oh my goodness I can't stop writing. So much to say. I will put a few quotes from the book below.
"But, like the Queen of Hearts in Alice in wonderland, many Radical Homemakers believe, and live, the impossible. They embrace a reality that is wildly different from conventional thinking, dubbed here, in the spirit of the Queen of Hearts, as the six "impossible" things:
- Nobody cares what (or if) you drive.
- Housing does not have to cost more than a single moderate income can afford (and even cost less)
- Health can be achieved without making monthly payments to an insurance company.
- Child care is not a fixed cost.
- Education can be acquired and not bought.
- Retirement is possible, regardless of income."