Friday, April 11, 2008

A Continuing March Towards Some Semblance of a Balanced Life

If the Mister were a computer, this is what he would look like (no joke!):

Sorry--I find that drawing adorable. It totally looks like my Mister when he's stressed (which I find cute), right down to his crazy black hair.

However, it's a darn good thing he's not, as this is what I would like to do to our computer:

Fortunately for the machine, I can't take out my frustrations via a hammer because it is sitting several miles away, untouched, in a computer fix-it shop. Apparently many other broken computers came in since last Friday and have been given priority over our computer, since ours is sitting unfixed in the back room. "Maybe by next Wednesday."

If I were lucky, I'd live on Sesame Street right next to Maria's Fix-It Shop. She would have had it fixed, upgraded and ready to go, all before Count counts out the Number of the Day.

The first few days without the computer I felt irritated and twitchy. But kind of like running (which is really starting to grow on me), I soon adjusted and am finding that it is sort of nice not to have that machine in the basement, seducing me to neglect the kids for a few minutes for a peeksy at my unopened email.

I have read a ton since the computer has been down. Mostly gardening books and magazines that I wanted to catch up on. I was able to go through the art lesson/project books I checked out of the library and photocopy the ones I want to do in the future. I even turned those into an Art Binder. Whoa.

I finished reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Never finished it on the Ipod, because it needs to be charged via that computer. This book is excellent. I highly recommend that everyone read it.

Pollan greatly encourages the reader to "shake the hand that feeds you." Meaning, buy local from reputable farmers who grow/raise good food on good soil. Does this cost more? You bet. Both in terms of time and money.

BUT, he is quick to point out that the time we spend cooking/cleaning has been decling over the past decades because have reallocated our time. We can find the time to spend several hours a day online, to watch our cable tv, and we can find the extra $$ to pay for our landlines, cellphones, high speed internet and cable.

Time and money that used to be spent on food. Real food--not processed food. And real meal preparation with real meals where we sit and enjoy food with our family.

For myself personally, my values regarding food, meals and family fall into line with Pollan. I am a homemaker; I spend great time and effort making our house a home for my family. This is what I love to do.

Pollan's description regarding the time we spend on the internet hit home (we don't have cable and I don't have a cell phone, so I ignored that part). I do cut down on other luxuries so that I can buy organic, whole foods for my family. But I have fallen into the trap of being online much more than necessary. It took not having our computer, and having Michael Pollan literally spell it out, for me to get this.

The result is easily evident to me. I have more patience with my family, because I'm not feeling rushed (since I put things off so I could be online). I am reading more about things I love (gardening, cooking), and I am finishing projects that I otherwise probably would not have done. It's a good feeling.

I look forward to the computer coming home for convenience sake, but I'm hoping this time around I can be a bit more balanced about things.


This Mama said...

Thanks for sharing a bit about the book. I really want to read it now.

I know we are just itching to move to this seaside (fishing) village that is surrounded by farms that encourage people to walk in and buy directly from the farmer. That is one of the main reasons why we wanted to make that area our "forever home". I do wish I was a little more skilled at growing my own food though. I kill everything I, it's really bad.

I really love when you post on these kinds of topics as I feel you and I see eye to eye on these values. Quality of life issues.

~ Mandy

Sawatzky Kids said...

Hi there Cruz family!
Speaking of the computer..... thought of any new names for you blog once your boys come home?
Have a great day!
The Swat Team