Episode-176- Be Productive In A World Of Consumption
Waking up in the morning is a wonderful thing because even though the clock is ticking towards demise there is still a full day ahead of going on the ride of life. The ability to wake up breathing in the morning is not to be taken lightly and the excitement it brings should be as it is with children even for the aged. That’s a lot easier said than done in the United States. Get up make some money go back to bed and do it again tomorrow all with a vague sense of light at the end of the tunnel called retirement. But as most working people know and George Carlin stated plainly the American Dream is just that a dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. Just about everything we do from the time we wake up until bed again requires an expenditure of energy know as money. If you’re lucky you go to a job to earn more money to spend on things to keep you going until there is supposedly a regular supply of this money available and going to the job is no longer required. How’s that working out for America? Sure I like my work and I think it is important but at the end of the day my work belongs to others and I like most of you simply exchange my time in the future for a claim of money today. With the amount of money or energy it takes just to get through the day life isn’t all fruit and honey. Unless of course you are making fruit and honey.
The suburban America in which I live requires numerous complex systems of dependence in order to keep things normal. It’s a way of life I bought into because at first I didn’t know any better and now that I do I want to help it become more of the system it is capable of becoming. With ToDoListHome.com I set out to track the things I do around the home to make life better and more efficient for my family so that we can somehow gain a sense of independence from the complexities inherent in this life. The systems I refer to are the things that let us live here. My job, utilities, food, water, a car and shelter are all required to allow us to stay in the neighborhood but each of those things are dependent on complex systems to make them happen. Examining the complexities and the costs they incur help to identify ways in which they can be alleviated to the point that we can provide some of things ourselves. None of this is easy but independence shouldn’t be easy to gain. If one can produce some of the things one is reliant on complex systems to provide then a feeling of accomplishment and excitement for producing more follows.
When I first started gardening I had big plans but small harvests. Now four years later the big plans are leading to bigger harvests but were still far from self reliance but that is not what we seek. Instead my goal has been to learn how difficult it is to put our own food on the table and keep the roof over our heads and share experiences with others to make it easier for them. Through the learning curve my family and I are still riding we probably provide about 30% of our own fruits and vegetables in the peak summer months. It’s no where near sufficient but it is so far more than zero. Combined with other activities to take care of the home and manage the finances; 30% here, 10% there, and 25% over there all add up to a revolution of thinking of how we Americans should do more for ourselves and others and be less reliant on complex systems.
Being a one car family has its inconveniences in suburbia but the savings we realize are so much greater than the annoyance of riding my bike in all kinds of weather. Doing my own home repairs where possible is important in order to learn skills that are taught to my children so that when I’m old and they’re older they can mend the fence, fix a leaky pipe, repair a car, and manage a home without the help of strangers who charge $80 just for showing up. Raising honey bees in these days of honey bee demise is another important although initially costly endeavor in order to learn how the sweetest things in life are made. The world needs more honey bees and our backyard is busy producing thousands of them. From one hive two years ago to three today I’ve learned producing honey bees is about more than just trying to get bigger fruits and vegetables. It’s about understanding how nature works and the more we imitate nature the more likely we can survive the worst it has to offer.
Which brings me to the topic of preparedness and the fact that none of us get out alive. Although we don’t get out alive we should enjoy the ride and not go in debt doing it. Thomas Jefferson was so broke when he died his family had to sale Monticello to pay his debts. What a waste! Being prepared for emergencies develops skills that can help save lives or survive a job loss. Hurricane Katrina and earthquakes in Japan taught me to not be dependent on the government in case of emergency. The old American way was to be dependent on ourselves and our neighbors and revitalizing that at home first and then in the local community helps to guarantee survival through good times and bad. Spending less now, creating income streams and saving more for the future is what will aid my goal of early retirement. The only way this is possible is by being a creator and a producer and not being a complete consumer of what the world has to offer. The more I can offer the more others can offer and the more efficient we can live. My work on this website is to continue producing great content or at least start to produce great content depicting how I produce things at home and prepare for the future. With more production of honey bees, gardens and preparedness information the more likely you will try the same or teach me something new. I love producing things at home whether it’s bees, honey, grapes or electricity and I know if I keep at the passion I have for sharing it will start to earn its own stream of rewards.
The message of the day if it has not been apparent yet is to do produce something you used to enjoy purchasing from a complex system. Do not just exchange your time in the future for a wage today to buy things you need. Find the time in your routine to be a producer and develop ways to earn streams of rewards from it. It requires reaching into your soul and grasping that entrepreneurial nerve we all have and putting it to work before it’s too late. It’s the American way and not the one you will find on television or get with a credit card. It may also just lead you to financial independence. All you have to do is to decide to be more Productive In A World Of Consumption. That’s it for today now go and do something useful.
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