"I don't believe in frettin' and grievin';
Why mess around with strife?
I never was cut out, to step and strut out.
Give me the simple life."- (Harry Ruby / Rube Bloom) Give Me the Simple Life
This weekend past, I took some time to work on "Nesty." Part of this exercise had me examining my original intent for starting this blog, and the message I wanted it to share. I've been reviewing my posts, perusing my pictures, and yes, re-reading your comments! And frankly, I am quite pleased with how Nesty has evolved while still maintaining the theme of "pursuing a honeyed life and a happy home through simplified living."
Nesty started for a number of reasons. As some of you will recall, after relocating to Kitimat with my husband, I found myself unemployed for the first time in ten years. After a few months of being "on sabbatical" I realized that, unpopular as it may be, I was loving my new life as a domestic goddess. I finally have the time to cook, clean, and craft to my heart's content. And while the professional in me sometimes sneaks in, my old skills are being put to new use; I use Excel to track Christmas cards and gifts, and my daily "To-do" lists contain items like "make jam" and "transplant tomatoes."
I was happy. My husband was happy (especially because I was happy). Our dogs were ecstatic!!! And yet, something bothered me. I found myself floundering when faced with the question "what do you do?" The former career gal in me fought with all her might against the label "housewife" while the happy and content homemaker in me wondered "what's the big deal?" And then I realized it; in many ways, we've come full circle. Where once it was unheard of for a woman to go out to work, now it's almost unheard of for a modern woman to not go out to work! Especially if this woman does not have any children other than her dogs!
Oh, the debates I had with myself! The reality is that there really isn't any work in my field available here, and if I choose to go to work it will be doing something that doesn't challenge me at best, and that I really dislike at worst. I don't need to work, and I am delighted with our life, so what's the big deal? And essentially, it boiled down to this; how to answer that question. "What do you do?"
During my soul searching, I remembered that long ago, just after convocation, the ink still wet on my English degree, I had a plan. A plan to work part-time, and pursue my writing. The problem was, I had more shifts than ideas, and before long I was working full-time and my writing pursuits all but disappeared. It was still there; I'm your go-to gal if you need a nicely worded letter, a funny poem or story for a shower or anniversary, or an idea for a newsletter, but I never really considered this "writing," especially when compared to the scripts, novels, and articles that other writers I knew were producing.
I may not have been writing much any more, but I certainly was being productive! To decompress after work, I was spending more and more time in the kitchen. I loved planning parties and shopping for gifts. And being a cozy sort, I liked puttering around our home and making it comfortable and attractive. Over time I realized I was getting more and more phone calls with questions like "how do you add a liqueur to melting chocolate" and "what' a good idea for my best friend's/ sister-in-law's / co-workers wedding/ birthday/baby gift?" And like Elle Woods, all I need is "a glue gun, some pinking shears, and five yards of grosgrain ribbon" to warm up any space.
In my new life, while trying to "define" myself, the reality was slowly dawning on me, and one day, it finally hit home. I had found my calling - sorting through the web of domestic arts and science and making it fun and accessible for the average person. Finding the jewels that make life lovely and yet leave time to have a life. Nesting, simplified.
Nesty became the vehicle to relay this information. It brought everything together; working, writing, and nesting. From the beginning, I challenged myself to maintain a posting schedule of three posts a week and that I would take my posting seriously whether I had 2 followers or 2000. This satisfied the part of me that was missing professional challenges. I work hard at ensuring that my posts are thoughtful and informative, and while there are some that I am more proud of than others, every one of them is in some small way helping to make me feel like a writer again. And sharing what I'm doing and why I'm doing it has helped me to validate the importance of domestic and "hands on" work.
I don't claim to have all the answers. I'll freely admit that there are lots of things that I am not good at. And embracing some of those things has been one of the best parts of nesting. It's also given me material for posts, such as the ones on plants and gardening and fishing.
As I got more and more into blogging, I discovered a whole community of "housewife" bloggers! I love reading about how different women have embraced this role and title and are bringing it back from being almost an insult to a respected and valued calling. I also love all the sub-genres that show how women are having fun in the house: vintage housewives, apron enthusiasts, glam housewives, the list goes on and on and you're all fabulous!!!
And so, what about the answer to that question? I'm always tempted to say "Domestic Goddess" or "Professional Nester." Of course I'm joking. The truth is I'm not comfortable with just one label, and I don't think I ever will be. However, instead of nervously rambling through my resume listings, I'll probably just try to explain about my wonderful life, and being a housewife and homemaker is part of that! And of course I'll suggest that they check out my blog!
And so, I will continue to humbly offer my contribution and share our "Simple Life" with you three times a week. For the rest of this week I'll be giving you a peek into the engine that powers our nest and simple life. I'll show you some of my favorite things, what I'm loving right now, and who and what inspires me.
"Some like the high road, I like the low road,
Free from the care and strife.
Sounds corny and seedy, but yes, indeed-y,
Give me the simple life."
- (Harry Ruby / Rube Bloom) Give Me the Simple Life