After reading my friend's blog (http://weblog.xanga.com/DaiseyAnne/624992636/a-pregnancy-tradition.html) it really got me thinking about the things I take for granted. I have been trying to live more simply, to return to the land, and nature's cycles as the backdrop for our busy lives. It seems that so many things we consider conveniences or luxuries actually cause more effort and create a false sense of how things should be. Laundry for example. The clothes we make, how many we own and our modern opinion of what is "clean" have changed dramatically. People cared for their clothes more, and even though they worked harder and got dirtier they washed them less frequently.
Depression is at epidemic proportions. I noticed something recently, after spending a long Sunday rearranging the house for the baby- moving furniture, deep cleaning, sorting organizing- and on that same day making bread, drying apple "leather" and making meals for my family from what we had left in the cupboards because we were too busy to go to the store for convenience foods and too broke to get fast food! The following day I was EXHAUSTED, but I felt content and accomplished. Being productive and doing work that actually matters and makes a difference to my family created a sense that I hadn't felt in a while.
So many studies say that exercise combats depression- well I think that hard work does it even better. Getting on a treadmill at the gym may get those endorphins flowing, but where is the sense of completion? Have all these "wonderful" inventions weakened the human spirit? Causing us to be dissatisfied, unmotivated and unfulfilled? And are we now breeding these qualities into the human DNA? What can be done to stop this scary adaptation?
Hard work is it's own reward and yet we seek all sorts of luxuries and conveniences as symbols of our success and accomplishment. We fill our homes with things that will require care and responsibility and provide little in the realm of function or true value. Then we sit back a relax because we "deserve it". I am saddened by it all.