Editor’s Note: A couple weeks ago, I typed up this post amidst new changes in our life. I wrote about our austerity of living. (with such humility! ha!) Of course now looking back, I am glad I didn’t post this then because it definitely needs an updated post to accompany it to explain how it really went down. Instead of a new post however, I just inserted my “reality checks” in bold brackets as I re-read this post through my wiser eyes. Read on oh jubilant blog reader….
A Diaper Change
Camera Guy & I have come a long way. In our college years, we each had a cellphone, computer with high speed internet, a paycheck to blow on clothes, food, and seemingly endless Wal-Mart or Eatin Park runs. Our perspective dorms were stashed with cable TV, microwaves and vending machines. Our life was in “on demand” mode. We felt like going out for burgers, we went out. A group of friends wanted to watch American Idol, on it went. Ramen noodles at 4 am? Pop it in the microwave.[There is nothing wrong with a microwave]
When we got married, life shifted gears but it was still primarily still on demand. [because we didn't have kids] We both had our own Facebook. The internet was slower, but still there. The tv wasn’t loaded, but we still were able to get basic. We had a microwave, a dishwasher, two cellphones, a brand new GPS. If we felt like going anywhere, we could go. [no kids!] With or without MapQuest. It was really quite convenient.
Now, seven years since we’ve been together, we find ourselves at a spot we never would have willingly planned back in our early on demand phase. Not to say we aren’t happy, but you know how when you’re a kid and you think
“I hate asparagus, I will NEVER eat it or make it for my family” [we eat asparagus now]
and then one evening you find yourself cooking asparagus, willingly or quite contently eating it and daresay, enjoying it ? Then, before you know it you’re coming up with every side dish imaginable that involves asparagus [sad but true],writing cookbooks on the nutritional value of asparagus [did not do this], and ordering asparagus apparel online [may have done this]? Well, it’s kind of like that. Like a 180.[or a 360]
We find ourselves living microwave, dishwasher, internet [that didn't last long], Facebook & cable free. [I pine for a microwave] Still driving my station wagon from college. [not by choice] Still using the GPS, “Judith”, [we named her after this SNL skit]
with outdated maps. Still unable to really grasp the “texting” phenomenon or keep up with it. And now, eating whole grain brown rice. Sometimes we feel Amish.
Sometimes it feels like a really long Lenten fast. Despite that, I don’t know why, but we just can’t help but leave it the way it all is. [chuckle] There is just something so wonderful about all our free time to spend together as a family. There is some type of a freedom in giving it all up. I know this is no new news to some of my friends & relatives who already live this way, but it was beautiful discovery for us. [for the 2 days it lasted]
We didn’t realize the excess of wasted time we spent on the computer, watching our “shows” on TV, checking our status updates or voicemails. Who knew food warmed up just as quick on the stove and more evenly? [and who knew you could ruin so much more cookware this way] We never thought that washing dishes together could be romantic. I guess by stripping away the excess in our life, ie: “Do we really need this?” we subsequently gave our selves a huge gift of saved money and quality time. [and crazed days of "o.m.g. I must hate myself"] And quality conversations free of, “hang on one second…” [and instead, " i am loosing my mind!"]
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all daises and roses [couple more belly chuckles]. There are definitely inconvenient times when I have a chance to blog but I can’t because there’s no service. [not anymore!] Or when the kids are in “drive-Mommy-insane- in- 10 –seconds- or- less” mode and there’s no new episode of Sesame Street to save the day. [still true] Or the dinner. And I’m forced to listen to the Wiggles tape for the thousandth time in the week…Sometimes it’s a pain in the neck when I have youth ministry bulletin deadlines to meet and Panera limits my session to 30 minutes, bumping me off seconds before I click “send”. And on top of that gets my smoothie order messed up. (minus 10 points, Panera).[that was so special.]
Regardless, frustrations or not, we still say to leave it the way it is. Living simply so you can simply live is simply what life is about. [ah, we were so niave]
The cherry on top, or what have you, was our most recent downgrade. From disposable diapers to Fuzzi Bunz. I know, I have half of my friends out there cheering for me. But the other half are screaming at the computer, have I lost it? [on day 1 of cloth diapers, I pretty much thought I did] I, who always vowed I’d never wrap my kid in a washcloth or taint my beloved washer with feces? No, I haven’t. I just went to a baby shower ,saw one in person, put that together with the realization that Pretty Princess & Mr. Chubs are both older now, not changed as frequently, and their diapers aren’t that messy anymore. Plus, I’m not going to lie, I thought the colors & patterns we’re so trendy! So truthfully, I read up on them, considered the $20/week savings and CG who breathed a “Finally!” sigh, placed the order last week. We decided to still keep disposables on hand for travel, night time and any baby under the age of 1. I will not change cloth diapers unless the “present” is a solid one. [so naturally, the first week I use them the kids have everything but solid presents, not once but about 3 times a day]
Oh, and the best part? [wait there's a best part?] Thanks to this cool tool “The Diaper Sprayer” , nothing goes in my washer except stained diaper inserts. [and everything instead goes all over my toilet seat & bathroom because I have horrible aim] Retreat house home & cloth diapers? This was a change I never saw coming. From “on-demand” to “down-to-earth”. From status updates to conversations over washing dishes. Someone out there might be praying for me to live a simpler life and I just may have to thank them. [maybe I'll thank them some other time. But how it really went down? Read the next post]