|How to Maintain an Old-fashioned Lifestyle|
As a housewife without kids, I have long-since left the modern world behind, mentally. I found it to be too toxic -- full of distractions that poison the mind and soul. So I went about and fashioned my life in my own little traditional way. These are some of the best things to do to maintain an old-fashioned -- or quaint-- lifestyle.
Own a Home.
It doesn't matter where it is or how big it is, as long as you own it. It can be a little shack in Mississippi, a condo in downtown Boston, a single house in the suburbs, a worn-down townhouse in the inner city, or a little forgotten cottage off the side of the road, buried behind some trees.
I grew up in a bad neighborhood, in a house that always needed repairs, and usually went without them. But it was home, where my mother, father, brother, aunt, and I lived. And there is where I had some of the happiest days of my life -- secure, accepted, and safe. Some people grow up in less than ideal homes, and as an adult there is also a chance to make it right again with your own little piece of the world.
Eat Wholesome, Homemade Food.
When I pass by fast food restaurants I get a twinge of sadness, because what should be a fulfilling celebration of gifts from God's land and animals has become a profit-based frenzy of how cheaply and quickly an underpaid person can throw some paper-wrapped industrialized food at you.
There is nothing quite like bringing a stuffed, oven-baked chicken to a dinner table covered with a seasonal tablecloth, silverware, dinnerware, side dishes, and eager, smiling faces waiting to feast on homemade fare.
Adopt Some Old-world Recipes from Your Ethnic Heritage.
Find a few dishes that sound appetizing to you and perfect them for yourself and spouse or family. My specialties are homemade soft pretzels, sauerkraut with pork and dumplings, apple pie, and beef pot pies. You will be connected to the past with your dishes and also be proud of your cooking skills. This can be a new tradition in your home.
Fill the spaces meant for relaxation in your home with pillows, throw blankets, and candles. Add some soft lighting and piles of books, and play some classical music at a low volume. You will have a setting you will never want to leave!
Have a Pet.
I mean a pet you can snuggle with or one that follows you around. While there are so many forces in the world that let us down, having a dog or cat that loves to be around you will feel like a blessing on days you are world-weary and depressed.
Grow a Garden.
Even if you don't have a green thumb, there are vegetables and plants that are very easy to grow: morning glory vines, dill weed, spinach, and sweet alyssum flowers are some of them. Some of my proudest achievements in life, besides getting married, are when I get a harvest from seeds I sow in spring. You really feel connected to nature and earth when you grow beautiful flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
Only Allow People In Your Home that You Trust.
There are a lot of evil forces in the world and many of them take the form of people. Don't allow harmful abusers of drugs, alcohol, or abusers in general in your home. People are full of weaknesses. So that your home always feels like a place of security, don't give them a chance of letting them into your life. Sometimes you get a bad vibe about people. Trust your instincts. I don't even answer my door if I don't know who it will be. I live in a neighborhood where door-to-door salespeople and people seeking donations still come around to. My husband and I make our own decisions as to who we will buy from and donate to, so we don't even answer. Home to me is a place of intentional privacy.
Work Out Your Problems at Home.
I am not one to discourage people from seeking professional help when they really need it, but rather than paying someone to listen, think of your home environs as a place to heal yourself when possible. It doesn't matter exactly how you deal with the problem, as long as it helps you and is done in a healthy way. You can speak to your spouse, read the Bible, meditate, tell your problems to your cat as you pet him, sit in a bedroom when it's raining out and listen to the rain, put on some relaxing music, call a friend/relative, beat up or cry into a pillow, etc.
My husband works out his frustrations in the garage. I'll hear some banging noises, his saw, and some cursing, and a few hours later he'll emerge with a new wooden table made for the house. Sometimes when I don't have a solution for my natural weaknesses, I'll go to the kitchen and do one of the only things I am really good at -- cooking. Creating something often replaces negative feelings in our life with productive pride.
Modern life in the western world is so much easier than life a century ago. When I get to complaining too much, I try to think of the incredible pains my ancestors went through so I could be here today. And then I realize that famine, war, and genocide were much bigger problems than I've ever had to deal with. And I'm thankful I have what I have today.
I'd love to hear of how you maintain a quaint lifestyle in your own way ...