We’re in our 6th month of living on this wild piece o’ land. And did you know? It’s finally happened! We finally made the move into our mountain cottage! Even though little house living is behind me now, I learned some important lessons this past winter, ones I aim to take with me as we start life afresh in our mountain cottage.
As I move into this new stage of life, I wanted to take time to look back, to tell you about the things I learned through little house living. Often, it seems like it’s difficult life circumstances that makes the biggest positive impact on my life!
Here’s what I’ve learned.
I Desperately Need Quiet In My Life
I’ve subconsciously known that I use busyness to quiet unrest and turmoil inside of me. With the traditional lifestyle I lead, there’s plenty to keep a girl busy…if she feels the need to be busy. Dishes, cleaning, cooking, preserving, blogging, visiting, reading, internet, etc.
However, once we moved and began living under primitive conditions, I was forced to live in simplicity, quiet and stillness.
Slowly, the whirlwind inside of me dissipated, and I had to face the things I’d been covering up with busyness. Neither questions or past hurts go away when you ignore them; they only slink into the background and reappear with more strength the next time life shakes you up.
So I’ve been processing lots these past months. I learned I desperately need quiet in my life if I’m going to live well, if I’m going to be at peace inside. It’s a lifestyle change I’m trying to implement and embrace.
One of the ways I’m doing that? By unplugging!
I Need to Unplug More Often
When we moved to our land, my man and I agreed to give up Wi-fi. I needed a break. Internet and blogging had been dominating my time, and a reset was necessary. We kept a bit of data on one of our phones for online banking, email and keeping up with family. But not enough to watch videos, post to Instagram and Facebook, to spend time “browsing.”
It wasn’t easy! Sometimes, I felt like the absence of internet was going to drive me crazy!
And I confess, there was a time or two when I used it up all our data a week or so before it renewed itself.
But I’m so glad we gave it up! Unplugging was one of the best thing I’ve ever done! Living without the distraction of internet not only helped me face myself, but I’ve realized I’m more alive when internet use is limited in my life.
Without internet to distract me, I find it easier to read, journal and pray in the mornings. It’s easier to stick to a schedule. I wanted to be in the presence of real people, more often. Even what my mind dwelt on, changed. I noticed I had more memories surfacing and that more of my own thoughts filtered through my head. It didn’t revolve around what I’d just read, seen or heard online.
Boredom pushed me out doors and I found myself exercising more often, going on walks just for “something to do.” My man and I even noticed we feel more connected when internet isn’t an available distraction!
Truth be told, there’s a big part of me that doesn’t want it in our home again! I’m torn, because if it wasn’t for this blog, I wouldn’t hesitate to give up Wi-fi for good!
I Learned I Don’t Need Much to Live
Have you ever lived in tight quarters? I love keeping things simple, but little-house living was a change even for me! When we made the move, we each brought a duffel bag of clothes and a small tote for holding our socks and underwear, plus one box containing our winter gear.
In that 8×12 space, we had a few dishes and cooking utensils. Our canned food. One double mattress. One fold-up chair. One counter. One 5 gallon water jug. One hot plate and one mini fridge. Just outside was the chest freezer, a spigot (that froze up part way through) and beyond that, our outhouse!
This space is small and yet? We more than survived! Occasionally, I missed something we had stored away, but for the most part, I didn’t even think about our other belongings!
It’s easy to get caught up in stuff. We have wish lists. Things we’re saving for. Discontentment that settles in when we see what other people have. But really? I’ve learned I don’t need much to live in a way that matters!
And actually, what I wanted more than anything else was people.
I Need Relationships In My Life
Because our living quarters were so tight and the mountain cottage was a work zone, we couldn’t really have visitors. Even though I had Tuesdays in town, I missed people!
Being in a situation where I couldn’t have people into our home made me realize what a special thing it is! I realized that when a home is shared, it suddenly has new purpose and meaning. And when people come, they bring something unique with them: new perspectives, a change of atmosphere and a reminder that there’s more to life than my little world.
These Are the Lessons I’ll Take With Me
Our move into the mountain cottage sort of evolved over the course of a few weeks. We still don’t have kitchen cabinets, and the living room is currently set up as a work zone. Interior doors still need to be hung, plus trim-and-baseboard still need to go up.
The season of little house living is behind us. And did you know, I was hesitant to go? Sounds silly, but I don’t want to forget the lessons I’ve learned from living within the four walls of that 8×12, tar-papered, humble little home.
I know how easy it is to fall back into old patterns. And I don’t ever wanna go back. I’ve tasted something better, and I don’t want to lose it’s flavor in my life. Not now. Not ever.