I've loved every minute of it.
I know that what I'm striving towards is a natural, self-sufficient, and satisfying lifestyle and every mistake and failure is an irreplaceable lesson- and trust me, it's so worth it. These are a few things I've found that need to be kept in perspective, especially when I'm feeling discouraged or defeated in something that's gone awry.
- Homemade is not always guaranteed to be better than store bought- but it's still more satisfying. Yes, with some things for sure it is. Homemade bread? Delicious. Homemade cheese? Divine. Homemade jam? Yes please! But, homemade dishwasher detergent? Ehhh...No.... not quite... Sometimes I'm left disappointed with a white film on my glasses or picking dried food off a dish. But ya know what? It sure beats the heck out of all of those chemicals and God knows what in the commercial mixes. I have to remember that many of those chemicals were created to make that dishwasher detergent effective. Those companies have spent tons of time and money to make a perfect blend of ingredients to kick any homemade mix's butt. So what if I have to give a glass or two a rinse? I'm no longer paying for gallons of store bought dishwasher detergent and am using natural items I already have on hand. So there.
- Things will not always work out as you had hoped or envisioned, at least the first couple of times. I cannot tell you how many batches of milk I have carefully labored over trying to create mozzarella only to end up with a bowl of ricotta. These crafts take time and experience to perfect. Cheese making is an art and at some point I was able to create a delicious, stretchy ball of mozzarella. It was amazing.
- You gain a whole new appreciation for the things you have, and waste a whole lot less. The phrase "waste not, want not" has never rang truer. Whether it's creatively working in the leftover odds and ends of food or reusing old shampoo containers to hold my homemade cleaning products, I throw less away and appreciate more. I also buy a whole lot less (though my husband may argue this point, on the whole, it's true!)
- Your priorities change. Like 180 degrees. I'm no longer concerned with the things that I once found incredibly important.
- I'm no longer such the germaphob because, well, you kind of have to let that go when you're leaving milk out on the counter to ferment into kefir or making sauerkraut in the basement.
- I'm no longer concerned with my outer appearances. Don't get me wrong, I care about being presentable, bathed, healthy, etc. But I no longer am striving towards this unnecessary, unobtainable standard of beauty that society has pressed as important or as a status of success. I value myself not for how beautiful or "hot" I am, but for my intellect and my creativity. Making things from scratch and being self sufficient is incredibly self-empowering and gives you a confidence in yourself that you didn't have before.
- I'm no longer chasing after the next big item to own or the big fancy house with the big fancy car. I'm happy with what I have, who I'm with, what I'm doing, and I'm happy with where my life is going. In a nutshell, I'm over that material bullshit.
These are just a few things I've realized, I know that there's plenty more but these were the big ones that came to mind. I know sometimes it might not make sense why I bother doing all this extra work when it seems unnecessary, but it's so worth the effort.