One of the things that Kyle and I have discovered living out here is our new appreciation for the small things in life. Really, the tiniest things bring us joy. Not that we weren’t happy before, but with the time and effort that everything requires now, we are that much more appreciative of things.
Things like clean laundry make us ridiculously happy. It’s so easy to take for granted when you have a washer and dryer. Just load it up, push a button and walk away. Now it takes time to wash, wring, rinse, wring again, and hang up to dry. And one day of sun and wind will make you ecstatic after 3 days of hanging clothes only to have it start raining the minute everything is up.
We find ourselves laughing more, talking more, and actually saying the words “that makes me happy” and “I appreciate that”. There is more joy and sense of accomplishment in our lives since we moved off grid. Wanting to be happy and live life on our terms is why we came out here in the first place, and knowing we made the right decision makes everything just that much better.
Here are some of the simple things we find ourselves appreciating more:
- Hot showers – Holy cow. Not something you worry about when there are water pipes and electricity at home and you can take a 30 minute shower if you want to. When your shower is limited by the sun for how warm it is, and the size of the bag for how long it is, you really enjoy a hot shower more.
- Neighbors – I’m one of those people who would hide rather than answer a knock at the door when we lived in town. Now Kyle and I are finding we’re much more social. I think it’s easier here because everyone is this far out of town for the same reasons. It also might have something to do with going days without seeing anyone, so when we do meet up we make time to talk, and we’re happy about making the time!
- Food – I have a whole new appreciation for food. Variety gets pretty slim when you dont have a fridge or much space. So when we go to town and get fresh fruit or meat for dinner it’s really a treat. Even a couple raspberries or a cucumber from my garden is such a change in our diets of dehydrated non-perishables that we get really excited over it. Not to mention being invited to dinners with our neighbors, and being gifted food when they go back home.
- Clean Laundry – As explained above, I really did have it rain 3 days in a row right as I finished. Having a sunny, windy day so everything would dry was such a blessing.
- Our Animals – I’ve always loved our dogs, but now that they have jobs I appreciate them so much more. Even though Link killed some of our chickens, I feel much safer having them around on predator patrol.
- Secondhand Goods – I’ve never been the person who needs the latest greatest thing and I always enjoyed thrifting. But knowing I can get a serviceable tool for a lot cheaper secondhand makes a big difference when money is tight.
- Working With Our Hands – I really feel that accomplishing something with your hands is my form of instant gratification. Weather it’s planting, building, washing laundry, cooking or whatever else may need done. Sitting down at the end of the day and being able to say “I did that” really makes life enjoyable for Kyle and I.
- Spending Time Together – Living so far out of town means Kyle and I rely on each other a lot more than when we lived in Washington. Now there’s a lot more conversation and discussion before anything gets done, and we both feel more valued by the other in our relationship. I also get to share more of my pregnancy with him than I would have if he was spending most of the day at work, and that has been wonderful for both of us. We still have disagreements like every relationship, but it’s a lot easier to get over them when you are depending on each other as much as we have to here.
I think we’ve spent the last few months really learning the meaning of stopping to smell the roses. Stepping into a more simple, self sufficient lifestyle has been the best adventure either of us has ever been on, and we hope it continues for a long time to come!