A Weeks Worth : Beginning the Simple Life

One of the largest motivations in my life right now is creating a simple life. I am not talking Nicole and Paris circa 2003, but then again… maybe I am.
In their show they leave behind all the glamour for the farm. They experience a life of less and without the comforts they are used to. When I think about my simple life, I realize there are bound to be glamorous things I won’t be privileged to. However, there are also glamorous things that I am eager to leave behind.

I am not concerned about having a toilet that doesn’t flush, worms eating my waste in a container under the sofa, or living in 140 square feet.
What I am concerned with is relaxing into the life of the artist, releasing the panic of not having a regular paycheck, and being present in the here and now while appreciating myself for everything I am worth.

Getting ready for summer.

Saturday: I am addicted to HELP WANTED signs. So when I saw one in the small town (pop. 725) next to where I am fixing up my camper I got excited. I thought “This would speed up the process of getting my camper revamped” since what holds me back is living off about $500/month. However, my loved ones stepped in with great resistance and reminded me that my time is worth more than minimum wage. Just having time itself is priceless. I took this time and considered if a $100 extra a week was worth the sacrifice of an open schedule.

Sunday: Last week I picked up some lace and muslin to start working on my summer wardrobe. I pulled it out and started with a basic bra-top. (Simplicity Pattern #1426) This was also an opportunity to put my new White serger I got from Craigslist ($40) to the test. It worked great! However, sewing machine not so much when I realized that its timing was off. I tried to fix it, but I think my ignorance may have hurt it worse. “Fuck Industrialization” I proclaimed and pulled out a needle and thread.

Monday: I was suppose to head in to drop off an application in response to my HELP WANTED sign at the local market, but I woke up wanting to finish my top. I think it was in this moment that I realized that despite not having the money to power through the camper, I do have plenty of projects to plug away at. My time is not about the hourly wage, it’s about the pricelessness of not having to compromise my scheduling. This romantic notion does not quell the need for money, but it does bring me one step closer to appreciating what I do have. Time, a need for simplicity and lots of projects that are closer to being done as a result of the afore mentioned.

needle and thread

Tuesday: I am helping my friend with their art show (among other things) in exchange for living on their land and fixing up my camper. We headed down to Milwaukee to do a walk through of the space. Earlier in the day we hit up 3 rebuilding/salvage stores to see if I could find anything for my camper. To great disappointment I did not find what I was looking for, I did however get one step closer to figuring out what that might be. The art show walk through was lovely and I had the privilege of meeting some amazing Milwaukee artists. I also connected with the director and they may be interested in having me in a Boston show in May. When you keep an open heart and a flexible schedule your possibilities are endless.

Wednesday: Back to deconstruction. I pulled the back window out of Frankie (my camper) and continued on making the space ready for when I do get my next round of funds. I am clearing out wet wood, sealing up the tiniest leak causing a bigger problem and learning so much about my confidence levels. I am also taking this time (which I have because I don’t have a day-to-day job) to brainstorm unique ways to make walls and build storage. My confidence fluctuates the more I pull things apart and don’t put them back together. I think that once I start installing insulation and decide on rebuilding materials my confidence will only rise.

Thursday: Here I am. With all the time in the world it can be hard to stay focused… or even get started. It is so important to me that I do not fall back into the system that I am ever more determined to make simple living work. Writing (blogging) through this helps me reflect a process as I discover it. It helps me organize the chaos of such simplicity, who would have figured. I believe it will eventually allow me to connect to others the same way I was inspired by those who preceded me.

Barn Room office

Luckily for me the depression levels are lowering as the temperature levels are rising above freezing. I can work outside of the small host house and find my own space in the barn room I fixed up last year. These details are what remind me that this big idea of Simple Living is worth it. I have the freedom to be where I need to be and learn along the way.

Look for more posts about Frankie and Simple Living…
and stayed tuned about my visit home to Boston next month…

Also, check out artist Lauren Zens from Milwaukee if you get a chance…

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