Monday, October 5, 2009

Favorite Posts: Manifesto to Domesticity

I specifically remember the week I wrote this post. It was last fall, and I was in the middle of my "Back to Basics" challenge, which was essentially a practice of intentional home management. I was admittedly feeling a little sheepish about spending so much time writing on something that was frankly quite plain. And entirely unglamorous.

But then something happened. A lightbulb went off and I realized that good stewardship wasn't plain or trite at all. So I penned this manifesto and it laid the ground for many, many posts to follow.

After writing yesterday's post, I got to thinking more about the whole "being a good steward of my resources" thing. I think that most of us recognize that we're pretty lucky when it comes to resources (I'm assuming that if you're reading this on a computer--and have the time to read blogs for leisure--that you live a reasonably affluent life). The very fact that I own my own home with clean water and a refrigerator to keep my food fresh sets me apart from a lot of people in the world.

Additionally, I think that most of us will acknowledge on some level that we aren't as mindful as we could be with the stuff we have. I know I waste a lot. And I feel uncomfortable with that.

Truthfully I think it is this discomfort that leads me to pursue better "domestic fitness" in my life. After all, before domesticity was negatively associated with the suburban housewife, household chores used to be all about resourcefulness. Women would get up early and tend to the home all day in an effort to maximize their resources. They canned their produce to extend its life through the winter. They cleaned their homes to keep out diseases that might threaten their livelihood and cost them money. They planned their meals WAY in advance (take that! husband), ordering supplies in bulk and rationing them through the seasons. Their domestic activities were directly related to their stewardship.

We, of course, live in different times. But sometimes I worry that I've gotten too far away from those practices. The truth is that when I am too busy to take care of the basics--cleaning, preparing food, budgeting--I waste more. Quite a lot more, in fact. I can't, in good conscience, ignore that and continue in my ways.
So call it a "manifesto to domesticity" if you will, but I think this little "back to the basics" experiment of mine might actually have more depth than I originally thought.

Original published on 11.Sept.2008. Click here to view original post.

Other related posts:
the Trifecta of Domesticity
My Domestic Renaissance
Domestic Deep Thoughts

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