“How many times in life have we had a conviction that we wanted or needed something? We saw it or heard about it, and immediately decided we would have it, possess it, or do it. No research. No questions. We just go out and accomplish it.
And when we have it, we find out it is either more trouble than its worth, takes more care and attention than we have to give it, or it just doesn’t fit our lifestyle. Or it was advertised as something completely different than what it really is.”
We may see a photo of a Puggle and think it’s so cute and cuddly. However, the reality of raising a Platypus isn’t. The same thing applies when we think we want something in our own Simple Life.
One thing living a Simple Life means is that you are always learning and growing – through observation, research, and trying it yourself. You learn to be resilient and can adapt, change, and be flexible. You also aren’t afraid of scrapping your initial ideas and moving on to something different.
If you want to make progress in life, you need to be willing to both learn and grow. Listen in as the conversation on the porch is focused o how you can learn and grow. In the process, you will also find ways to fit your own ‘Puggles’ into your own Simple Life.Support the show
I think I want a Puggle. A puggle is a baby platypus and is one of the most adorable things around. Or, at least, the photo I saw of one is. This photo depicted a beak that appeared to be smiling; soft dark brown fur with yellow fur outlining the sweetest brown eyes and covering its belly. However, when I investigated it further, that photo was deceiving.
Instead, a baby platypus – which really is called a Puggle – is all gray, with almost a mean look on its face. It may eventually look like the photo I saw, but it might not, either. And with my luck, if I ever did get one, I’d end up with a male. A male platypus is one of six venomous mammals on earth, with a stinger on its hind legs.
I’ve changed my mind. I really don’t want a Puggle. And luckily for me, I did my research first.
How many times in life have we had a conviction that we wanted or needed something? We saw it or heard about it, and immediately decided we would have it, possess it, or do it. No research. No questions. We just go out and accomplish it.
And when we have it, we find out it is either more trouble than its worth, takes more care and attention than we have to give it, or it just doesn’t fit our lifestyle. Or it was advertised as something completely different than what it really is.
When you embark on a Simple Life, you may read all the posts, listen to podcasts, or hear or see someone else enjoying their life to the fullest. You discover you want what they have. And that can be a good thing. A Simple Life truly is a great way to live. You start to slow down, focus on priorities, and learn how to become the person you were meant to be.
But the problem comes in when you try to be the person someone else is becoming. Eventually, you will find their life isn’t as great as it seems. The reason you discover that is because YOU aren’t THAT person. He or she is that person. You are someone else.
To truly determine who you are takes time. It begins with sitting down and making a list of what you truly love in life. Where the friend you want to emulate may love knitting, and creates the most gorgeous sweaters, you may be fumble fingered and hate the process. Instead, you may be a whiz at baking and decorating cakes or have a thumb so green it can make carrots grow in a boulder.
One thing living a Simple Life means is that you are always learning and growing. You may initially have your priorities and goals in place, but you are also resilient and can adapt, change, and be flexible. You also aren’t afraid of scrapping your initial ideas and moving on to something different.
If you want to make progress in your Simple Life, you need to be willing to both learn and grow.
According to the Dictionary, to learn means the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.
It is through this learning process that we figure out what we want to add to our Simple Life, and what we don’t feel is needed, necessary, or of interest.
As a creative person, I have a craft room overflowing with things I just knew I would love to do. If it’s a weaving loom, I either have it or it’s on my list of things I want. I have books, supplies, equipment, and more weaving yarn than a knitter has stash.
I also have a whole shelf of quilting books, patterns, templates, hoops, and other supplies. Most of these I inherited from Aunt Emily, who was a quilting purist and quilted by hand. However, even though she taught me how to quilt, and I have tried it on several occasions, I just don’t enjoy doing it.
In some cases, such as the hoops and templates, I have adapted to use with other crafts. As for the books, someone, at some point, will be given a whole boxload.
But I did do the research, took a few lessons, and tried it on my own before I gave it up completely. It was part of my learning process. In fact, it was originally on my list of Things To Learn, and part of my dreaming lesson. I have often thought how wonderful it would be to quilt. What wonderful gifts I could make! And I love the artistic design of quilting. But actually doing it? Not so much.
There is also the process of learning something you never thought you would be interested in. When someone suggests it, you shrug it off. However, some of the things I have enjoyed the most are things I never believed I would be caught doing – much less add to my list of passions.
For me, that would come within the realm of decluttering. I think I am a packrat by nature and have real difficulty getting rid of things. All too often, I dispose of something I haven’t used for years, only to find later that it would have come in handy.
Now, if it hasn’t been used in six months to a year it goes in a donation box or the trash can. I find that I like being able to find something when I need it and seeing a well-organized home. That can’t be done if I have too much stuff. I actually look forward to finding something to get rid of before I bring home something else. Which means those quilting books have to go.
And then there are those things you really don’t enjoy but have no choice but to learn. I confess. Shopping just isn’t my thing. If I had to choose the Worst Chore, shopping would be it. But I have learned how to make lists, organize them according to the layout of the store, attach coupons, and dodge other shoppers in order to get in and get out as fast as I can. It took practice, but now I can do two months of shopping in less than an hour. And most of that time is standing in the checkout lane.
The Dictionary also gives us a definition of ‘grow’ or ‘growing’ – it is when a living thing undergoes natural development by increasing in size and changing physically, or becoming greater over a period of time; increasing.
I like that ‘becoming greater’ part. Each time you learn something new, you begin to grow, and it helps you to become greater at what you are doing. It means you are stretching your wings and really learning to fly.
You can also look at it this way. If one of the things you learn is that your idea just doesn’t work for you, that is still a part of the growing process.
However, if what you are learning is something you discover you love to do, then you begin to stretch and grow in ways you never thought possible.
There are also a few benefits to growth. Personal development can make you happier, healthier, reduce stress, and help you learn better self-control. You may also find it strengthens your peace of mind and helps you to be better in other areas of your life.
Growing can occur in at least two different ways. First, learning is a great way to begin the growth spurt. But improving what you have already learned is also a fun way of stretching your wings.
I started learning to weave years ago as a child. My dad made me a beading loom, and I was given a potholder loom as a gift. I played around with both of those and enjoyed it. But then I became a teenager, and those looms were set aside for boys, friends, and fun.
It wasn’t until we had moved to the farm that my enjoyment of weaving cropped up again. I was wanting to learn more about the old ways of doing things, farming in particular – so my Mom and I took a day trip down to Melrose Plantation. While there, the tour took us into the Weaving House – a small log building separate from the main house.
In this cabin was the biggest loom and spinning wheel I have ever seen. My heart leapt, and I fell madly in love. At first, I wondered if it was one of those Puggle moments. So I did my research. And eventually I managed to obtain a four-shaft loom.
Since that time, I have acquired other looms – from a triangle loom that takes up the better part of one wall, to tiny pin looms no bigger than the palm of my hand. And instead of a plastic potholder loom, I now have a ‘grown up’ version, and have learned to move from stretchy loops to creating squares, rectangles, and triangles on it with yarn.
Each time I sit down with a new loom, I know I am in the process of learning and growing. And with each growth spurt, I am able to do more. But I couldn’t just stop with the looms.
Recently, I decided to spread my wings even wider, and learn how to spin my own yarns. I’m still a beginner at it, but eventually I will move from ‘art yarn’ (a polite way of saying I still have a lot of practice ahead of me) to beautiful fiber I can create other woven, knitted, and crocheted items with.
Weaving and spinning may not be your thing. But I can almost guarantee that you have something sitting in the back of your mind that you are at least curious about or interested in learning how to do. Or, there is something you are already active in, but want to learn more about. That’s just human nature.
Growing is what helps shape us as a person. It prevents us from becoming stagnant. It tells the world we are actively engaged in life and are constantly moving forward. It shows a willingness to accept a challenge and find ways to overcome it. And a person who is growing, learning, and challenged is a beautiful sight to see.
I’ve given up my desire to have a Puggle. Instead, I’ll leave that to Nature and the experts. I have enough on my list of things to learn without adding how to care for Puggles to the list.
And I think I will just keep learning and growing and enjoying the process. I kinda like living a Simple Life, and the fact that it is adaptable to learning and growing into an even better version of the person I was meant to be.
What about you? Are you in the learning and growing stage? If not, maybe you should start thinking about Puggles. Not that you need to go out and get one. But just thinking about them might just lead you to a new learning and growing process.
If you want to learn more about the topic at hand, or get a transcript for this episode, just visit my website at www.thefarmwife.com/podcast. That is the Resource page for this podcast and I have it set up by episodes to make things easier to find. To help you out, this is Episode 22.
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Thanks again for stopping in. I will see you next week on Living a Simple Life with a Back Porch View. And while you are waiting on the next episode, grab that glass of refreshment, pull up a rocker, and sit back for a while. It’s time to relax and enjoy.