Friday, March 15, 2013

A Glimpse at the Past and Why I Am Writing This Blog

I have recently taken a break off of this blog. I went through such a drastic health difficulty, it became increasingly difficult to work. Financial concerns began to overwhelm. I was spending every hour striving to make a living, while leaving this blog on the back burner. But something odd happened. Everything fell apart. I would find a job that paid well, and be too ill to work it. Nothing would work for me. I was in a state of constant stress about income. I thought I had no choice, but to abandon the blog. Every hour of my day was spent in my efforts to acquire an income. My home was falling apart around me as I did. There is such a sense of helplessness when you're in a place of impossibility. It is a struggle that any of us could face. But I do believe that nothing is impossible. And, I continue to believe that looking into the past is the solution to so much of what we're going through today. I believe it is giving up this blog that has caused my stress. I decided to take a job that seemed to pay less this week, but it allows the time in the home. I decided to quit trying to earn quite as much, and allow myself the time to return to the homemaking I had grown to love.

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There is such a joy in making a home. I can't describe the wonder and beauty of it. We feel empowered working at a stressful retail job, but find a home and the love of tidying and making it serene too much? There is something that doesn't make sense in that to me. 

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I have not found homemaking to be overly stressful. In fact, it has often became a place of refuge. There is such a joy in it, when you begin to take pride in it. Working in retail or even in corporate jobs is not near as enjoyable as working in the joy of your own home. 

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There was a time when women arose and took the time to slip on something lovely, doll up and then care for their homes. They would have company or visit company. They would shop for the home, plan out meals and they had a life that was dainty and pleasing. 

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I do believe that when we trace back our decline, it all stems back to what we gave up. There was a sense of responsibility, a prudent approach to money, a knowledge of nutrition, a sense of community, a belief in the value of a family unit, a mutual respect between men and women, and more. Their lives were better, because they were wiser about how they lived them. They planned out their family needs. They were wise with what they owned. They purchased wisely. They set goals, and the cared for what they had. 
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I do believe that if we return to some of the values we once held,  we will see women not less respected, but far more respected. We won't be frantically racing this way and that with no idea of what we spent, and last minute unhealthy decisions on what we eat.

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 We can return to that serenity. That sense of purpose. That joy of making a lovely home for our families. 

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The women of the 50s were not seductive maids. They were elegant women. They were well learned in charm and money management. They knew how to prepare meals from scratch and care for the home in the most economic way possible. They believed in presenting their best selves and would groom nicely as a way of caring for themselves as well of their homes. They were not servants to men. They were wise women who knew how to manage what they had. The men and women shared the responsibility of making a lovely home. The family was a joint venture that both worked wisely towards. Each respected the role the other played and raising a family and caring for their home was a privilege they treasured. 

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I have learned so much in my studies, and the more I learn, the more I cherish them. I want to share what I have learned. I'm going to republish my blogs with a new approach. I want to focus less on wealth and image. 

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I do believe that the thing that would make our world run the most wisely, is us 'not' overspending, or using more than we need. We can all live on much less than our modern society may imply. Look at the movie 'It's A Wonderful Life.' Most homes built were small and they cherished them. They decorated them wisely and cherished and cared for them. 

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I was in a bathroom in a tire sales shop the other day and I was taken by how nice it was. Yet, it was a simple bathroom. There was nothing about it that was overtly fancy. It was clean. It was honesty spotless. The walls were painted perfectly white and there were two very small inexpensive pictures hung on the wall. All it took was cleanliness and painting. 

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A tidy well painted, well cared for home is all it takes to be quaint. Create order. Keep it tidy. Keep the paint fresh. Take pride in what you have. In the past, women would save for nice clothes, save for furnishings, wisely budget for emergencies and medial needs. They were wise with groceries and planned to avoid waste.They kept their homes clean, because it was healthy to do so. It creates an environment that is mentally and physically healthier for you and your family. 

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It is wiser to spend less and spend wisely. Use what you need. Don't buy it if you won't use it. Don't purchase more groceries than you will eat. Plan for decorating and any home maintenance. Avoid waste. The less you have, the easier it is to care for what you do have. Wisely purchase, wisely consume. Our economy may one day crash. We are like a family over using credit cards. Eventually the end will come. We will over spend and lose it all. 

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But 'if' we become wise. If we learn to use what is wise. If we learn to spend wisely on what we have saved for and use credit cautiously, only borrowing what we can repay, we can undo the damage. There will be less with too much, and less with too little. If we restore the family unit, if we once again take pride in being women, and the skills we have in managing a home, if we learn the charm and elegance of old. We can restore so much. 

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I have embraced my challenges. With each new challenge, I have learned so much. The one thing that is clear through it all, is how important what I was teaching truly is. How did it begin? Honestly, it began when I knew nothing. I had no idea how to cook, manage my funds, clean. I knew nothing about nutrition, doing laundry, planning for the future, planning for vacations, budgeting, having enough for medical needs and more. I didn't know how to be independent, how to run a home. I began to study and mentioned my frustration, as I couldn't find anything on managing a home online. a friend said to me, "Well put it out there then." I thought, "How can I? I know nothing." But the truth is that, yes, it's not out there and it needs to be. I set out on a venture to learn all I could and share what I learned. I wanted to know what my grandmother knew. I cleaned her home for a time and was fascinated with her recipe cards, cleaning supplies, tidy shelves, and more. I looked up everything I could find on the past, home economics, charm school and more. I began to apply it to my life. 

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It was oddly, simplest to apply what I had learned when I had the least. I was able to nicely decorate, prepare lovely meals and truly enjoy everything I was learning. It was such a haven. I can't even begin to tell you how heavenly it was. There was such beauty in living like the past, such a joy in making meals that tasted heavenly. Such excitement when I looked at my freshly cleaned rooms. 

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In the last few years, I have faced many struggles. Financially and physically, things became such a struggle. I returned to working so many hours and not having time for home. I started eating meals that were pre-made. I gained weight, I lost time for grooming. I was working from the early morning until late at night and struggling to make a meal afterwards. I was exhausted and stressed. I no longer felt like a woman at all, and I made myself ill.  

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 I am finally returning to everything I adore. I have begun to restore my home, cook fresh meals, and delight in making a home. I am still an amateur in so many respects, but I have learned so much in the last 10 years. So much that we all need to learn. I'm going to republish these blog posts with my new insights. I will share my planning and what I do throughout the week with you. I will share with you what I've learned about homemaking and making a home. I truly hope it blesses your home, as much as it's blessed mine. 


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