Sunday, April 19, 2009

New beginnings-and coming closer to the end

This is our new fridge!

The new fridge arrived this week. The old fridge has gone to a good home -my son has a friend just starting up a home of their own and they had no fridge, so this is a win-win situation.

Our new fridge has a high number of 'stars' which means energy efficiency for us when compared with the old one. We also get extra freezer space, which we will enjoy because we use it a lot for freezing stock, or left overs to make sure that they are still in good condition when next we decide to use them.
I have planted my raised garden bed with broccoli, red cabbages, cauliflowers and a few mizuna seedlings. It seems a bit early still, because our weather today was fine and around 29degrees C, but surely the autumn and winter will come soon?

My dear husband and I took off this afternoon to our very favourite Swan Valley restaurant and vineyard for lunch. Dear Jan and Bruno! Hostess and vigneron extraordinaire. We sat for hours and enjoyed fine food and wine whilst we dreamed of the next stages in our life journey.

That is what Little River has done for us on so many occasions. Given us the time and beautiful space necessary to really talk and dream together.

Of course, one of our big topics is the fact that I am now only 10 working days away from my long service leave! In my whole working life I have never had long service leave before, and the chances are I never will again. I am so looking forward to time to do all of those things I can't do when working full time.

I didn't always work full time. For the first 15 years of our married life at least, we shared one full time position, so that we could each work half time and devote the other half time to our family and our whole lives. That was a wonderful lifestyle, but it was not bringing in enough money to purchase a home of our own. So we took up other work and with it all the stresses of modern living.

We are now so close to achieving the end of our mortgage, and as our children are almost independent, we are hoping soon to gradually cut back on the hours we both work. Maybe not this year, maybe not next -but soon. We only need to work enough to allow the bills to be paid -we have simple needs and our commitment to a simple lifestyle makes those bills smaller and smaller over time.

What would we do if we did not work full time and our children did not need constant attention?

We talked about our dreams -everything from just being able to sit and read without feeling like we had to be productive all the time, to developing 'mastery' at some particular skill such as woodwork or veggie growing.

I am sure that we would have some kind of voluntary work to benefit the community.

I am sure it would be lovely to be able to choose what that community work was!

Lots of hopeful things were discussed, and hope is one of those things which make us more energetic and optimistic.

I will have some time on Long Service Leave to look carefully at our financial position and to begin to determine what our income level could be reduced to, without too much stress and strain. This will be a good first step on the road back to a balance in our life again.

Until then, gardening and lunch at our favourite restaurant occasionally will keep us going.

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