Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 18 in the woods: Finding "purpose"

I'm figuring out why our current situation, living in a tent in the woods, is so suited for all of us.  It's because living like this is forcing us to have a purpose. 

Steve and I have been talking quite a bit about whether our previous, standard-issue living situation is too easy, which is why humans might create stress.  I don't mean that it's relaxing or not without problems, but there's very, very little physical labor in my regular life.

In the woods, I'm literally hauling firewood.  Carrying water back and forth.  Actually hovered over the campfire making the food, instead of flipping on a switch and setting the timer.

It feels really gratifying to have such a role in my basic needs, more than I expected.

And I see this sooooo much in the children!  Andrew gets to be the primal-warrior of the campsite.  The joy and purpose he gets from chasing animals off our space is really fascinating to watch.  He knows he has purpose in our family.  He serves an important value. 

So much of the time before, tasks around the house he couldn't really complete.  I'd give him a portion that made sense for him - like pulling his clothes out of the pile of clean clothes - but I think he instinctively knew it wasn't really that important.  Not like this. 

I have never seen this child so content.  So at peace. 

I really believe that *my* best life, and our family's best life,  revolves around novelty.  Not stability or even logic.  But sheer novelty.  Do I want to live in the woods forever?  Nope.  At some point, I'll have learned the lessons I needed to learn from my tent-existence, and it will be time to move on. Next might be a sailboat or a treehouse.  ;) Or a high-rise hotel overlooking the ocean, who knows. 

I've written before about how Steve and I decided that if our family structure had stability, maybe our geography didn't need to have it.  That maybe we could give our children a solid-core and sense of self, even if they did have 50 addresses by the time they graduate.  We'll see if that's true in the end, but right now...it's working.  For now, this is our family at its maximum utility. 

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