Friday, July 2, 2010

Consumption vs. making your own

Specialization of work makes us more efficient and productive, and yet, it can be taken too far if we pay for someone to do every personal chore.  There seem to be certain cultural attitudes, and certain ideas which I've internalized, about what is okay to buy and what I should do for myself.

I have no expectation that I should spin my own yarn, weave my own fabric, sew my own clothes, wash my clothes by hand, grow all my own food, make my own flour, bake my own bread, make my own dishes and silverware, or build my own house.  However, I feel that people should not hire housekeepers or cooks (although exceptions may be made in the case of disability).   I feel that I should cook my own meals.  It doesn't have to be fancy -- it can be frozen vegetables, canned beans, and rice.   I feel I should avoid eating prepared foods such as frozen dinners or something from a restaurant on a regular basis, although prepared foods are okay when sick or unusually busy, and a restaurant is okay when going out with people for a special occasion.  I don't have kids so I don't have to decide about that, but it seems that people who put kids in day care are frowned upon, while it is expected that kids will be put in school.

These rules in my head are arbitrary and arise from my cultural circumstance.  I can choose to make new goals for myself.  I don't yet know what those would be.  In a way, I want a life that is based more on making things than on consumerism.  But on the other hand, I don't like cooking.  I often eat prepared foods or buy food at coffee shops, but then I feel guilty about it.  So I want to relax my rules so I don't have to feel guilty about not cooking.

Maybe I can find a way that suits me.  Maybe I can relax the rules about cooking while putting more time into making things that I actually like making.

Do I like making anything? It seems I mostly like reading, writing, music, and movement, rather than working with physical objects.

Figuring all this out will be part of my druid journey.

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