Some people may not know what off-the-grid or off-grid means, so here it is --- The term off-the-grid or off-grid refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

Off-grid living is no longer a one room log cabin in the woods. It's energy independency. You don't have to rely on utility companies, you create your own power. Today, there are more than 180,000 off-grid homes in the US.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Time to Get Creative...

35 degrees oustide - 10:27 am - high wind gusts of 66 mph, on and off rain/snow mix...

We have been living off-grid for almost nine and a half months now.  It has definitely been an adventure with its ups and downs; thankfully there have been a lot more ups than downs.  February is a tough month.  It is around this time every year that I am done with winter.  Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot that I truly love about the snowy season like watching the snow fall while nice and cozy inside, snowmen and snowballs, playing with the kids, walks in the woods and the list goes on.

But with every up there is a down, and the list is growing…rationing firewood, bitter cold with a biting wind, treacherous driving, 14 hours of darkness and so on.

While I often start getting some pretty serious cabin fever by now, this year I am trying my hand at enjoying the downtime and doing creative activities that I might not otherwise have time to do.  It does feel like a guilty pleasure, like there are always more “important” things that I “should” be doing, but I also have come to acknowledge that I need that creativity in my life.

I am a very “goal” fixated person, always busying myself with the outcome.  You know Ralph Waldo Emerson’s saying, “Life is a journey, not the destination”?  Well, my tendency is to focus on the destination, often before I even start the journey.

During my downtime I have been able to read a couple dozen books, complete and publish my first genealogy and history book (genealogy is my other obsession), and started a few sewing projects with my 5-year-old daughter.  When I nurture my creative spirit, make time and space to create something, I am able to tap into such an immense sense of peace and satisfaction.  The usual nagging voice is still there…is this “worthwhile” or “should” I be doing something else.  But I am learning to ignore that voice.  And besides, creating is all about the journey.

People need to allow themselves the room to play and open up to all the many benefits of a creative live whether it manifests in writing or reading, baking or gardening, sewing or painting or whatever… how do you, or might you, nourish your creative soul?

“There are no days in life so memorable as those which vibrated to some stroke of the imagination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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