Wednesday, 16 October 2013

An observation

I have noticed more and more lately that my "internet" community and my "actual" community are worlds apart.  Among most of my family and friends, I am the odd duck.  Among my "internet" community, I fit right in.  Here's what I mean:
My kids have chores.  They are expected to help in the kitchen.  They use knives, the oven, and the stove top. They peel, chop, stir, measure.  They cook.  One more so than the other, but they both do.  They have for years.  They are expected to do laundry...even folding.  They help in the garden.  Not all the time, but when there is work to be done, they get recruited.  They eat real food.  Food that grows in the dirt.  Food that is made from scratch (not all, but what we have time for).  Usually with whole wheat, sometimes quinoa, or millet.  All of this, to most people I know "in real life", is completely appalling.  Bordering on cruelty. (???) Their kids don't do chores.  Ever.  They have a thousand activities scheduled.  They eat out multiple times every week.  The rest of the food comes from a box because there is no time to cook with all those activities.  They firmly believe whole grains are for hippies, or kids with food allergies - poor things.  They have never been in a garden, a thrift store, done a thing in the kitchen.  They don't even clean their own rooms.  They have every new gadget on the planet.  These are the kids that my children interact with every day at school.  The kids that they are around during their "formative years".  The kids that impact the way they view themselves as people.  The kids that can be downright nasty.  It's hard for the kids to be the odd ones out all the time, but we can't just change our way of life...our very sense of self, just to fit in.  Thankfully, they each have a couple of friends who are more open minded.  Friendships we try hard to "take care of" since they are hard to come by.

As for me, even though I live in the city - I garden, I cook, I can/preserve, I make things.  Things that take way more effort than a trip to the dollar store or box store.  I wear clothes that will last - not the latest trends.  I try to avoid plastic.  I will go without - just because of the excess packaging.  Around here: I'm different, odd, unusual, strange, eclectic.  Most of the moms at school think I am downright weird. 

Random picture from the weekend...totally unrelated, but isn't it adorable?
In my "internet" community, I feel like I fit right in.  So many of my "internet friends" as I call them, live the same way I do.  Probably because those are the people I seek out.  The blogs I read, and the people who read my blog...because we have common interests.  The people I learn from, since I don't know people with those skills in my "everyday, real world life".  I see the pictures of their kids cooking, helping out, doing chores, chopping wood.  It seems normal to me.

 And another, because it's pretty.

Obviously, there are people out there who live they way I do - my "internet friends".  Are we so few and far between that the only way we meet is over the internet?  Is it because I live in the city instead of the country?  Is it just a sign of the times (how depressing is that thought)?  Do some of you experience the same thing, or do you have friends and family that live the way you do? I'm just curious.

So a big thank you, to all my "internet friends" for being you.  Just exactly you.


  1. I feel exatly the same way. Most people I meet face-to-face locally think I'm especially crazy. My tribe is definitely electronic and scattered across the world.

  2. Exactly!! spot on!! that's pretty much how things are for me too! I'm not sure it's a city v country thing, we live in the county in a small village but for the most part the people I share my common interests and values with seem to be on the internet.
    I think people are just to busy with work outside the home (hope I'm not sounding old fashioned and politically un-correct here) these days that they have very few hours at home to engage in the 'homemade' life style.
    Take care my 'internet friend', have a good week.
    p.s. my kids most definitely do chores, always have and alway will in this family.

  3. I know what you mean... I grew up feeling weird, and in my family I am definitely more on the odd side. But I'm not alone in the lifestyle. I have a cousin who's life is way more sustainable than mine. But at the same time we both have siblings with gardens or frequent Farmer's Markets, try to minimize waste or live purposefully in other ways. For those who are not a path like us, some are supportive of the choices we've made and others think we are down-right crazy... sometimes using other words. :-/

    It's really frustrating when the people who are supposed to support you don't.

    I think it's right that your kids do chores and know where and how things come from. This will make them much better adults... both easier to live with for their chosen mates and better at making decisions... both strategically and tactical.

    I feel lucky that I have a small group of IRL friends with similar ideals. But I think you are right, my online community has been cultivated based on similar interests. It's very important to me.

    I learn so much from your blog. :-)

    Just read this article, thought you might enjoy it.

  5. As a real-life friend, and an internet "stalker", I love you for whom you are. Unconditionally. Whether you order pizza, or pick peaches. Shop at a thrift-shop or hit the magnificent mile. I often admire your capabilities, passion, drive and creativity. I know you and I are perceived at opposites, but I wouldnt change our friendship for anything!
    Both your boys are a delight. And that my dear, is all you need to worry about. Let the outsiders judge, the insiders are the ones whom matter!