|Posted by Angela Diaz on March 29, 2014 at 10:40 PM|
If there's one book that I would recommend anyone read, it would be Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes. This book has put into words everything I think and feel about my lifestyle choice and my desire to pursue homesteading. This book makes one want to quit their job immediately and focus on the important things in life. It brings to light how we are being almost brainwashed by corporations to live a certain lifestyle, buy certain products, work certain jobs, etc.
Radical Homemakers is a book that covers everything from eating locally and/or home-grown fruits and veggies, to the subject of health insurance, living a better life by working less or for less money to pursue happiness, coming together as a community and supporting one another, etc. Hayes gives us so much history on how homesteading was a way of life and everything changed when men started going off to work and then women began following suit. Hayes did tons of research and even toured throughout the country interviewing 20 people who were pursuing this radical homemaking lifestyle to one degree or another. One might be living in an apartment in the city, another might be living on their family farm, another might be a stay at home mother with a working husband, one might work part-time or not at all. These folks come from all kinds of backgrounds, married, single, with kids, without kids, older, younger, etc. There is someone anyone can relate to. I borrowed this book from the library twice and read it front to back twice. I have to return it back on Monday, but I went onto Amazon and purchased a used copy for me to keep. Once I get it, I will read it yet again, but will highlight some of my favorite parts of the book that really spoke to me.
I know some think I'm crazy. I've been called a hippie, I've been called Amish, and I've been told I should have been born a century ago. Reading this book helped me feel like I am not the only one out there that sees that our system is corrupt in all kinds of ways. That living a meaningful, and happy life has nothing to do with having a lot of money. People think I'm lucky that I have a job that pays well and has great benefits, but I can't help but feel like a trapped prisoner. I can't say I really enjoy or am passionate about what I do for a living. It's a job and it pays the bills, but there are so many other things I would rather be doing. Like working on my garden and putting up good, fresh, organic food for my family. I am currently on a plan to pay off my mortgage in three years (or less if possible) and then pay off my student loans the following year. In my eyes, I have five more years of working full-time before I call it quits and pursue my true passions. A lifestyle that enables me to have more time with my family, work a part-time job year-round doing something that I love, or maybe just working full-time during winter months when not much else is going on.
Radical Homemakers shows that it is possible to live your life the way you feel you should live it. That you can raise your children the way they should be raised and with your beliefs. That money is not everything and actually can hinder growth. That we can be producers and not consumers. That we can be good stewards of our environment and resources and help others as well.
Final words: READ THIS BOOK!!!