Due to living in the country as well as trying to pinch every penny I can in order to save up for horse things, barn things, house things, all things…I have given up several of the luxuries of modern life. Other things I’ve given up due to the fact that they just aren’t feasible here. I’m treating it as an experiment really. One of mind and practicality.
Everyone knows I value entertainment as air. I’m a movie, TV watching fool and I’m always on the hunt for something, anything, to transport me to another dimension, time, world. I read too and reading used to be my go-to but visual entertainment has gotten SO.MUCH.BETTER in the modern era that some time ago I actually did purchase a really nice TV to assist with my “therapy for normal life”. Now, as a result, I have a really nice TV with all these apps that I can’t use.
See, my internet is slow. Painfully slow. And it is one of the better services for rural America. Plus I’m on a 10GB per month limit to save on cost. So, really, not much more than email and some blogging/social media stuff can be done on it. I gave up Hulu. I thought about giving up Netflix but I just couldn’t bring myself to. I watch it on my phone because I have unlimited data on that (grandfathered in because I had the first gen IPhone when limits on data were something no one could ever imagine). Watching Netflix on your phone is not ideal but, it is what I have.
I dropped every extra thing on my satellite TV. I have the basics. In my humble opinion it is still a ridiculous amount to pay to be able to watch The Walking Dead and Vikings but… Hey, I haven’t gone over completely to the anti-tech side yet!
I gave up XM radio. So I’m old school now, which results mostly in me grumbling because regular radio is not so much music but a lot of annoying conversation and commercials. This led me to go back to listening to NPR on the way to work (something I used to do long ago when I had an extended work commute). I always enjoyed it but for whatever reason, even though it was on my XM dial, I never used that button. Probably because my commute was shorter and I just didn’t have time to get into it. So, yah for me I’m actually learning about the world again and am at least a little informed. It has also reopened my option for listening to entire episodes of podcasts at one time. As it stood before I would basically end up chopping them into 20 little segments by virtue of “oh, I’m here I’ll finish this one later” and then by the time I got back to it I couldn’t remember what I’d already heard in detail.
There were other tiny things too. Memberships to internet sites and such. All gone except for one horse site that I use for training. All in all what it amounted to was not a huge savings per month but over the course of a year or more, every little bit helps. And much of it is just no longer practical.
What is also not practical, interestingly enough, is being obsessive/compulsive about dirt. I’m not talking being gross. I have enough of that to deal with from the prior owner’s disgusting lifestyle. But, farm dirt is an animal all in its own universe. You simply cannot have a spotless farm house. LOL. It might be that way for five minutes right after you clean it, but the moment you walk down to the barn and come back, or a cat comes through the door having slept in the hayloft all day, your clean house is toast. Just let it go is what I’ve learned. And, I have a basement now, which is great because it gives me extra storage, a place to put the cat boxes, the washer/dryer are down there… But, basements are dusty and dirty. Back and forth I go several times a day. The dirt comes with me. I also have a mud porch. Yeah, a WHOLE enclosed porch dedicated to not tracking mud INTO the house. But, that is folly really. Barn dirt is like a tick. You don’t even know you have it on you most times.
Last, learning to live within a half-finished house has been a challenge for me. SO.MUCH.STUFF needs done. My neighbors, who operate an organic farm, told me about having to completely gut their house when they moved in and just start over. For three years they lived in a tiny house next to the farm that the husband’s aunt and uncle owned and had used for years as a weekend getaway. They did the kitchen, living room and one bedroom over those three years (because they were also trying to get the business up and running) and only then were they able to move into the house and continue working on it. So, I guess compared to that my three rooms and kitchen area without flooring, my badly needing of painting ceilings and walls, my busted out kitchen wall that I demolished in search of the lingering smell of dog pee and all the other repair work that needs done (too much to list), aren’t so bad?