Off the Grid

 

I’m currently reading a story of a man who stays in a 12×12 house in the woods of North Carolina. The tiny home belongs to a doctor who makes a minimal salary and has no running water or electricity. The storyline moves along steadily and has a way of pulling you in to the magic of living off the grid.

It got me thinking about how someone could make that possible in today’s world. Or rather, how to live in balance.

Living off the grid might not be as difficult as it sounds. Sure there is some adjustments that need to happen. Showers taken with collected rain water that’s been heated by the sun. Red cedar chips added to a composting toilet. Candles for light. I can imaging after a while these things just become second nature to the point where lighting a candle becomes as easy as flipping a switch.

The demand for money would be much less as well. In the story, he explains, anything 12×12 and under isn’t considered a house if it has no running water and electricity which dramatically changes the property taxes to virtually nothing. Having no electricity would mean no electric bill, gardens and local farms would mean expensive trips to the grocery store would be minimal.

We are all pretty much up to date with how things work now [since you are reading this with some form of technology]. I don’t need to tell you the convenience and burden of having all these things available. There is always newer technology to get, bills coming in, work to do, and maintaining vehicles. But good news: indoor plumbing. And having loads of information at your finger tips.

So I wonder if it’s possible to have one foot on each side of the line.

If I wanted to grow my own food, bathe in the sun, light candles, and do things in a very organic way… that would require less money but much more time. The thing about convenience is how fast it enables us to do what we need to and move on to the next thing. [Which doesn’t exactly help us stay in a present and aware mindset, does it?]

And if I wanted the luxury of technology, a vehicle and indoor plumbing, that would require money. Which would also require a job of some sort to accomplish that.

Seems like we have to choose: this world or that.

I find it very interesting how we pay hard earned money to go camping. And usually those campers are decked out with TVs, Playstations, and everything you could ever want. Sometimes it feels like we need to make a lot of money to allow us the ability to go off the grid or have a vacation.

Our best family vacations were when there was no TV and we slept in a tent. We played cards, went hiking, bike riding, and just spent time together. We were present in the moment because there was nothing to distract us. There was nothing and no reason to numb out. One year we camped out in a tent for ten days – dogs and babies included – and I remember not wanting to go home. I loved cooking my food outdoors and letting the kids wander to explore their surroundings.

And I remember thinking, why can’t we do this all the time?

 

4 thoughts on “Off the Grid

  1. Jo Ann

    This is great food for thought – could we take one toe off the grid each day to see how it feels? Maybe walk to get that milk at the store….a nite of unplugging (ok, maybe an hour!). Eat by candlelight, take a walk with a friend instead of texting or emailing, prepare an entire meal without opening a box or a can. I find the more “conveniences” in my life – the more hectic it becomes – slow down, make it simple and stay present. Thank you for encouraging me to look at today differently.

    • amber

      Excellent thoughts! It’s very difficult to unplug sometimes. I even find that it sometimes requires a change in location so your brain recognizes downtime quicker. It would be awesome to have a space or room where no technology was allowed. That’s why I go to yoga. 😉

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