How It All Got Started

Here’s the introductory post with which I started this blog back in 2011, which was updated once in 2012 but hasn’t been touched since then. To read a version of “What It’s All About” for 2015, click here.

What It’s All About (2011-12)

I’m Rachel. I’m thirty-one two years old. I’m married with three children. I work full time. My life is crazy.

In my heart, I know my frantic, frazzled, twenty-first century lifestyle is unhealthy, unsustainable, and deeply unsatisfying.

But I can’t seem to stop living it.

I long for the old things: a real and pervasive faith, a connection to the natural world, close community and family ties, a simple, virtuous lifestyle.

But I can’t seem to make myself go after them.

Instead of spending my time in prayer, out of doors, enjoying other people, or engaging in simple, healthful pursuits like cooking real food or reading a book, I. . .

  • eat leftover pizza for breakfast and Cheetos for lunch
  • sit behind the wheel of my car at least 45 minutes a day
  • spend all day at work welded to my chair, staring at a screen and missing my kids
  • drink too much caffeine to pep me up in the daytime and too much alcohol to calm me down at night
  • rarely go outside or exercise, although I still profess to love both the great outdoors and physical activity (and I really think I must have, once upon a time)
  • use all or most of my very limited spare time to play (often alone) on Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, Netflix, iGoogle, Craigslist, and an assortment of real estate websites.

This is me. This is NOT how I normally spend my free time.

I love my husband. I love my kids. I love my job. I love my parents and siblings. I love my friends and neighbors. I love my community. I (generally) love my home. (See the note about real estate websites above.) I even love my in-laws. I love all these things — and not in an “I have to love them. I’m a Christian. I love everyone. It’s my God-given duty.” kind of way, either. All the things and people in my life are awesome. I love them.

So why do I so often feel like I hate my life?

I don’t know for sure, but I do have my suspicions.

suspect that my super-wired, turbo-charged, fast-paced, self-indulgent, convenience lifestyle may be at least partly to blame for my pervasive sense of malaise. Call it a hunch.

And I’ve feel like I’ve got to at least try to do something to move away from that lifestyle before I’m at last hopelessly addicted to its stimulants, anesthetized by its excesses.

This blog, then, is intended to function as a kind of full-on personal lifestyle intervention.

Here’s how it works. Each week, I introduce the “adventure in timeless living” that I or my family will be trying out sometime during the next week. Some adventures will take minutes to complete; others may take the full week (or more) to finish. Some will be easy; others will require deep sacrifice. The week following, I reflect on our experience over the past week and introduce the next adventure. That’s it. Simple.

Somehow I suspect, though, that this will be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Self-discipline doesn’t come easily to me anymore. Neither does adventure. Or drive. Or courage. Or focus. I sometimes joke with my husband that the Internet is eating my brain. I sometimes worry that it’s not a joke.

Come along with me, then. Keep me accountable. Badger me if I’m late getting a post up. Even better, try some of the adventures along with me and share your own experiences in the comment threads.

Let’s see if, together, we can’t perhaps recapture a bit of the timeless goodness and satisfaction of Life, Old Fashioned.

Helpful note: to see a complete list of all my old fashioned adventures, past and present, click here.

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