So many times we see blogs and inspirational stories about living on the grid. In my personal experience, this tends to become fantasized in my mind, and I soon start to obsess over it, as if something is not right with my life unless I go off the grid.
So, what is the big deal, anyway? Living off the grid basically means being self-sufficient. What would be so cool about living off the grid is the absence of bills! There would be no more annoying advertisements and irritating technology that seems to make up its mind in a fashion that is not so conductive to productivity and efficiency. After all, we shop online, socialize online, and even do our work and studies online to streamline our work in a more efficient manner. This leaves more time to do more work and have more “play time”.
So. If you are like me, you can’t just stop driving cars. Maybe you have a forty-mile commute, or maybe you can’t physically walk or bike to all the places you need to go. Maybe you, like me, can’t even grow a garden, let alone raise our own meat. Perhaps you depend on modern conveniences just to keep your work schedule in tact, and to make sure you will have enough money after you retire. Maybe you are just getting back on your feet after a rough blow in life….
So, how can we live ON THE GRID? How can we let go of the meaningless, petty things that only add stress and possibly brain damage, without destroying our friendships? The first step is to include nature with your daily routine. We can get a glimpse of living off the grid by simply walking by the riverside, hiking a mountain, or swimming in the lake rather than going to the sterilized gym. Another thing we could do, is taking off the unnecessary apps from our phone. Is it absolutely necessary to know what all your friends are saying on Facebook and Twitter immediately after they post it? Start with taking off the notifications. If you like the difference, you can take the app off your phone, too! After all, you can always look online if you need to check with something, or want to browse while waiting in line at the grocery store.
Your close friends will start to text or even call, because that’s the best way to get a hold of you. You will actually have more time to get your “other” stuff done, which then leads to more “play” time. Invite the gang out for some cocktails! Host a dinner party! Maybe even have a barbecue at your favorite park! Either way, you will be integrating the core principles of “living off the grid” into your daily life.
You may find, as I did, that many of your bills will, in fact, go down. It’s about the mentality which is the opposite of consumerism. Rather than needing a five star restaurant, you’ll find that cheaper places are just as satisfactory. On that note, you’ll find that you have more time and interest in cooking at home. In fact, the only reason I eat out is for a date. I find that I can cook just as good, if not better, in my own home than what I usually order at the restaurants! I also have more time to get done that which is really important. Taking the time to make tea for my sick dad, having family movie night (dining in with multiple snacks and maybe one or two rented movies), going to the park, and even working more to have an emergency cushion in our bank account.
It is possible to enrich our life while living on the grid. It is not necessary to pay the highest price for your phones, clothes, and other frivolous things such as entertainment. All these things will be gone by the end of the year, give or take, anyways. Invest in that which lasts-love, friendships, family, and your own health. Spending more time outside means you get sick less. Eating homemade meals (I’m not talking about frozen pizza and frozen juice) means taking less vitamins and more vibrant health. It also means a higher consciousness of what kind of ingredients are in what kind of foods. You’ll find you’re more interested in that steak than the burger. It will also give you more of a chance to eat with your loved ones, rather than on the go. This is better for your digestion and altogether health in general.
So, here’s to living on the grid. Here’s to taking our health and our life in our hands. Here’s to balancing American society, and de-cluttering our life. Here’s to a new way, to an end to the endless chases of fashionable health swings that society and Hollywood bring us on, on a daily basis. Here’s to knowing for ourselves what is right for us, and doing it. Here’s to peace of mind and better sleep. Here’s to a brighter awareness of what nature is left. Here’s to saving money and losing that obsession with always having the newest and best of everything. Here’s to being okay with just being me.