Ever Get Tired of Natural Living?
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Ever Get Tired of Natural Living?

tired natural living woman

Do you ever get tired of it all?

Have you read an article on nutrition or being green, and found that your eyes began to glaze over as you thought, blah, blah, blah? Does the garbage sometimes seem like a more convenient option than the compost? Do you just want to break down and buy toothpaste that doesn’t cost $5 a tube?

Sometimes I do.

And I’d venture to guess that I’m not the only one.

Today at Simple Organic I’m exploring what I call “natural living fatigue”. I talk about some of the reasons that we become weary of living a healthier lifestyle and what we can do to prevent that feeling of burn out.

What about you? Do you ever get tired of natural living? Why do you think it happens and what do you do about it?

Image by santian

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34 Comments

  1. YES!

    It feels like the “right” or natural way to do things is always harder. When I’m feeling overwhelmed it is easy to think that I am just making things harder on myself. I try to cut myself some slack and not feel guilty when I can’t live up to my own standards. I hope that in the long run things will even out, kwim?

    1. @MamaK, Oh, I think we put more pressure on ourselves than anyone else does. You’re so right that sometimes we need to cut ourselves some slack. Some of the more natural ways of doing things ARE harder at first (until they become really second-nature and part of our regular routines) and it’s tough to make big changes all at once. Over time, much of it becomes easier. I really do think that, but we still need to be able to release ourselves from the guilt, because it can still pop up once in a while.

      1. @Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home, I hear you. Just for example, washing three extra loads of cloth diapers plus one extra load of cloth napkins per week has become routine after 5 years. Worth it? I think so. Convenient? Not really!
        I just have to remind myself “don’t grow weary of doing good.”

  2. Yes, Yes, Yes!
    Like MamaK said, the natural way is the harder way, BUT it is the most rewarding! I think convenience foods came about from this very “problem”.
    Keep your head up Steph! Just like mothering, your hardwork and dedication will be a blessing in the long run.
    Cyber hugs,
    Sarah

  3. Yes! we’ve become so used to a busy schedule that only allows time for conveniences that the “imposition” of having to take the extra time to prepare traditional foods, or make your own soap or laundry powder or run to the worm bin sometimes feels like such a burden that we wonder if it’s worth bearing. Of course all the choices are worth it in regard to health and sustainable living. Sometimes it’s just overwhelming. Especially things that need daily tending…like the sourdough culture that seems like a demanding child! Getting organized and well stocked helps. When it’s time to culture something or whip a meal together, it’s so much easier to do if you have what you need on hand. But I agree that if you have to skip making yogurt and/or kefir one week, it’s not the end of the world. Just don’t stop altogether.
    Last post http://www.woodwifesjournal.com/2011/08/christians-and-alternative-medicine.html.

  4. Oh yes, I knew I’d like your article at the other site as soon as I read this title! I feel that way a lot, and especially the last few years. Sometimes I take a break from reading anything at all, and often times, to be honest, I see another “change” to make and I just don’t read that post. Other than a few simple things that I am doing right now, I probably am not going to make any more changes for a long time, if at all. I feel like I’ve made a great amount and I am happy with where I am at, and so I am just going to stay there. I know, I know, some people might object but I am going to focus the rest of my energy on other things- building good relationships with my family, working on contentment and joy. Sometimes focusing on more and more changes just sucks the joy out of me! πŸ™‚ I think its especially because of the life stages I am in (young children, pregnancy, etc) is already draining enough that I have to let other things sit and maybe not do them at all. But I have been doing this for about as long as you have (I think 12 years now total) and so I have made a lot of progress so now I will just stop or at least take a long break (after I try my last goal of the sourdough and yogurt cultures!)

    1. @Nola, I also sometimes avoid new information when I realize that it will require another step that I am not yet prepared to take. There are seasons when we can add more to what we are doing, and seasons when we just can’t. I think it’s wise to know the difference.

  5. Yes, at times, I do. Like when I don’t plan ahead or my daughter’s sick and I need to take care of her. I like your list of things to avoid, because it’s when I forget the avoid list that natural living can become an idol. And when it’s an idol, then I need to step back and pray and ask God to help and maybe even buy a few convenience foods so I can spend more time in his word.

  6. I really enjoy the labor of our natural lifestyle but what I get really tired of is the constant low level conflict it seems to produce where we live. It seems like we’re either in disagreement with the doctor over what is healthy, confusing the check out kids at the grocery store with our various cloth bags, etc. They’re not huge problems and we try to avoid conflict in general (we don’t proselytize on the subject, we don’t refuse food at other people’s houses or anything like that) but where we live there is always this low grade “you are weird/weird = bad” vibe. It gets old sometimes.

    1. @annie, This is just what I was thinking. We really try not to make our ‘green-ness’ a big elephant in the room, but still draw comments and odd glances at times. You just feel tired of the awkward moments.
      For example, when visitors are over, and they ask for paper towels while they’re helping prepare the meal. Um, no I don’t have any, but here’s a clean rag… Or you’ve got your kids’ friends over, and you make grilled cheese sandwiches (which ALL kids love, don’t they?), but they’re not eaten, and that’s likely because you use whole wheat bread- not white- and real cheese- not processed. My iced tea is real, not the powdered mix, so some folks don’t like it, especially when they have not tasted real iced tea before. It feels frustrating to serve homemade food, and not have it recognized because the packaged version is what is staple for the mainstream. Those times, I feel like the few good changes I’ve made come with a big relational price tag, and I’m tempted to quit.

  7. Great post! Every now and then I certainly feel overwhelmed and tempted to take the easier, less green route. One thing that always worries me is, if I do this, I think I will be seen as a hypocrite by people in my life who know my lifestyle or read my blog. I don’t want to give healthy living a bad rep. It does happen sometimes though, and I try not to beat myself up for it. As you said, no one can do it all.

  8. I wouldn’t say I ever “get tired” of it. I love knowing that, to the best of my knowledge and abilities, I’m giving something priceless to my family: good health. Some days are definitely better and easier than others. I do grow tired of the higher prices of organic foods, but then I feel like I can re-coop some of the costs by buying wheat berries or making my own deodorant. The thing I get tired of??? People think we’re weird. It’s exhausting to have people ask why we live the way we do. I’m happy to answer their questions, but it’s annoying to be met with blank stares, or worse, “Oh, I could never do that!” It’s very difficult to give a 5-minute run-down of Weston A. Price and expect people to “get it”. That, for me, has been the most tiring part of living this way.

  9. Yep. Though since I grew up “green” before it was “vogue” (ie, we were poor, had an acre, and my Dad is a Master Gardener, so composting, cloth diapering, and raising our own produce, eggs, and chickens was just taken for granted as our way of life), it’s easier for me to have an “all things in moderation” approach so far. So, we compost, cloth diaper, container garden … my goal is to join an SCA next year … we’ve always used cloth napkins and cleaning cloths … but I’m know I’m not ready for family cloth and my budget can’t yet stretch for all organic food or natural/green toiletries. As you said, one step at a time.
    At the same time, my hat’s off to my grandma who didn’t even have waterproof covers for her dipes (apparently wool wasn’t a big part of her family culture) and with her first three kiddos, she only had a washbasin and wringer for ALL her laundry. So I always remind myself of her life when I start to get overwhelmed by laundry. πŸ˜‰

  10. Yes..Love all the above and agree.. It is hard, it’s overwhelming, and I just want to give up half the time.. But these feelings shall pass and we will move on.. I love this quote ” Keep moving forward” Walt Disney. That’s it, don’t look back! Somedays’ though..That doughnut really really is screaming my name..LOL

  11. Great article (the one at the other blog) Stephanie! I have been trying to avoid going through this fatigue. I felt myself jumping too fast this year and have decided to take a step back and prioritize. I want to make certain changes but want them to be lasting. I want things like making my own sourdough bread, fermenting or making cultured dairy to come naturally but I had to realize that it takes time to develop a skill that becomes second nature . Our ancestors may have done these things but started much younger than most of us. Learning these skills wasn’t just a “hobby” but a way of life. Their livelihood depended on it, whereas we can just go to the store and pick up a loaf of bread if we get tired of it all. So, in a way it’s more difficult to live healthier because we have more temptation to take the easy road because we have that option. There was no easy road for our. Anyway, I really like the five steps you gave. I am going to be sharing this on my facebook and blog because I know it will be helpful to many of my friends. Thanks!

  12. YES!!! I have grown weary many times. I really feel like this lifestyle is something God led us to. It was a conviction upon my heart…what we feed our children, how it affects their minds, growing bodies, and behavior. Then my husband bought “The Maker’s Diet” for me as a (uh, hum) Mother’s Day gift that year. I didn’t know what he was trying to say at first (I need to go on a diet? Wow!). But then, reading the book and following the trail of references to Nourishing Traditions and beyond, things just grew and evolved to now living on a small farm where we raise our own meats, dairy and eggs and fail miserably at gardening. I am able to buy basic organic grocieries locally and reasonably. I am also part of a UNFI bulk foods co-op which also sells fresh produce. I have to drive over an hour to pick up my order. At first I had a goal of $200 a month to bulk foods with a “shopping wishlist” and would rotate between pantry building and “fun” foods. We are a recently retired military family, homeschool and now live on our productive (hobby) farm. I have not worked since we were married (20 years now). I have always strived to be a good steward and a submissive wife. A few times in the last 12 months my husband has made comments about my organic shopping, the animals, and even more hurtfully, how I have made traditional/whole foods my “god”. Ouch! From the man who bought me my first book! On one hand he agrees and stresses the importance of traditional/whole foods and sings of its praises to others and then these comments. It’s very hard to figure out what to do. My daugthers 19 & 16 and I are convinced and really struggle with eating conventional foods…even my 19 year old away at college has her “groceries” to keep up with TF/WF. My husband and son (14) are not as hardcore. We’ve had conversations about soda and McDs french fries and honoring my desire to not eat these things and the struggle of temptation when he buys them when we are together. They actually make us girls sick afterwards. Anyway, trying to justify the budget, avoid the resentment, and deal with the hassle, does get tiresome. I have a dear friend who was convicted about the same time, so we have been able to bouce ideas, share insights, pour our hearts out to one another over these last 7 years and through several different military moves. We both will sigh at times and ask why did God take us here? Can’t we just go buy a gallon of milk and a bag of oreos and live like (normal) people?! But then we know, at least I know, I would feel so sick afterwards! :o)

  13. I get overwhelmed. I’m loving your book because it’s a step-by-step approach. But, still, I find myself thinking: Ok–I’m doing this, this, this, and this….but I still don’t make my own yogurt (or whatever else). (And I feel guilty about what I’m NOT doing yet.) But I have to step back and think: I never thought I’d use cloth diapers, but I do. I never thought I’d cook anything from scratch, etc. but I do.

    I think it’s easy to look at others and feel like we will never get there. I once heard someone say: “I feel like I’m too crunchy for some, but not crunchy enough for others.” That’s kind of how I feel. But, like I think you mentioned in a comment above, I think we put that guilt on ourselves, when most people are probably not judging.

  14. Yes! We moved to one income- about half of our income went away and well I noticed we were almost out of toothpaste- like the last drop and at the store the other day, I could pay almost 6 bucks for Tom’s or go with the one on sale and they had a coupon for an additional dollar off, so I payed a buck for a couple tubes. I guess I figure I’d rather focus on what I’m nourishing my children with, so if I need to buy the cheaper brand of toothpaste, or what have you, then I will!

  15. I love cooking and preparing good food for our family but sometimes I just get tired of all the time I spend in the kitchen – both cooking and then cleaning up. I quickly get over it by remembering why I am doing it and the blessing that it is for our family to eat so well.

    I do find it funny how different our kids’ activities and knowledge of our lifestyle compared to our friends. Our girls help in the garden, compost pile, recycling, etc while my friend’s kids are talking about princesses, TV shows and cookies.

  16. Sometimes I do get tired of natural living. When that does hit I stop and thank the Lord for the knowledge that He has blessed me with. If I didn’t have this knowledge about natural living, my family and I would be on the quick path to unnecessary diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. like everyone else. It is more work, but it is infinitely more rewarding.

    I remind myself that even though I’m doing more work than many women in my culture, I am so much more of a wimp than most women who lived 150 years ago!

    Also, the Bible encourages women to stay busy at home working with our hands because it keeps us out of trouble! If we’re working hard at home we shouldn’t have time for gossip, meddling, or slothfulness! It’s a blessing knowing that what I spend my day doing is blessing the Lord by practicing good stewardship and thankfulness, it’s blessing my family, and it’s blessing and sanctifying me!

    I have found thankfulness to be the best weapon against most of life’s woes!

  17. Oh yes, I do! And I do cut myself some slack when I am very tired or dealing with a new baby, early pregnancy, etc. I remind myself there are seasons of life as a mother. And I find that I am a lot further, even on my bad days, than I was two years ago! We don’t ever buy bread anymore, we only eat our home-made, wholemeal/rye sourdough… which is such a health boost I’m sure!
    I find staying in fellowship with others who are into that kind of thing is inspiring… like on facebook, we post delicious descriptions of our healthy cooking (meals/snacks/drinks/ideas, etc) and everyone else is instantly inspired and wants to go and try the same or a similar thing! We spur each other on, by both conversation and having each other over and cooking healthy things for each other πŸ™‚

    1. @Anita, I agree! Encouraging each other with fresh ideas is so helpful! My husband said that he noticed a real change for the better in my homemaker skills and in our healthy living when I began blogging, and I attribute it mostly to the community around me, how we’re able to share ideas, recipes, tips, and encouragement. I think it makes a huge difference!

  18. When we were first married I was a die-hard… NEVER WILL MY KIDS EAT JUNK. 33 years later, I’m pretty much the same, but with more realistic, moderate values! Moderation is key, I believe, in everything we do. But no, I never get tired of natural living. I love it! I get tired, literally, haha, when I don’t live naturally. I feel sorry for people who never eat a green veggie, whose health is on a down hill ride to no where, who say sarcastic remarks like, “I’d rather die happy than healthy!”. Keep up the good work ladies!! Let me encourage you to stick to it! Give your children the best. When they grow up they can choose what they want to eat but at least you will have given them a GOOD healthy start. 4 of my 5 kids are grown and gone and making their own food choices. They tell me and I watch them make great choices and they are feeding their children real foods too.

    LET’S TOGETHER CHANGE AMERICA’S HEALTH!!

  19. Not here! I crave it! My husband isn’t all on-board with the ‘natural stuff,’ so I do what I can, where I can, when it doesn’t affect him or put him out in any way. We do better than a lot of families, and that’s what I try to focus on (rather than how well we could be doing). We’ll get there slowly, I know.

  20. Though I consider myself more “frugal green” than ” luxury green” (we go green when it is cheaper or costs about the same, but can’t afford to pay twice as much for the green or organic version of all products), I do sometimes tire of the things that have nearly become second nature. We’ve been cloth diapering for two years and sometimes I just don’t feel like doing laundry. The clothes can sit a while longer, but the diapers need to be washed, especially in this hot weather or they get nasty. I don’t always feel like making homemade bread when grabbing it off a grocery shelf is easier. Sometimes I just want to order pizza instead of cooking. We all get weary sometimes of our chosen lifestyle, no matter how much we love it. Just like everyone has a bad day even at a job they love and every mom wants to escape from her kids every once and a while. I try not to let exceptions become habits, and don’t beat myself up for them. (Yes, we do still get take out pizza on occasion and I’ve been known to serve rice and veggies or fruit and yogurt when I’m too tired to prepare a meal).

  21. oh, goodness, you’re human too?

    I get tired of making bread, not just making bread but soaking the grains too. And all my grains for that matter, “You slacker!” I say to myself, “you forgot to soak the oatmeal AGAIN.”

    How about infant potty training…just put a diaper on the baby and go take a nap,no, no, no! not a disposable one!

    The goats are out again and the fox is eating all the chickens.

    Thought of just buying the laundry soap and giving in to the dryer crosses my mind sometimes.

    My ideals are still stronger… I fall off the wagon for a few days and then I catch up and pull the wagon myself.

    I believe that we will always fall, falter, and fail as long as we are in these bodies, but I also believe in living this way.

    Aren’t you pregnant? Take your vitamins.

    Naturally, it is what you believe is right.

  22. Oh yeah. There have been times when I’ve wished I could just swing by the fast food joint for dinner pick up, or by the grocery store for something cheap and easy. Now that I actually know how to work a budget, if I weren’t eating healthfully or buying organic, I could spend even LESS on groceries if I just went mainstream.

  23. I do. I really do. I get tired of being weird and different. I get tired of cooking from scratch, of getting up on Saturday mornings to go to the farmers market, of rinsing poo out of diapers, of people criticizing me for my decisions. But at the same time I’m glad to be getting back into it. We slipped away from a lot of it for a while because my home was being ran by my 16 year old sister while I was on partial bed rest, then I had a baby, Mark (my husband) started a new job, and we moved. So, I do get tired of it but I’m passionate about it and I am excited to go above and beyond where we were before the lovely little things (baby, house, and new job) that put a stall in our going more ‘green’ journey.

  24. Wow, I can’t believe I found this site. It is so nice to see other people going through similar things. I’m a mother of 4, work full time in natural body care, have started blogging and still try to do everything from scratch. I have long gotten used to being regarded as the odd ball, but it is a labour of love. Not only that, but I think it is so important to raise your children with the opportunity to learn some old-world skills and a little self-sufficiency. It may wear us out now and then, but how else will they learn? I really believe in listen to and honouring yourself: if you just don’t have it in you, take a break, it will help everyone in the end and you’ll be back on track in no time.

  25. I know this is an old post, but I just found your blog and have to say I’m so excited to peruse the archives! I’ve been on the GAPS diet for almost 6 months know for my breastfed baby who has some gut issues and even though I thought I was a pretty healthy eater and giving my family good foods, I’ve revamped a lot of our diet and am constantly learning new things now. Its so nice, though, to read a post that is telling me that its not all-or-nothing and that any step I’ve taken is good. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and I did find a support group, but that also means lots of people to compare myself to (and some of them are WAY ahead of me on this learning curve!) Thank you for your blog!

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