Tarynn and I are trending towards a life that resembles the actual life of my great-grandparents. Instead of a maximum square foot home in the suburbs, we prefer an older, smaller house in the city. The style of our house might be described as urban-farmhouse. We try to eat natural foods, we garden. We dream of getting a chicken coup. (My mother-in-law, who lives next door, has one!) We try to consume less and create more.
We're by no means trend setters in this area; if anything we're on the same bandwagon as so many others, as evidenced by so many Pinterest boards.
So what's up with this back-to-Grandpa's style of living? Here are a few of my guesses.
1. We're burnt out on consumerism
We're tired of buying stuff. Why are we buying anyway? Why are we following the instructions of our corporate overlords? We are we so easily influenced by commercials? After much reflection on issues such as these, many of us are deciding to step outside of consumption culture. An alternative reason for some: we're broke and looking for ways to buy meaningful supplies with what money we have.
2. Technology makes us feel less human
We're so plugged into our devices that we no longer know how to live and interact with each other in meaningful ways. Getting back to nature, back to history, back to the way Grandpa lived reminds us of a time where phones were not our Gods. We've tried modernity. So far it has not provided a life full of purpose.
3. We want off the grid
There are many reasons we want off. Some people are conspiracy nuts, preparing for the end of times. Others want to avoid government and taxation. Yet others simply want to be more self sufficient. Some simply want to reduce their dependency on external systems like the gas and electric company.
4. Ecological concerns
Some of us are in it to reduce our footprint, to produce less waste, or to buy less junk that will become future waste.
5. We're searching for meaning
This is really a variation on item two. What does it take to feel good about our daily lives? For some of us, growing a plant from seed to harvest is the ultimate reminder of our humanity, that we live in an interconnected system of life and death, of food and need. It reminds us that indeed we are alive and have the natural instincts to keep ourselves that way.