The other day I commented ... somewhere ... that nothing worth doing is easy. That's how it was for us back when we first started this down this path. It was tough ... almost all of the time ..., and there were many times when I felt like I was butting my head against a brick wall.
I happen to be one of those people who like change. I used to rearrange my room every other month. I'm also the kind of person for whom the Nike slogan was coined - when I make a decision, I just do it. Don't get me wrong - I don't jump into things. I deliberate, usually quietly, doing some research and reading and thinking about it, but once I've decided a course of action, I just need to go ... git 'er done.
Deus Ex Machina isn't like me in that respect. If I move a chair, he gets uptight, and when it comes to making life-changing decisions, he really likes to think things through. And then, he likes to think about them some more. And he likes to hear the arguments for ... and against. I'll think the decision has been made and be waiting for the action to begin, when he'll start talking about what should be done ... again.
Back when I was pretty sure this was our path, but he wasn't completely convinced, it was often frustrating for me.
In September 2007, only a year after we'd started our journey toward self-reliance, I posted a commentary on how my childhood had shaped my early adult habits of consumption, and how I had to work really hard to change those habits. In the post, I lamented that it wasn't just changing "me", though. Thanks to the example I had shown them, my children were also walking down the consumer-lifestyle path, and if we ever hoped to be free, we had to break those addictions.
Back then, I wrote: Hopefully, my children will walk down the path I am blazing for them right now - learning to conserve and save rather than waste and spend.
I know we're off to a good start, though, because my children are excited when I say we're going to Goodwill and act like they've been given a treasure when handed a bag of second-hand dance clothes.
Next step is to change their stock answer to the question "What do you want for dinner?" from "Pizza Hut!" to some favorite dish that only Mom can make here at home :).
Three years later, I'm happy to note that, now, when I ask my children, What do you want for dinner?, the answer is never a restaurant name. Big Little Sister often answers pizza, because it's still her favorite food, but she doesn't need the restaurant stuff, and the pizza I make here at home is good enough (actually better, and it doesn't do awful things to Deus Ex Machina's digestive system like Pizza Hut pizza always did).
It didn't take three years for the change to fully happen, but honestly, I couldn't tell you when the switch was finally flipped. At this point, eating out is an occasional treat, and these days, we're just as likely to discuss eating out and then, decide to just cook at home. Like tonight - Big Little Sister has a friend sleeping over, and we talked about ordering pizza. In the end, I just made pizza here, and it was better, fresher, and quicker than it would have been to have ordered it from a local restaurant and then driven to pick it up.
And it was so much cheaper, too ;). In addition to saving, probably, $30 cash (which is what it would have cost us for a couple of large pizzas from the place up the road), we saved at least a dollar or two on gasoline, and with our homemade stuff, there's no packaging.
Homemade pizza = frugal AND eco-friendly ;).