Living Off The Grid: The Value of Roughing It

One doesn’t truly know the value of something until it is missing from one’s life. Going without and having to work for things brings out the true value in them. Living off of the grid, or even just spending time off of it now and then, can really have a positive impact.

I have always been a grateful person, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always understood the true value of what I had and where it came from. I have always been grateful for water and understood its importance, but I didn’t realize how valuable it was until my water lines were frozen for about a week and I had to melt snow and bring water in from the store. Again, I was reminded of its value when I first moved off the grid and was hauling 5-gallon buckets up and down from the spring-fed cistern -- boy, I’ll tell you…that was some of the best water I ever had.

When you are working for your living you become somewhat more aware and mindful in many ways. For example, after hauling 40-gallons of water by hand you really don’t want to waste it in any way. You learn the value of water and that is water is life; without it there is nothing. It wasn’t only myself I had to haul water for, but for the gardens and animals I tended as well. It is a much more amazing feeling to know you provided the water for your home yourself. It’s a different gratification from paying the water bill online, trust me!

Even if you’re just going off-grid for a short period of time, you’ll see the positive effects of manual work and taking care of yourself.  Weekend camping trips require some hard work and roughing it, too. You have to collect the wood for your fire so you can see in the dark, stay warm, and -- let’s not forget -- roast marshmallows. You realize the value of that fire and all it took to create it and what it takes to sustain it. I know there are a lot of people camping out in RVs as opposed to setting up the tent. Either way, it is different from sleeping in your bedroom at home. If you’re not used to being in tight quarters and sharing space, you learn the value of having your own space and privacy. There are many lessons to be learned if you look closely, no matter to what degree off-grid you choose to venture.

The more time you spend away from modern luxuries and closer to nature, the more you learn to appreciate what you do have – it can set your mind into an abundance mindframe instead of a lacking one. The roughing it no longer seems so rough – it actually proves to be a little easier in many aspects -- but as I said, achieving that feeling takes time. When the rains come pouring down, causing you to cancel a planned outing and you start to feel grumpy about it, you might think back to how important and valuable that rain fall actually is.

Value isn’t an exact dollar amount or figure. The value I speak of is from the heart of hearts.

Value (Noun) – The regard that something that is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.

A person’s principles or standards as behavior; one’s judgment of what’s important.

Value (Verb) – consider someone or something to be beneficial; have a high opinion of.

You see, my friends, sometimes roughing it brings out the value in everything. Our struggles give us strength! I love being off of the grid and I do not feel as though it is a constant struggle, but it can be rough. I, myself, consider living off of the grid to be the simpler way of life. Let your lessons provide value to your situations.

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