I’m probably preaching to the crowd when I say that living an old-fashioned, simple life is pretty much amazing. However, I have noticed quite a bit of discussion and even confusion on exactly what it means to be “old-fashioned” in today’s world. Can you be ‘old-fashioned’ if you live in an apartment in the city? Are you really ‘old-fashioned’ if you have internet and a smartphone? What if you don’t like gardening or prefer to use boxed laundry detergent?
Living an old-fashioned life today is both harder and easier than ever because while on one hand you have all of the knowledge of the world at your fingertips in the form on the internet, it’s also incredibly easy to be sucked in by all of the modern toys and temptations. And that’s okay. I’d go so far as to say it’s even normal.
After all, I would like to argue that the technologies and advancements we have made are impressive and are there for a reason. Modern does not always mean bad, contrary to what people might think. Back in the old days, things were done differently and some of those methods are still preferable. However, not all of them are necessarily practical. You can’t tell me that if your great-great-great-great grandmother Ada had a washing machine or modern medicine available to her, she wouldn’t have used them!
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all modern things are superior to old-fashioned methods. It’s all about balancing the two lifestyles. But, how do you balance modern conveniences with old-fashioned lifestyles and values?
The first step is realizing that modern life is going to sneak up on you occasionally, and that’s totally okay. You don’t live in the 19th century (no matter how much you want to) and life is different now than it was back when everything was done by hand. Things are more fast-paced and sometimes you just have to do what works. Don’t beat yourself up for throwing a frozen pizza in the oven from time to time instead of making a hand-cooked meal every night.
The next step is to keep a handful of things to always do the old-fashioned way. Sure, modern conveniences are nice, but sometimes the old-fashioned way really is better. But, for that to work, you have to be willing to always try new things. You’ll be surprised at how many things you prefer (or maybe even hate) to do the old-fashioned way.
For me, desserts and cleaning are two things that immediately spring to mind as being 100% better the old-fashioned way. I make all of my own sweets and refuse to use any kind of chemical for cleaning. The cabinet under my kitchen has bleach (necessary for the bathroom), vinegar, baking soda and a handful of other similar products.
Last, but not least, don’t be afraid to mix the new with the old. The Internet can be a time-waster, true, but it’s also an incredible tool. Use it! The same goes with other conveniences like washing machines and hand mixers.
Personally, I feel like the key to living a modern, old-fashioned life is to measure things by the result, not the method. If the old-fashioned way is best, then do that. If you can do it the old-fashioned way with the help of modern appliances and technologies, why not? It’s all about the balance and what works for you personally.
How do you balance your old-fashioned preferences in today’s modern and hectic world? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!