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The AikiHomestead

Our Lifestyle Blog as We Create a Homestead in Northern Ontario


Thoreau On My Mind…

Flattering picture of Thoreau.I don’t think I need to tell you that Thoreau wasn’t really a guy who had lots of luck with the ladies, but he definitely had some ideas that continue to speak to all of us, removed as we may be from his world and circumstances.

As I spend most of my day stuck indoors tying up the paperwork that comes with finishing up one month and beginning a new one, and noting that it’s a gorgeously beautiful day for once, I am reminded of Thoreau admonishing us to –

“keep your accounts on your thumbnail”…

Mine use to take up numerous 3″ binders every year. I feel I’ve made huge progress in this respect by paring things down to two 1″ binders, but it still takes up far too many hours to merely push these papers from one place to the next.

Such is the price for being self-employed legitimately. Somewhere there is the spectre of a government audit hanging over one’s head, or the notion that you must collect, on their behalf, their own taxes for them…
Then I find myself reconciling two bank accounts and three credit cards!

“Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen…”

I never use to envy people who operated in the underground economy. I thought they were doing it to avoid taxes. Now I have a profound jealousy for the notion of returning to a strictly cash economy. Not to avoid your social responsibilities, which perhaps will be grist for another post another day, but to avoid trading hours of your life for details that don’t offer enough value to justify your attention.

I also am working towards keeping my daily ambitions and affairs and appointments to a minimum and seeing the benefits of doing so. My wife knows well how much I savour the weekends where we have nothing planned. After years of living by the incessant beckoning of my palm pilot, with appointments filling my waking hours, it’s delicious to be able to accomplish my priorities (or priority) early in the day, and then allow life to dictate its’ own pace, rather than me trying to force life to fit into my schedule. Two or three appointments a day sounds to me to be just about right. You don’t tend to have forgotten any of them part way through your day…

I’ve had so many thoughts and insights on this short post that I think I best hold off and save some for another day. Besides, there’s still a few moments left in this day for me to be able to spend with my son…

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