Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Apologies and Clarifications

I just wanted to say that I am sorry if I offended you with my previous writing.  That was never my intention and I now realize that I wasn't clear.

I work very hard not to judge others in any way, this is one part of my Quaker practice.  I listen to God speaking to me where I am at this moment in my life.  How others choose to live is up to them,  but I need to listen to what is right for me.

During my time in the urban area, I was delighted to discover that I, for the first time, was not overcome with feelings of worry and neglect over what my husband and I were "not" providing for our children.  It was the first time I was not slightly embarrassed by our very old and a bit beat up Suburban and our not stylish clothing.

I grew up in this busy  lifestyle of achieving with the purpose of earning money to buy a home, cars, and shop.  And I also grew up with a loving family.  The two can certainly co-exist.  But I was not brought up with the idea that there are other ways to live.  Many family members do judge our family and wonder what in the world we are doing and do not understand.

I was simply struck with the pleasant realization that I had grown enough in my own life choices where that last bit of longing had ceased.  It was a nice feeling.

Warm wishes, Tonya

30 comments:

  1. I have a similar experience when we travel back to The Big City that was once my home. Not only is our vehicle beat up, but our stroller too. The stroller defiantly screams, "I'm from the country. It's a different way of life! I travel down dirt roads and have carried 5 toddlers! Please take me back home." And I suspect my friends are bemused when I want to shop at the city thrift shops more so than the malls.
    And every trip to the city only affirms our life choices, which really *is* pleasant, isn't it? Just as it is, I suppose, affirming for some of our city friends to visit us at the farm, and return home thankful for their own choices. I agree with you Tonya, it's about recognizing that there *are* choices that can be made and grown into. Thank you for sharing :-)

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  2. I'm a quiet city lurker and I just wanted to say I think it was very clear that you weren't judging anyone, just sharing your feelings. You guys are awesome. I don't comment much but I follow all your musings constantly.

    Hugs and love.

    -moo

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  3. I also want to echo Rosemoo's thoughts. I read your post as a pleasant affirmation of your current lifestyle choices and peace of mind regarding your children's happiness.

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  4. Another echo on Rosemoos' post. Thank you so much for sharing with us Tonya. I'm happy that your choices have been reaffirmed and you are feeling contented.

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  5. I liked your last post. I liked the conviction from which it was written. I live in a city with my children and I was not in the least offended by what you wrote, I applauded it.

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  6. You were so very clear in your post. You were speaking of your truth. You are so entitled to do.
    Enjoy your day!

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  7. Sweet Tonya, your post was crystal-clear. I did not feel like you were judging anyone or anyone's lifestyle. We live in an older suburb that some folks actually look down on because it isn't stylish or new or whatever they think it should be to be acceptable. It's comfortable and friendly for our family and our lifestyle. Oh well, each to his or her own. I love your blog and how you live and share your truth. You are an inspiration and always I come away from this mindful space at peace and with 'food for thought'. I am sorry some people judge you. I am very happy that you are feeling content and happy with your life choices.

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  8. I loved the post you wrote. I don't think you wrote anything to apologize for. I find that most of the time when people feel "offended" it's likely that they are really feeling "convicted." It agitates me to no end that we can't blog on our own sites about what we believe without "offending" others...I mean really??? If they don't like it...read elsewhere..ya know?! lol! ;D Keep up the good work! Great job here as far as I can see! ;D --Sara

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  9. I read and commented on your post yesterday. I never though it was a judgy post. I too am Quaker and really don't pay attention to how others live, but I did say in my comment "keeping up with the Jones" I meant that my hubby and I spent years doing that and regret any ill affects my children have because of it. Been living simpler for a while now. I think you were very clear in your post, I may not have been in my comment though.

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  10. Don't feel the need to apologize! THis is YOUR blog, and you have a right to express your feelings! Living in excess MUCH of the time DOES include extravagance. If anyone is offended by your post, it is PROBABLY because they are one of these people. If you are living in debt, you are probably living above your means, and should cut back, if you are a responsible person. Having said that, WE are not yet debt free, but are working on SIMPLIFYING, and doing with out what the WORLD says we need to be a "success".

    Like you, I don't mean to sound negative in any way, I have been there! And I am working daily to get out of it. I am working on getting out, BECAUSE I FEEL it isn't important to have those things. My children are building more character, and we are becoming people who appreciate the things that God has made and given to us!

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  11. You were very clear. I thought your post was wonderful and well put. I enjoy you so much!

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  12. Tonya,
    your gentle thoughtful way of life is rich in ways that a materialistic society may not understand. Or doesn't want to understand.

    I agree with everyone, I understood you, you were explaining how you felt, for you and your family. It was lovely to hear.

    It's not anyones place to judge another, although we all have a responsibilty towards this beautiful earth we live on, to make careful choices for it's healthy future. Whatever we choose for ourselves affects our environment, and that in turn affects everyone. So we all should choose carefully.

    You and your family are a beautiful example of concious choice.

    xo
    lori

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  13. I think it's good that your realizations confirmed the choices that you've made. Sometimes passion and strong convictions can be easily misconstrued....I read your last post and all I heard was contentment with where you are. That's such a blessig.

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  14. I hope you don't mind but I posted a link to your blog today on my blog. You just really got me thinking.

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  15. I don't think you needed to apologize either, your first post was not judgemental in the slightest.

    This may be a simple way of looking at it but I know when I sometimes feel offended by a comment or post, to me I feel that I am the one who needs to pray about it and often times(in my own experience) I feel convicted for a reason.
    "Home" is the nicest word there is, especially when you've been away.

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  16. I agree that you have nothing to feel bad about. It was clear to me that you were not judging anyone or any choices. The choices that people make for themselves and family is frankly only for them. My parents got tons of flack for not haveing a tv in our home when I was young, but I am very thankful that they stuck to it. And because of that I have an imagination, which is sadly very rare in people my age. Even with having an upbrining very different from everyone else (more than just the tv) I still made different choices than my family that they don't really get, as did my sister, and my parents choices were differnet from thier familys. It one thing that makes human kind great and the USA a wonderful place, and noone should ever feel bad about that.

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  17. I thought your post yesterday was lovely. We are all on our own journey and I think it is refreshing that you walked through the city "at peace" with your choices. I live in a big, busy city and come to your blog for a reminder of what is truly important in life. It works every time!

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  18. I was going to comment on your post from yesterday, but things have moved on. Ioun no way did I feel y were judging or criticising anyones choices, rather affirming your own. You clearly said you felt that area you were visiting had nothing to offer you. I read your blog and others like it to learn as much as I can, but also to reaffirm my own choices. If i read a post, or article that makes me feel offended or annoyed, I reflect on the reason why it has done so - the answer is always within. Why has this pushed my button - why do I feel xyz about this person's views? We are free not to read. I too live in a remote area, but am visitng home for family reasons. I see here what you have seen and felt, and understand completely what you were saying.xx

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  19. I completely understood where you were coming from, I guess because we have done the same thing before too. People make the mistake of feeling misjudged if you speak of being happy doing something different when in fact it is a whole lot less about them and actually more about finding balance for our own families. Love to you, I hope it doesnt scare you off expressing your thoughts here in the future xx

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  20. Tonya,

    I SO know where you are coming from. As one that lives in the city trying to live a simple life can be very overwhelming.

    On this journey there will always be those that disagree, no matter what we mean and that's okay.

    Sometimes we forget when reading other peoples blogs that we are reading about THAT persons journey and not everyone will be in the same place ,and that's okay too.

    It's learning to respect that persons opinion as just that when we can finally learn to be at peace with one another.

    Many Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

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  21. I don't think you could ever offend anyone if you tried, lovely lady:)

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  22. Tonya, I've been reading your blog for some time now. I appreciate your stories and your perspective on things. I appreciate your candid thoughts and heart for simplicity. Your blog is a blessing to me.

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  23. Tonya! I appreciate your honesty and your desire to live the life that suits you and your family best...despite what others say or think. I have always felt that you are a very sincere, genuine, and kind soul and draw inspiration from you!
    :) Suzy

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  24. Tonya, thanks for visiting my blog recently. I see the contrast oh so well. Having recently moved to a simpler area of the country, and working our way to a simpler lifestyle, I regularly see the contrast. I've been ensconced in it. Like a drug. It's a hard habit to break, but the truth is, I really, really, admire folks who choose to live simply. I don't know if I'll ever be able to make the jump, really make the jump. One of our favorite movies we have seen numerous times is 'Off the Map' where a family lives 'off the grid' in New mexico, they're audited (lol) which brings a tax-man to their home. His world is changed forever. I love when I hear someone is really living in a way they just 'don't see it'. Except for the business that is just too overwhelming, too overwhelming for those who even still live in its midst.
    Be blessed in everyway- may the stars be clear in your night sky, Laura
    p.s. looking forward to regularly reading your posts. :)

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  25. I understood where you were coming from. :)

    As much as some individuals try to live simply in the city (I know several) it doesn't alter the people who do flock there in vogue and in money.

    It's not a reflection on those aspiring to live better lives in the city, that you noticed the ones who live in excess. It's just something you commented on, at a time you were asking some deep and personal questions about your life. :)

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  26. I don't think you have anything to apologize for, Tonya. This is your blog and you're speaking what's from your heart, not anybody else's. I think when you begin to worry about offending anyone, then your full honesty gets inhibited. And I wouldn't want that! Anyone who was offended needs to remember that Tonya's open enough to put her words and feelings out there for the world, which is a pretty brave thing to do.

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  27. Suzanne stated it best in the comments in the previous post - much better and more gracious than I did...Overcoming other's expectations of us, and holding on to what is right for us is so hard. I am glad you were feeling reaffirmed in your beliefs and choices. I had a strong reaction to your last post - I grew up in one of those affluent towns and I had a very hard time - I truly believed we were poor because we didn't have a pool or maid...little did I know...
    Now I am "All Grown Up" and trying, very much like you, to live in a way that is true to my husband's and my values, even though it generates the occasional criticism from the extended family. If you look hard, no matter where you live, you will find your tribe.
    Best Wishes...And so glad you made it home safely. :o)

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  28. It is a country of excess. I quite liked that post. It's your blog. You shouldn't have to apologize for your thoughts. Sending you love!

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  29. Utterly failing to see anything to be offended by, a very clear post reflecting on your view. Any offense taken must have nothing to do with you and something to do with another's heart struggling or lashing out.

    You write a wonderful blog and newsletter and are a good light in the world.

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