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Kate Spade Cedar Street Elissa handbag (buy here)
I cook my child's food from scratch. Literally. Everyday. Every-single-day. I don't even freeze, I cook fresh everyday. And I work outside the home. How do I do it? Thanks to the magic jar, which also happened to be a rice cooker. (In Indonesia, we eat rice everyday. It's our staple food.) It's basically just some chopping, throw all the meat and rice and veggies into a bowl, put it inside the magic jar, switch the power on, and leave it for an hour while I'm doing other things like taking a shower, putting on my makeup, changing my child, preparing breakfast, kiss my husband before he goes off to work. Piece of cake.
But I would never be able to do it without the magic jar.
What's the point of me saying all those things?
When I read stories of Laura Ingalls, as the child of pioneer and farmer, I could not help but wondering how Ma did it all: being a good, strong wife to Pa, keeping a clean house, plant a garden, pick wind-fallen apples and gather strawberries, cook, make canned fruit, milk the cow, haul the water from the well or the river, preserve butchered meat, spin, sew and mend family's clothes, bake pies and cakes, teach her children, play with them, and basically raise them; all without the modern convenience that we have today.
How did the women do it in the past without microwave, magic jar, electric stove, fridge to preserve the food, freeze, AC during summertime, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, running water and even electricity?
How did my grandmother raise seven children without disposable diaper, water heater, magic jar, bottle sterilizer, breast pump, and basically did everything on her own?
Now when I look at my life, I realize how lucky I am to be born in this modern age. When I get home, with a flick of a switch, the lights are on. On laundry day, I just dump everything into the automatic washing machine, put in some detergent, push the button and all the soak, rinse, etc cycles will be on, and I can leave the machine to do all the work for me while I'm preparing or eating my dinner. When it's bath time for my son, I just place a bucket under the faucet and I'll always have hot water running thanks to the water heater installed in our bathroom.
Yet, I heard myself and other women, and women on the internet and magazines, complain that they're tired. We say we are stressed out. We whine when we don't have enough me-time or pampering time or whatever it is it's called nowadays. Reading the many books of Little House series, I never read one word about "being stressed out". Neither have I ever heard my grandma used that "stress" word. Nor me-time. Nor pampering time. They didn't have the time to be stressed out, or depressed, or to demand me-time and pampering time, because every moment of their life is filled with activities to ensure the contuinity of their lives. Every day is filled from dawn till dusk with work to ensure that they have all basic neccessities like food and clothes to survive. Whenever I want to eat chicken, I just go to the grocery store to buy chicken, all year round. When the Ingalls family want to eat chicken, they had to raise them from hatched eggs and waited two years before butchering time. Two years! Can you imagine if we have to wait so long just to eat chicken nowadays?
Yet Ma still had the time to make paper dolls for Laura. Grandma raised chicken and ducks, for the meat and eggs, yet she still had the time to tell her children bedtime stories that she created herself. She sang for her husband and children while she was knitting after dinner. Ma Ingalls picked wild flowers from the field to beautify the house. And according to Laura, her Ma was a happy woman with sweet disposition and very long patience. Same as my grandmother, who was also a happy woman and said that she lived a full life.
What about us?
Technology has made life so much easier these days.
And for that I'm thankful.
Next time whenever I'm complaining about something trivia, for example when I'm upset because the internet is down for one full day, just remind me of Ma Ingalls. And of my grandmother. And of all the women in the past who could not even imagine reading blog of someone located in another continent, search for information on how to cook crock-pot lasagna by typing several letters into google, and have a grocery store near your house that opens 24/7. No need to take that big trip to town to hoard on coffee and salt and sugar, like Ma Ingalls did.
Next time I will remember not to use the word "stress" too lightly. Because it's just me whining and exagerrating. I don't have any reason to get stressed out THAT easily.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to take a shower with a lovely scented bath soap, put on some sweet smelling body lotion, slip on into some nice silk night gowns, and write on my gratitude journal.
Because I have soooo many things I need to write that I'm grateful for.
I'm linking up to these wonderful Ladies: