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15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In Rural Areas Would Understand

15 Things Only People Who Grew Up In Rural Areas Would Understand

City dwellers have some strange ideas about people who live in the countryside. The charm of a country life may attract suburbanites during holidays. But there are some things you’ll only know if you actually grew up in a rural area.

1. You don’t need an alarm clock

The rooster in your backyard wakes you up every morning at the crack of dawn. It doesn’t come with a snooze button either. Some of you would argue that roosters actually have a built-in snooze button. They’ll crow approximately every 2 minutes for about 8 cycles. But you’ll have little luck sleeping in.

2. You know your neighbors’ birthdays

The village isn’t like the city where neighbors don’t talk to each other. Even though people don’t exactly live right next door, you take the time to get to know your neighbors really well. Well enough to know when their birthdays are.

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3. You catch up on local news at the local pub/bar

The community is scattered over a vast expanse of land. But, come weekend, everyone loves a tipple and catches up on the latest news at the local pub. Whether it’s jobs or someone’s had a baby, you’ll get to hear it here.

4. You have to plan for your grocery run

Unless you’re in a rather dense village and the corporations haven’t ignored your town, chances are you’ll have to travel a bit to get to the nearest grocery store. If the town is a good 30 minutes away, you had better well make sure you have your groceries for the week planned well in advance. The supermarkets are only open till 5:30 PM on weekdays and till noon on Saturday (if you’re lucky). When in doubt, you end up buying surplus provisions. It can always be thrown in the freezer.

5. You learn to become handy around the house

Getting a tradesman to come in and fix up the broken tap or the faulty lawnmower will only rob you of bragging rights at the pub. You end up asking your friends or just putting your mind to it and figuring out how it’s done. And once you’re done fixing it, you go back out to chop wood. What good is a fireplace without it? When in doubt, you use duct tape. If that doesn’t work, a staple gun or liquid nails (glue) will do the job just fine.

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6. You are part of a close knit community and proud of it

We have a strong sense of community because there are only so many people that matter. Some of us have helped Mr. Brown herd his cattle and assisted the local junior soccer team in raising funds to keep the club going. Although we’re not exactly best mates with everyone, we do have a smirk on our faces every time we think of our community. Most of us are close enough to the community that we can spot a stranger a mile away. Let the staring games begin!

7. You learn to drive at a very young age

ATVs, motocross bikes, trucks, tractors, etc. are all just toys waiting for a master to commandeer them. With the limited number of hands available in the household to assist with chores, you learn to master these machines well before you actually reach the legal age to drive.

8. They think we shop at the farmers market

Farmers markets are pretend-markets for the suburban and city dwellers. Food reaches you through the same channels as everyone else: supermarkets. You’ll likely have a favorite local deli or butcher, but all other packaged foodstuff still comes from the supermarket. How else is one supposed to get carrots and bananas all year round? However, the barter system is alive and well in the country and still very much legitimate currency. Veggies are swapped between neighbours. You can trade wild rabbits or ducks for farmed pigs with your farmer friends. Eggs are traded for lemons.

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9. You have a veggie patch even if you farm

This is more of a charm and a privilege of having more land available to you. Those apartment dwellers would never be able to get away with it. Your veggie patch gives you instant access to herbs and other condiments like tomatoes and chillies just in case you forgot to pick them up in the last grocery run. Besides, it doesn’t get any fresher than plucking the veggie off the vine.

10. You don’t have to lock the door to your home

The odds of someone breaking in are so slim that it really isn’t worth a bother trying to lock the door behind you. Your property is remote enough that anti-social elements dare not venture anywhere near it.

11. You have to drive everywhere

Unless you’re out for a stroll on your acreage, this one is in fact true. Distance between dwellings and amenities make driving a necessity. Even if you were to give your neighbor, whose birthday you know so well, a Mars bar slice, you would have to drive over, because they live 3 miles away. That being said, I’ve come across a fair few cyclists in country towns.

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12. We love having guests “pop in”

“Popping in” starts with the obligatory “Heeellllooooooo,” 40 decibels higher than one would normally speak. That’s just in case the person you’re popping in to see is out in the massive backyard feeding the chicken. If there’s no answer, you’re fully endorsed to let yourself in through the back gate to see if they’re in the back shed. I said back shed, because the front shed is for fixing things and the back shed is for chicken feed and pick-axe. And don’t worry, the giant Boxer, Alsatian, Rottweiler dog is there for show. They’re a friendly lot, unless you’re the town veterinarian. If so, RUN! If not, just let yourself in the house, which is unlocked, and make yourself a cup of coffee. The neighbor probably just popped out for more milk and should be home soon.

13. You prefer quiet time

Unlike urban life which is on the go all the time, you have the privilege of putting some quiet time aside for yourself. No, this isn’t isolation. Just time to reminisce and perhaps meditate and enjoy the peace within and around you. The best time for quiet contemplation is at night. In the country, where there is a distinct lack of street lighting, the stars seem to shine brighter. You can see the “arms” of our galaxy. Put on your stove top kettle, make a cup of coffee (or tea), take out the deck chair, and watch the stars (and occasional satellite) while sipping your coffee with a homemade cookie to munch on.

14. You are culturally in sync with the world

It’s the 21st century and the great invention that is internet, shortly after television, has made its way to rural towns. That’s right, city-slickers, we have the same sort of access to information and programs as you do. While you’re reading this we’re already thinking of whether to go to Bordeaux or Burgundy for our upcoming vacation in France.

15. You know that not everyone from the country is a horse rider

This has got to be the most common misconception among suburban and city dwellers. The first thing they think of about rural lifestyle is horse riding. Practically everyone has cars these days, and horses have been replaced by ATVs for the most part. Unless you’re part of the local pony or rodeo club or are a horse breeder, chances are you are unlikely a horse rider. The movie “city slickers” has a lot to answer for.

Featured photo credit: Australian Apprenticeships via australianapprenticeships.gov.au

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Last Updated on January 17, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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