Republished and updated from original post in 2019. This turned out to be a highly popular post, and I started thinking again about the steps I've taken, or will be taking, to achieve the life I want. With the pandemic, it has been at the forefront of my thoughts, and I often wonder about the old-fashioned-ish life I'm carving out for myself in this ever-changing world.
That's not a misprint. Anyone who knows anything about Tasha Tudor knows that she was a woman who lived the way she wanted, bucking modern . . . well, almost everything, to live a quiet life among her gardens and books.
I was older when I really took the time to learn about her and the way she lived. My mother had a few of her books and often spoke of visiting Tudor's gardens in Vermont.
This doesn't mean I want to pack up and move to Vermont (I've already done that twice). I also have a strong dislike for humidity, ticks, and residing in close proximity to major cities.
I should say that I want to live like Dr. Quinn, but hers was a fictional world. Tasha Tudor was the real thing.
I do like hot showers, washing machines, and the ability to get from point A to point B without hitching up a wagon. Yet, there is a romanticism about the way Tudor lived her life which I greatly admire, and envy.
It's difficult to imagine relinquishing what I have left of the modern world in order to live in a way that calls to me daily. I have a "dumb" smart phone for business, but it's rarely on and never leaves my desk unless I'm driving. I refuse to allow cable, satellite, other forms of outside channels, video games, and anything like it into my home, but I cheat on occasion and watch an episode via Amazon or a DVD at night when I'm too tired to do anything else. I don't use social media or any other form of online communication for personal use. However, I do use them for business.
I have already failed to live like Tasha Tudor.
Would I be able to manage a life without these modern conveniences and still do what I enjoy for a living? I can't write at the speed I do or communicate with authors, editors, and other industry professionals without a computer and the internet. Sometimes I will write with pen and paper, but I still need the computer. How then do I think I could live a life like Tasha Tudor?
It's all about balance. If it was feasible in this day and age, or if I didn't ever need to make a living, I would give it all up without hesitation. Because it's not practical, I've had to find a careful balance.
More and more I find myself removing my emails from random mailing lists I hadn't realized I'd subscribed to, especially those prompting me to buy things I don't want or need (book newsletters don't count because I'll always want and need books).
Living simply doesn't mean I have to go back to the nineteenth-century (though that would be cool), but it does mean living as simply as possible, doing away with the noise of the world, and reconnecting with myself rather than the next new thing.
In many ways, I do live like Tasha Tudor within the pages of my books. I am most drawn to a time that, although not easier, it was simpler. No matter how often I think of writing another contemporary, it is the past I yearn for most. I write because I enjoy it so much I cannot imagine not writing, and I write to escape the modern world.
One day I will have a life like Tasha Tudor . . . then again, in another five or ten years, my life is going to seem like a modern version of Tudor's.
Would you live like Tasha Tudor or do you prefer living in a modern world?