When you first meet Alissa Brennan, you'll notice that she holds a calm, peaceful energy. Her three, energetic children are happy, polite and kind. In this ever growing, fast-paced world of technology, it was refreshing to sit still with Alissa and learn about how she manages to live simply in today's world. She is an urban homesteader, a supplier of essential oils and a homeschooling Mama striving to live a zero waste life in Belleville, Ontario. When you think of all of this combined, by no means does it sound like it would be "simple" in any way. But Alissa manages to navigate life smoothly on their 1/8 acre lot with three, beautiful children and a cuddly dog.
After chatting with Alissa for some time and learning she too was a single Mom, I asked her how she managed her bills, her home and her lifestyle. Although not currently single, Alissa shared with me how terrified she was when she first became a single parent. I nodded knowingly, like most people no one ever expects to become a single parent. She shared how she had just started homeschooling her daughter and knew she needed to find a way to continue. With her three kids packed in a van, she drove from Nova Scotia to Belleville to be closer to family. Alissa spoke openly about her determination to find a mortgage broker who would "go to bat" for a single Mom with no income. After being rejected five times, she finally found one. Three years later, she continues to build upon her gorgeous little home where we sit and listen to her beside a warm fire.
"I made a decision that I wanted to buy a house and homeschool my children. And we live in a beautiful country where the government provides support, for example with the Canada Child Tax Benefits. It made it easier for me to do this."
Having found myself in a similar position, being single and also wanting to stay at home with my child, I understood the feeling of being so determined to do something that nothing would get your way. As Alissa states, "When you make a conscious decision to do something, everything works out."
While our visit was far too short, it was so nice to be around a woman and Mother, who shares similar values and lifestyles. Although I can continue to write about her, I'll let Alissa's documentary sum up what she strives for in life: to live a Simple Life in the City with her family.
Thank you Alissa, for taking the time to meet with Jodi and I and share your story.
Learn more about Alissa on her website: http://www.simplelifeinthecity.com/category/zerowaste/