Defining a Prairie Mindset

You might think with a moniker like The Practical Pioneer, I’d be tucked somewhere deep in rural Minnesota, wouldn’t you?

The truth is, however, I don’t live on the prairie. I never have. Don’t think I ever will, either.

Oh, I’ve visited them, and I do have a brother and extended family firmly entrenched in Minnesota, but I don’t think that counts.

I do, however, have a ‘prairie mindset.’ Though, to be honest, I am making that term up, too, and defining it to prove my point. That happens when you have a blog.  But I digress.

A prairie mindset doesn’t mean that your head is filled with endless fields of waving wheat or visions of wells and churns and soddies. It doesn’t mean you wear sunbonnets, button up shoes and long skirts as you leave your farm and make your weekly walk into town.  Although it would be perfectly okay if you did.

What does it mean, then? Simply that you are embracing the spirit of the pioneers as you build your life, family, and home. No matter what the environment you find yourself in (urban, rural, etc.), you can carve out a life that reflects what’s important to you all the while pushing boundaries just that little bit further, and never losing an adventurous spirit.  If it involves some prairie values and skills, all the better!

The pioneers are great examples of lives lived to the full. They went into unsettled landscapes, worked with the resources at hand, and built futures for themselves. They weren’t concerned with doing anything splashy enough to warrant inclusion in history books, nor did they invent stuff just to earn patents and worldwide acclaim. They were busy building their lives, supporting their families, and working toward a ‘better future.’

I want that. I want to be unafraid to go somewhere others rarely tread. I want to use whatever is at hand, rather than whining about what I don’t have. I want to embrace my circumstances and use them as my starting point for building something more. I want to build my family and life around what I feel is important.

Even if modern society doesn’t approve. Even if it’s hard. Even if my children grumble.

So I think that this is a “Prairie Mindset:” Not merely wanting an easy life.  Wanting, instead, a life worth living.

(Image courtesy of dan /

Be the first to comment on "Defining a Prairie Mindset"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.