I made all kinds of excuses. They usually fell into one of three categories:
1. We could not afford it.
2. We don’t have the time.
3. I kill everything that I plant and don’t know the first thing about taking care of animals.
Looking back, I own up to the fact that this was really, deep down, about fear. Fear of change. Fear of failure. Fear of explaining THIS lifestyle to people. Fear of what this will do to the family, especially our four children.
But here’s the thing…..When we found our dream home on six acres, I knew that this move was going to be a game changer. Once the dust settled, I had no more excuses. We now had a more affordable home with a closer commute to school and work. I found all kinds of time because I wanted to be outside exploring, planning, dreaming, learning, and just taking in all in. My home is smaller, we have less things, and that means less time cleaning and tending to chores inside. As for the killing plants and not knowing anything about animals? Well, that is still work in progress. Gardening and caring for plants does not come naturally to me. The animals? I never thought of myself as an animal lover, but I cannot imagine our homestead without them now.
Have we failed? Sure, every day! Instead of hyper-focusing on the negative part of each failure, we take the opportunity to learn and make a course correction. We didn’t grow up on a homestead, but we sure know a whole lot more than we did six months ago. The side effects of our move are felt everyday as we are eat fresh food from the garden and spend more time outside during the week than we ever have. Our chickens, pigs, and goats are an endless source of entertainment and affection. From this experience, I feel a deep connection to our land and the people that cared for it for so may years before me. But my favorite part, is that I feel like my family is closer than ever. We are in this together.
I realize that this life is not for everyone. It was not the life I lived nor thought I really wanted. But now, I would never give it up.
We own a homestead.