Homesteading Rules and Realities Part 2

by ziggy on October 4, 2017 -- 0 comments -- Follow

South Slope Farm rainbow

The number one rule of trying to maintain a homestead seems to be this: there’s always something else you could be doing. Even when there’s a lull, really, it’s just relative to the busier times… because it’s not that there’s nothing to do, it’s just that stuff won’t fall to bits if it doesn’t happen this second. Thankfully, April and I are getting better at not taking on too much at once, and having a toddler has certainly been helping us to hone that skill. We joke that we operate at 40% capacity with Hazel in tow. Well, it’s actually not a joke as much as it is the truth. Naturally, priorities are different now.

Where am I going with this? Well, in our second year on this land, the deeper realities of being a landowner/land steward/enter your preferred term here is definitely settling in. It’s a pendulum really. One moment I feel like there’s no way we can keep things up, and then the joy of even the smallest bit of progress washes my fears away… only to be repeated again and again.

It’s also helpful for me to maintain a longer view into the future. Maybe it’s part of being older. Hell, I’m firmly in my 30s now. (“Being older”… dang, that’s all relative too. I started this here website when I was 23, a wee lad by comparison.) I definitely still wake up and immediately want to get to work, and my brain is running over life’s details constantly, so that hasn’t changed. But I can let go of things a little more easily, at least a little bit. I can tell myself that eventually, that goal will happen. But it doesn’t have to be today. Or tomorrow. Again… I think having a toddler helps with that.

Right now… I’m already thinking about 2018, and what’s going to shake out. There’s some exciting life changes on the horizon, not all of which I can disclose just yet. But things are gonna shift for us in some positive ways soon. Income work has taken a much bigger front seat for me than years past, and that means a lot of home projects are either much slower to happen, or just put on the back burner for another time. I’m trying to understand how to best leverage my skill in a locale that doesn’t necessarily have a bustling natural building market. So this year I’ve been getting more comfortable with the idea of travel work. (Hint: do you want to hire someone to plaster your house or build you a sweet timber frame pavilion? Drop me a line.)

I’m hopeful that we’ll have a couple new workshops in store for next year as well. Every time we host another workshop, I have ideas of how to improve what we’re already doing, and what we might be able to incorporate in the future. Our workshops are a huge source of inspiration for me. Nope, the inspiration is not reserved just for the students. We ourselves get a lot out of the experience too, even after years of doing them. Right now I’m particularly excited about doing an entry level Timber Frame Workshop to build something we can fully assemble during the duration of the class…

So yea… time goes on. The pendulum swings. The ups and downs are sure to continue. Keeping positive has been and will always be a critical stone in the foundation. There’s still many years ahead, and projects will happen in due time. As horribly cliche as it is, focusing on the present moment is critical… yet so very very difficult to do in practice.

Well, here’s to the present moment.

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