The Best Laid Plans, or How Not to Homestead

The Best Laid Plans, or How Not to Homestead

My husband and I have, for many years now, taken a fancy to the idea of homesteading.  In our twenties, we romanticized about it a lot. We had this idea that we’d be self-sufficient, growing all our food, off grid, milking and gardening, churning and sewing, building and canning. I even planned to learn to darn socks.  We bought books and did research; we got some chickens and some goats; I made butter one time. We were living the dream.

One thing we didn’t anticipate, though, or at least *I* didn’t anticipate, is that that shit is hard. H.A.R.D. It is hard work, living in a way that’s right with the world. I mean, conceptually, yeah, I knew it would be hard. But, having never had to do any legitimately hard work before in my entire sheltered, middle class life, I was not prepared for the kind of hard involved in even pretend homesteading like what we were doing.  I’m talking callouses and sweat and work gloves and barbed wire, physical labor, and I’m also talking slaughtering animals, shooting predators, death-comes-silently kind of hard.

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We were just kind of getting into the swing of things when life happened (the nerve), and our pretend homestead got put on hold. It’s been five-ish years now and we are finally back in a place where we are trying, but something has changed. My fire went out. I’m not sure what changed (two kids), but I just can’t find the drive anymore. We are firmly on the grid. We are full-on consumers.  I didn’t even have a garden this year. We have our goats and our pigs and our hens, but that’s as close to homesteading as we’ve gotten this go ’round.

I hope my fire comes back, that I can get right with the world again soon. But right now, in this season of my life, it all just seems like too much. I’m complacent. I’m guilty, but I’m too lazy to try to make it right right now. Maybe when our boys are a little older.

But maybe not.

 


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