Some dreams just take time… and patience…and money… and small miracles…
It’s been almost 3 years since I became a Georgia girl. Long enough that I now feel the need to wear sweatshirts and have a blankie on my lap when it hits 50 degrees. And while it’s been amazing, it’s also not gone according to plan.
We came here with a dream that seemed so doable. Your dream might not be a homestead, but I bet this process will feel a little familiar! We all go through it!
The “Easy Peasy” Dream:
I had this grand idea of homesteading. Before we left Utah I joined a farm co-op. We had a milk cow, pigs, chickens and turkeys. I caught the bug and my vision for my life started to shift. I wanted to get back to my roots of simple living. So, we bought 10 acres in Georgia and moved to start my homestead!
I even bought the domain www.fakefarmers.com to document my journey. Don’t click the link, I never even started the blog! I filled my vision board with pictures of fruit and nut orchards, thriving, beautiful gardens, chickens & coops, and goats. Of course I would need to have goats! It all seemed so simple!
And then it got hard:
Let me just admit, there is a BIG difference between doing a ½ acre homestead farm with 12 other families and trying to run your own. After moving in and getting the kids settled, we realized we weren’t good with chainsaws, or fencing, or goats, or clearing underbrush. So we got a used tractor. We realized we also weren’t good with tractors! Every single project felt hard and like we didn’t have time for it anyway.
I’ll do it anyway!
I figured it didn’t matter if we weren’t prepared, we just needed to jump in full force. So our first year we got 4 goats. And since none of the land was cleared, and quite honestly it was WAY TOO HARD to clear it, we tore up our entire backyard to plant a massive garden. I honestly believed I could FORCE my way to my desired destination.
4 dead goats. All died due to fencing issues or our lack of knowledge and preparation. And a ripped up backyard that is constantly shaded by all the trees. Not exactly an ideal spot to garden. In other words it was a major flop! We weren’t negligent. We tried to put in fencing for the goats, we tried to take care of them. But goats are not really a “learn as you go” experience! And I am not a firm believer that you probably shouldn’t start with a ¼ acre garden in an entirely shaded area of your lawn. Big FAT Bomb! That’s the best way to describe our effort.
The Failure Re-evaluation:
Well… that didn’t work. Maybe we’re too busy. It’s expensive anyway. It was never really practical. The grocery store is just fine!
Have you been there? When you go after your dream and fall flat on your face? And all of the sudden, the dream doesn’t seem all that important? I was TOTALLY there!
I’ll admit, I put the dream on the shelf for a good year and a half. I still wanted it, but I wasn’t actively pursuing it. It was just there, in the back of my mind. This phase of the dream process is actually the one that determines how long it takes you to get what you want. If you stay there a long time, your goals and dreams will take a LONG time
The Simplified, better informed, second try:
I swore it would be years before we got goats again. But after about a year of being goat free, some friends begged us to take theirs. So we attempted fencing once again, this time coming up with a better plan closer to our house and dogs where they wouldn’t be as exposed to wild animals . We got two adorable bottle fed baby goats. I read so many goat blogs I can give you random goat facts! ! We had the vet come out and make sure they were completely taken care of. That summer, we did NOT attempt anything besides goats.
And we adopted the one project at a time philosophy. Next, we hired an expert to come and clear the woods of all the undergrowth.
And this year, we built 4 garden boxes. It’s teeny tiny. But it’s a start.
It’s so tempting to get frustrated with the lack of progress. I still have about 9.5 acres of unused land! I am miles away from having a fully functional homestead! The temptation is to look at how much is undone and allow yourself to feel like a failure. Instead we’ve got to find joy in the progress!
I went outside to my planter boxes this morning and was SO EXCITED! I have little seedlings popping up! It’s actually working! And I couldn’t be happier!
Some dreams come fast, others take time.
I can make big things come together quickly in many areas of my life. I’m sure you can too. Think about holidays, or school projects. For me my business falls into this category as well. BUT that only happens when you already possess the skills!
We seem to want things to happen for us as fast as we see it happening for others. BUT we don’t possess the same skills and background! Some dreams just take longer. Our skills are developing. We are learning and sometimes we just have to start slowly.
I have no doubt that my homestead dream will happen. It might take me 10 or 15 years. But it will happen.
What will you choose?
10 to 15 years! Half of my brain wants to go to frustration and throw up my hands at all of this silliness! But the stronger and wiser half of me knows that I can choose to pursue what I want with frustration or gratitude as my companion. Trust me, gratitude is a better travel buddy on the journey of life!
This week I’m celebrating my seedlings like they are the best accomplishment on the planet. Share with us, what are your small wins this month? We’d love to hear from you at @AmyWalkerLiving