I'm happy to say that I'm in the final stages of leaving the city and moving to my property. Another week and I'll be done with the active move and focusing on unpacking and settling into my new life. It feels surreal and scary but also very exciting. My heart has lived there for many years so being able to do this makes me so happy. I was able to find a decent job. The pay isn't quite what I hoped, and is a lot lower than what I was making in the city, but I have some plans for remote work with a prior employer and I will be focusing on being super frugal to make it work. That's all as intro to what I wanted to share here.
The biggest thing that has hit me as I've been working through this whole decision and transition is how much different the learning aspects are.
With the life I've been living in the city, there wasn't much that I didn't feel competent or experienced in. I'd been in my career field for more than a decade and although I needed to keep up with changing policies or laws, overall, I had it down. I know the city well enough. I had the skills and knowledge to navigate my daily life. I'm good at the basics at least of my hobbies. I was learning things still (like permaculture) but mostly because I wanted to and much of it was theoretical or for use "someday" rather than immediate and hands-on.
The past few months I've spent a lot of time on the property and I'm doing and learning new things pretty much daily and dealing with new struggles. Wildlife challenges (mice, bear, deer) Tool use and maintenance (Sawzall, weed wacker, chainsaw). Selling a vehicle to a private party for the first time. Making friends and finding local helpers and resources since none of my city contacts would apply.
I've gone from living a life where it was basically "in the bag" to "Wow, I don't know what I'm doing - I hope if I screw this up, the consequences aren't too severe." I trimmed one of my fruittrees and it seemed like a good thing for the tree but without the lower branches acting as defense, it opened it up to being easier for the deer to get at. I planted some berry bushes last year in a place that turned out to be pretty much the worst possible location for them. I surrounded them with fencing and didn't secure it well enough so it blew away in the first wind/rain storm and had to do it again. I tried composting which trained a bear to think of my place as a food source and caused more challenges with them eating all my green fruit and ripping up my trees (although I also found out that they are worse in this area this year than they've ever been before.)
But I also cut up an old eye sore with a Sawzall (first time using one) and scrapped the metal. I found a local mechanic and had an old vehicle towed and repaired. I researched and then posted that vehicle and sold it on Craigslist (to the perfect person). I replaced a toilet seat on a toilet with completely rusted / corroded bolts. I painted walls for the first time in years. I moved things that I was barely strong enough to move - redid my driveway with gravel, one wagon load at a time. I took many loads of items to the waste center and recycling. I gave away many items to strangers that they were happy to receive. I contacted Fish & Wildlife about my bear issue and then found a neighbor who could take care of it for me. I planted seeds in areas where they didn't come up and many where they did. I've gone from being able to weed wack for 45 minutes to being able to do it for 2.5 hours.
I'm sure these seem like easy things to many of you (and someday I know I will undoubtedly be amused remembering how green / inexperienced I was) but for me they were challenges. In my family of origin, all of these things would have been handled by the men. Doing them myself is scary and incredibly satisfying. Nearly every single day involves something or someone new and it's completely out of my comfort zone. I like and am used to my comfort zone. I struggle with making all the needed phone calls, asking for help with so many things I can't do myself, trying things when I don't know I will succeed or am worried about the consequences of my lack of skill. It's been really hard. But my motto is "I can do hard things" and it's been repeatedly proven true. And I've been learning to cut myself slack for making more mistakes than I'm used to. After all, I'm in new territory every day and making mistakes is a result of trying new things.
And it's been satisfying to do things "my way." Because I was there and cutting the grass/weeds myself, I discovered the baby fruit trees and bushes around all the parent plants and was able to save them for transplanting in the fall. I was able to cut around patches of flowers (or cut higher to leave ground flowers) so the pollinators have had a constant supply of them for the past couple months. I noticed and earmarked a whole bunch of volunteer evergreens of various kinds for a future Christmas tree patch. I know where I'm going to let more blackberries take over. I have lots of dandelions rather than closely cropped fields and I will be able to eat dandelion greens in my bean soup all winter.
Good for you. Go for it with full confidence. Life is an adventure, so what do you have to lose with all the excitement you're having right now? If you fail try something new but with all the excitement I dont think that's failure at all. The measure of success in life is ; how much fun you had with your experience. Because the reality that most of us missed is; every effort by everyone has one and common reason. That is to, feel good, have fun be happy.
It is pretty amazing, isn’t it Sonja? So much to learn, so little time! I wake up every day with that feeling. I love having multiple projects in progress - can drop one and pick up another, as the heat/cold/energy/interest varies. Always something to do, always something to learn, a grand experiment. Enjoy!
“All good things are wild, and free.” Henry David Thoreau
What's that smell? I think this tiny ad may have stepped in something.
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