Thursday, November 17

Ambition, Inspiration and Sheep Birthing

Once and a while I lose my enthusiasm.

I get swamped with daily chores and caring for the kids and it is just easier to throw a load of laundry in the dryer rather than hang it on the drying rack. It is faster to crack open a box of Hamburger Helper, even though it is with organic beef, then to peel potatoes, slice carrots, and marinate chicken breast.

I just kind of lose the ambition to keep up with this modern homesteading.

Don't get me wrong, I love my homesteading-attempts lifestyle and there is no way I will ever go back to 100% non-homestead, modern living. But it gets a little hard to remember why we do what we do sometimes. I get reminded when i see a story on the news about tainted pine nuts or recalls on turkey. Or when I get to spend time in the garden working with my hands and getting dirt under my nails. It is just hard to stay committed once and a while.

So I turn to magazines and books and blogs. I have a great desire to read about what others are doing, to get ideas, to get motivated, to get inspired. I discover many things while doing this - new ways to start seeds, a great idea for a cold frame, a new recipe for bread, the fact that I never want to be responsible for birthing a sheep.

When Mother Earth News comes in the mail, I can not wait to sit down and read it - especially if there is a great article on someones homesteading journey. I get inspired by seeing other people living the dream and it helps me get back on track. It is my form of community - knowing that there are other people out there who think like I do, who want to live like I want to live, who have the same problems and successes that I do.

For me, instead of having a farmer next door and a soap making expert down the road, I can turn to Hobby Farm Home, or Jenna at Cold Antler Farm, or the Barn Hop and get questions answered, seek advice, offer my own advice and in general participate in the exchange of ideas on the internet that makes modern homesteading possible, in my opinion.

For example, I just read a great book, "The Dirty Life" by Kristen Kimball. Just reading about someone else's journey makes me anxious to move mine forward. Sure, she talks about bull testicles and runaway horses - things I don;t think I will ever have on this here homestead - but I can relate to her journey and her mis-matched furniture and too much rain and chicken poop.

Just knowing that I am not alone here and that my ideas of a self sufficient life are not crazy and backward. Knowing that I am not paranoid of dooms-day but it is ok to be prepared just in case - that there are other people who are just as not-crazy as I am.

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