Merriam Webster Dictionary: Balance - a counterbalancing weight, force, or influence.
I grew up living in the suburbs and my parents had 40 hour per week jobs. As a kid, life seemed simple.
As I grew older and had kids of my own, families lives seemed to get more and more complicated. Kids were expected to be more involved, more active.
Also, as I grew older, I witnessed families constantly on the go. No time for family dinners or too tired to make a dinner so drive thru was the answer.
Life has gotten so crazy for so many people! I think we are slowly waking up to the fact that we need to slow down and get back to some basics.
People are seeking out space, some breathing room. Either acreage or even an urban setting. Just enough room for a garden and maybe some animals.
As you begin your journey you breathe and have a smile on your face that you haven't had in a while.
After a while it starts to hit you. After countless hours pulling weeds or feeding animals, shoveling animal poop; you ask yourself if this is worth it? You alternate between "This is what we wanted!" and "Oh! So much work! I thought this was supposed to be SIMPLE?!!"
We have many friends come visit. While they are here we visit, have campfires and watch the night sky. They marvel how relaxing living like this is! We say NO! We only get to do this when we have company!
We get up, have breakfast and hit the proverbial bricks. There are always projects to do, weeds to pull, animals to take care of and the list goes on.
My husband and I struggle very much in finding balance. I think most people who homestead do because there is ALWAYS something that needs done. ALWAYS.
On one hand, I wouldn't have it any other way. I would rather be working my butt off around here than at some 9-5 job for someone else.
On the other hand, we desperately need to make time for fun and relaxation.
How do you do that? How do you let go of "all of this needs to be done?!"
I know for us it's a work in progress. You have to be very mindful. After working until 9 pm the other night and all morning again, we went to a neighbors and went fishing yesterday afternoon. We had nice company and caught a few fish.
Will we have balance the rest of the week? Let's see how mindful we will be.
How do you keep balance in your life?
You've been talking with your significant other for a while now. you both have dreams and goals. You're making plans, looking for the right place and this off the grid living, homesteading dream of yours might be just around the corner.
We all go into this wanting the simple life, what we really don't understand until we have jumped in with both feet is that simple isn't simple!
Besides time and money, these 5 things are what I'm finding to be most important to have if this is the life you want.
Flexibility is the key! You may have your plans all laid out and BOOM! Something is guaranteed to mess those pretty little plans up. Run out of money, out of material, animals die, some emergency comes up. Something. There is always something.
We are in the middle of so many different projects right now because priorities are always changing due to weather, money or some animal issue.
If you have flexibility, you can roll with the punches.
Patience goes along with flexibility. Patience comes in handy when you cut a board too short for the building project you're working on. Or, when the animals aren't cooperating or when the next project you wanted to start just isn't going to be the next project. Patience, it will all happen in time.
If you can be a McGyver, you've got it made!
We collect everything and anything. We have our own recycling center in the compound. We usually have enough stuff to make it or fake it. Think outside the box, use whatever you have a create!
There are times when you have to accept that it won't happen, it's not going to work or animals do die. We can't do it all, we can't fix it all, we can't save it all. We are only human. Knowing when to accept something will save a lot of time and frustration.
One reason we are living this life is because we want less frustration and more enjoyment.
The more organized you are, the less frustration you will have. Make a list of goals and prioritize. This might be the single most important thing to keep you moving forward.
The last few years we haven't really had set goals. We've been bouncing back and forth between projects, finishing some, not others. No real direction. We know this is the lifestyle we want to live but we need to become more serious and streamlive where we want to go with it.
This is our year to become focused and organized. To make a real effort to move even closer to our ideal.
Do you have what it takes? If you have work to do in some areas, are you up to it?