How to Regain Sight of Your Homesteading Goals
Have you ever been so sure of something that you just knew the zeal would never leave? Have you ever felt yourself lose sight of the exact excitement that you thought would never go away? Sometimes, we find ourselves in circumstances that kind of zap the excitement for our passions right out of us.
I love homesteading, I always (since we started our journey) have and I always will. With that being said, I came to a realization recently that through life circumstances beyond my control, I had lost sight of my first love and goals for homesteading.
I’ll be the first to tell you that I think homesteading truly is a romantic lifestyle. I know there are people out there who get annoyed when they feel like others over romanticize it but I am totally a hopeless homesteading romantic. Sorry, not sorry to those of you who disagree. (insert goofy winky emoji here)
Our Initial Homesteading Goals
When I look back to the early days of our homesteading journey and even just the days of dreaming about homesteading, I can see our goals so clearly.
We wanted to grow a large garden for fresh eating and enough abundance to preserve a years worth of food for our family. I knew right away that we needed a family milk cow for all of our dairy needs. I dreamt of cooking wholesome meals made with all homegrown ingredients. Raising all of our own meat was a lofty idea but definitely on the goal list.
Those were all goals that were fairly obtainable over time. Bigger goals included a large farm with running water, a large orchard, plenty of pasture and woods, all of the farm equipment we would need (tractor, hay equipment, etc…), off grid abilities and supplies. You get the idea, a basic self sufficient, family run homestead. This is still a dream.
I’m happy to say that within our first couple of years homesteading, we achieved many of our initial goals. Successful gardens, raising pork and poultry, we even got a milk cow. In that time we also added several American Tarentaise heifers to start our own grass fed beef herd as well as a steer to raise for meat for our family.
The excitement of growing our own food grew and we started to make plans and goals for pasture based farming on a much larger scale. We wanted to raise a full spectrum of pastured meats to sell to the public.
In the beginning of 2016, we felt led to move to Florida and sold all of our animals. We had big plans for our new Florida homestead and were very excited. A lot of not so great things happened between then and now (end of 2018) and our homesteading was less than stellar in Florida. This was a huge disappointment to us following our huge expectations.
Many things went wrong in life. My dad had major health issues (that are ongoing), our financial situation was not what we expected which led to a lot of stress and frustration, Derek’s truck broke down and we had to replace the engine, Our van broke down, the house we lived in continually had problems we had to fix, our gardening endeavors failed, we battled fire ants eating our seeds as well as attacking us constantly, we lost animals, etc…. It was a constant battle and nothing ever seemed to work out well. And then we were displaced by Hurricane Michael. It was as if life had spun completely out of control.
Without even realizing it, we really lost sight of our homesteading goals. We still wanted all of these things but they felt much farther away even though we were still fulfilling some of the goals. See, when the difficulties set in and life got really hard, we lost our zest. We were going through the motions but finding it hard to feel the emotions.
Reigning the Dream Back In
When you come to a revelation or realization in life, you have a choice to make. You can remain in the frame of mind your are in our you can choose to change things.
It’s not that I lost the love or passion for homesteading, or even that those goals weren’t there anymore. It’s just that the zeal and excitement had wained and I hadn’t really even realized it. I guess it was one of those “you can’t see the forest for the trees” situations.
I can tell you that I’m a firm believer that God gives you gifts and passions in life for you to utilize and use them. I always encourage people to find their passion and figure out a way to make money utilizing it. If you follow this advice, you’ll be much happier in your career. I also believe that people will find their purpose once they find their passion. But, I digress, this is another post for another day.
Derek and I have stepped back and taken a hard look at what homesteading means to us and why we do it. Our early years of homesteading were full and we flourished. We found much fulfillment and joy out of the lifestyle. This truly is where our hearts are and what we are fiercely passionate about.
How we managed to let life bring us to the point where we weren’t finding the joy in the little things, I’m not really sure. I know that the enemy likes to sneak in to kill, steal, and destroy. We got beat down with life circumstances and everything became clouded.
We made the choice to acknowledge what had happened and to choose joy in the moments and to take ahold of those goals again. To pursue them with the fire and passion that we started with. It is very much a choice.
Sometimes, the choice is made but you have to fight for it. Sometimes, it just takes recognizing it and correcting it. Sometimes, you gotta “take the bull by the horns” and make it happen. I like that saying but please don’t literally take a bull by its horns, that’s just a bad idea. (insert another goofy winky emoji)
Our New and Old Goals
The goals remain much the same as before and we do have many of them accomplished right now. We’ve made the commitment to keep the excitement there and to keep the romantic ideas of homesteading alive.
We want to raise at least 80% of our own food which will include 100% of our own meat. This is our immediate family goal. We still dream of and will pursue a large scale farm to sell to the public but it’s not the front runner for our family.
One of the most important aspects of homesteading for us is to instill values in our children that will carry on for generations. We want them to learn how to take care of themselves and others. The physical skills that come from homesteading are valuable but the life lessons are priceless.
I wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for the world and I feel grateful and honored to be able to raise my family like this. May I never lose sight of these dreams and goals again.
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