So it appears that I have done that thing that many people do when they are writing a blog–start a blog, get all excited and write a ton, and then drop it for weeks or months. I keep thinking that maybe I’ll write again soon, but then I don’t. It’s a combination of a few factors–just general busyness with gardening and homeschooling, doing lots and lots of writing about teaching stuff to try to get people to buy the curriculum that I am selling going to all of the fun social events around here.
But I think that another factor is that I don’t feel totally comfortable promoting our life here.
We have visitors here again, which I always enjoy. My favorite part is all the talking. Yes, I have learned that I am an extrovert, but I also like all of the reminders of why we’re here doing what we’re doing. In the most recent Q & A, we got a question that I didn’t think much of at the time. It was about areas where we are not living up to our environmental ideals. There were a few good answers about fossil fuel use or electricity. I didn’t think that I had an answer–we have reduced our use so much by living here that I think we’re doing okay on that front. But then I started thinking about the question some more, and I realized that I do have this nagging feeling about a few areas of our lives.
It comes back to the money thing again. I guess that we could have done better at supporting ourselves here, but it has been eight months and we are still barely making twenty percent of our expenses. Last month, my husband flew back to Massachusetts to work for a few weeks. And with that one flight, he probably undid months worth of efforts–unplugging appliances, ride-sharing, coordinating those ride shares, hauling water to the garden, pooping in a bucket. And there are other people here who have to leave every few months or once a year to go make money somewhere else.
It comes back to the idea of sustainability. Is it really sustainable to live somewhere that we don’t actually support ourselves? How much money is coming in from the outside world, and how was that money made? Does the whole thing fall apart when we are relying on plane travel or people driving hours away to make a living?
When I get all anxious about this stuff, I try to buckle down and keep working. I think that we will figure out a way to support ourselves, though it might take a long time. I have been researching grit and growth mindset and the importance of perseverance recently, and I know that people who succeed are in it for the long haul. But we wouldn’t be able to work at it for the long haul if we hadn’t come with a bunch of money at first.
I guess what really keeps me going is the daily stuff. Yesterday, the kids played outside for two hours before dinner. I went out to help milk the goats and I saw the sun go down behind the trees. The other night, we sat in a circle for an hour and a half singing songs while I held the kids in my lap and laughed and looked around at other people who were also singing and smiling and stumbling through tricky lyrics or melodies. I get to walk on paths when I go places. I get to watch my kids eat food that I prepared for their lunch.
I still love just about everything about living here.
I still haven’t figured out how to live a life that is sustainable in every sense of the word.