We have plans for a few more chickens and expanding our coop set-up once spring comes…More on those plans soon…
Over the past several months my interest and pursuit of a homemade life has increased tremendously. I’ve wanted to move more toward a homemade, self-sustained existence for some time now, but it’s incredible how time-consuming that can feel when you have very little free time. However, I’ve discovered (not surprisingly) that it soothes me and is worth eliminating something else from my schedule in order to take the time to do.
A couple of years ago, and really for several years now, I’ve had this small dream of living more self-sufficient and naturally. It was never triggered by the sweeping popularity of homemade and homesteading, although that didn’t hurt in making information about doing such more readily available, but always something that felt kindred to me.
It’s nice to see more communities moving in this direction. A friend at work recently told me that there’s a company locally that will come around and clean chicken coops and educate on chicken-keeping. This points to the number of people who feel similarly I think. Not just in raising chickens, but in other areas of self-sufficient home life too.
I’ve always loved to bake and make things, so moving more in this direction has been fun for me. But, I’ve been looking at it with an even clearer lens lately, and this is because once I began down this path, I realized how many things I wanted to shift in our daily life.
I’ve made the goal of creating a more homemade kitchen for us. Less and less store-bought finished products is the goal. Most recently I made homemade granola. The best thing about it…I know what’s in it! And it’s only a handful of ingredients and super yummy.
Over the past several months we’ve also been composting and raising our own chickens! We’re up to 10 chickies now. None are quite at egg-laying age yet, but soon!
And, it’s been exciting to think about next steps: raised garden beds (although not much grows where we live, but we’re going to try), and a small greenhouse for other veggies. More plans to come…
A couple of years ago what I wanted most was to feel secure and strong, and to reconnect with my creative self. I’d been through some sad times, lost a relationship, and felt my life had been thrown into the wind. I felt vulnerable and lost. But, I regained my balance. I stopped for a minute. I reassessed what was important. I reconnected with my creativity. I took some time to figure things out, and while I’m still doing that and probably always will be to some degree, I feel more confident in who I am and what I want out of life. With each day that I settle more into myself I am more certain about the things I want to do, what I want out of life, and what I want to give back. Each day it’s about making that happen.
I have these cycles where I work hard and figure out certain aspects of my life (work, wellness, education, creative pursuits), and I’ll be going along for a bit and feel like I’m moving in the right direction, and then a shift will happen and I’ll feel a bit out of balance again. Sometimes I can pinpoint what it is that changes my perspective (a change at work, a class I’m not crazy about, a lull in my creativity), and all it takes is a bit of time to work through that. But, other times I can’t even pinpoint the factor that’s making me feel like something isn’t quite right.
I journal. A lot. This helps get my stream of consciousness out and oftentimes I will discover what’s bugging me. Then I can try to problem-solve what to adjust. I know that something is pulling at me and my inner-self is trying to tell me to make a shift.
I’m experiencing this a bit right now with finding the right balance with everything I have going on in my life. Whenever this happens, I stop to reassess the situation, think about what’s important to me, why I’m doing what I’m doing, what’s the purpose and passion behind each element of my day-to-day, and then I try to make adjustments as necessary. It sounds pretty straightforward, but it’s actually really tricky for me at times. Often it seems there are elements of life that don’t want to budge though. And, there are realities tied to these…for example, school just takes a long time. And, I need to keep up with my work-life at the same time. Sometimes, like what I’m experiencing now, there aren’t any clear solutions. Patience is something I have to always work on, so sitting with something unresolved for a while is hard for me. But, I’m learning that things may just take time (sometimes more time than I’d like). And, usually, a solution reveals itself in one way or another if you’re open to it and doing what you can to work toward it.
I used to feel guilty about making adjustments to my life. I didn’t “get” this for a long time. I thought that you had to stick to the path you chose or it was viewed as a failure. But, that’s absolutely backwards. Recognizing that something isn’t the best fit and doing something about it-changing it-is a success. With each adjustment I make to get to a better place in each aspect of my day-to-day, I am being truer to myself. Giving myself permission to listen to my gut about things has been freeing, and I feel more myself.
None of this is ground-breaking information. But, I had to hear it and live it over and over (and still do daily) for it to resonate with me.
It also helps to be surrounded by support when I’m trying to find my balance. I am happy to share that I have an amazing friend and partner in my life now that helps me feel stronger. He helps me to see solutions I may not have seen otherwise. And he makes me laugh most importantly. I’m so thankful. I have support from many creative women out there too, and I’m thankful for them. This space, this site, helped me through some of those transitional times a few years ago. I’ve met some amazing people-both in-person and on this blog and others.
I’ve been missing my space here and connecting with other writers, artists, readers, and creatives. I’ve had plans for some time now to share more here. I have felt pretty maxed out lately between work and wrapping up my graduate program, but writing and creating is such an essential part of my wellness that I need to re-prioritize that somewhat.
So, I hope to “see” you here more often…