Every now and then I have a day when I question why in the world I homestead.
It’s hard work…
and continuous, day in and day out, 7 days a week, 12 months a year.
Logically and philosophically I can give you point after point as to why I homestead, why I grow my own food, why I learn self-sufficiency skills, why I use herbal plants for medicinal purposes, why I go the extra mile to make sure my animals are well taken care of, why I teach my children at home, why I believe so strongly in this lifestyle.
when it’s an emotionally tough day and I’m feeling lonely and overwhelmed by the workload, that soapbox can be easily pushed aside…
and sat upon.
I was talking with a girlfriend of mine who is also a farmer and has a full time job off the farm. I was whining a bit to her about how I was feeling today.
We both agreed there are days when you feel like selling all the animals and the land and moving into a subdivision somewhere with manicured lawns and a pool that someone else maintains; the convenience of stores and groceries right down the road. No tractors to fix, no sick animals to worry over, no anxiety about rainfall, no need to get dirty or work in the heat and cold. It sounds so idyllic.
And then we talked about politics – but only for a moment cuz I don’t do politics. We talked about environmental decisions that have been made, the instability and uncertainty of our future.
I finally said – you know what makes homesteading so difficult sometimes? We don’t HAVE TO do all this. Every convenience and need can be met if we drive to a store and allow ourselves to be dependent on someone else to make decisions for us. It’s not like we live in a 3rd world country where there is no choice about food. Where, if you don’t grow it, you don’t eat; if you don’t milk it, you don’t have milk; if you don’t take care of it, you have no meat; if you don’t work in the hot or cold, you have nothing. No one is there to bail you out.
Homesteading is a choice.
It’s a choice to be independent and self-sufficient.
It’s a choice to take control of the future for both me and my family.
It’s a choice to be a good farmer and steward of the land.
It’s a choice I am not forced to choose…not now anyway.
So on these days when my emotions don’t quite line up with logic and philosophical views, I may choose to sit on my soap box for a few moments…
and in the quiet and beauty of the land around me, basking in the privacy and freedom of homesteading,
I realize my emotions are fickle and oft change with the wind.
But my choices and beliefs,
those will keep me on track to stay the course.
And what do I choose to do when those emotions of doubt begin to wash over me?
I feed the chickens, and the goats, and the pigs…
and I smile.