thinking about 2013
|January 3, 2013||Posted by Mama under community, family life, healthy things, homestead, off-grid living, world view|
*sigh* It is 7:20pm and I have checked almost everything off my to-do list. This has been a busy, but well-lived week. Celebrations, a sleepover (as a family), arrends, homeschool planning, getting back into some semblance of a routine… The kids are now in bed, most of them are asleep, and after two days of intentional delay I feel like I can finally sit down and write. You know when my routine of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday blog posts are out of order or missing entirely that I am probably busy with family activity. (I only missed one day this week!) But while peace and chaos have both had their place in our holidays, we enjoyed ourselves, and I think we’ve got our foot off to a good start for 2013.
As far as the homestead is related we feel much more confident about the winter than we did last year. The porch is better insulated against the elements, we have a 4×4 vehicle and one with tire chains, we have more room to store water indoors, and Papa has figured out an effective way of thawing out the pipes for starters. Last night the temp dropped to at least -2 degrees fahrenheit and while we did need to start up the second kerosene heater to keep it warm inside (it went from 57 when I woke up during the night to 93 when I woke up again to shut off the “big bad heater” a couple hours later), trying to keep the pipes from freezing is a tad more difficult. Using well-placed heaters, and a rag soaked in boiling water, it was running again in less than 30 minutes. Papa also worked on insulating specific sections of the pipe, hoping that will make them more difficult to freeze. Either way it’s a faster process this year and by the time we’re done living in a camper, the winter will be a piece of cake!
If last year was about growing roots, this year it’s sprouting. I’m not sure why the plant terminology, but I think it characterizes the phase of life we’re in beautifully – everything is happening naturally and in it’s own time – we are not forcing our plans with mortgages and paying rent, for example. Everything we do is built with cash and mostly our own labor, and watching all the groundwork come together to create our own little place in the world is very rewarding. It makes me think about what it will look like 20 years from now when our house has long been established, our gardens fruitful every year, our kids coming to visit (or maybe even living next door!) That dream keeps us going on the path toward financial independence and making our own way in the world, even if it is quite unconventional.
Last June I started talking about our family’s resolution not to abide by the new healthcare law’s mandate to buy insurance. We decided that if the Supreme Court decided the bill was constitutional and made it a federal law that we would seek refuge from a state protecting people from this law if such a state existed. We now feel fairly confident investing into our homestead because at this time no states are providing refuge. In one way I feel a bit relieved. I know it is only selfishness that makes me feel that way. I want to stay in the state where most of my family are, especially while my children are young, but at the same time I wish we could do something to support a more libertarian state. Maybe someday a state will secede from the union, but that’s a whole other topic… For now anyways we will stay here. This means we will be paying the annual fine from the IRS for not having insurance, and if the time comes when a consequence more serious than money must be faced, we will be ready to address that in the way best for our family, though I’m not ready to talk about it here now. We’re not giving in, but our current home is no worse than any other place so there is really no point in moving.
So what will this year look like? What does sprouting mean to me? In a literal sense, with no babies on the way I am hoping to spend the summer outside with my kids, working the garden and helping Papa lay the foundation for our new home. We will continue homeschooling of course, but mostly, sprouting to me means we have now established ourselves, having been here for a year and a half and built essential projects for our home, allows us to not think just about surviving off-grid in a small home, but really making progress building up. We’re now at the point that, if Papa’s job security continues, we should be able to make significant progress on our homestead this year. Each one of us is very excited.
I haven’t made a list of resolutions, must-do’s and hope-to-change plans. I do have a short list of things I would like to make or accomplish this year, but if they aren’t done life goes on. One thing on that list is actually something I plan not to do. I will not be taking on any more large writing projects this year. There are a few ideas I have for future books, and I really enjoy writing so it is tempting to start playing with those ideas, but I have to stay focused on my home this year. Giving myself permission not to start new projects right now is helping me to watch the clock, calendar, and to-do lists less.
Having fewer extra things on my to-do list gives me the freedom to cuddle more with my kids, do an extra cleaning job that will give me joy, and feel good about my day. I don’t need to do everything to feel accomplished and productive. I can slow down to enjoy the routines like reading to my kids, tending to the chickens, washing dishes, even reading a book myself… It adds beauty in its own way, and when I’m not in a rush to cross things off the list, I can enjoy the simplicity of every day chores and routines. Maybe this is another aspect of this year of sprouting – becoming more confident in our family life.
One thing I really like about the new year is appreciating the joy of the unknown – you never know what joys and trials we will encounter, but God has given us each other and a new day, a new year. For now though, instead of thinking about the future, I’d like to cuddle up with the hubby and catch a couple of shows before lights out.
Happy New Year everyone. Blessing to you all.