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Our "Good" Life

February 02, 2010

A frequent question we get asked is "what brought the two of you to this country dream?" The answer is not so simple. I'm not really sure, although it has come about gradually. I guess it's mostly been observations and reflection on what's important to us.

Life is short. Plain and simple. You have to decide what you want from your one shot at it. I think I can safely assume that we've all found priority changes throughout the years, and ours too have changed. I look at the hectic pace of life and think "I don't want to live like that". Although I currently work too many hours in a given week, I am building a strong team in hopes that will come to an end - soon.

Jay and I both decided at some point that we don't want to work just to pay bills. Period. It's important to us to get ourselves financially in a position that allows choices. Of course, with this goal comes a decision: does that mean we work in stressful high-paying jobs in order to live the "good" life; or, do we alter our priorities and live below our means at our average-paying jobs to live a different type of "good" life? We chose the latter.

If, prior to purchase, you look at each item and ask the following questions, I've really found it to help: 1. How many hours of work will it cost me to purchase this item? (remember to figure take-home pay) 2. Do I need this item? 3. Can I make do without this item? 4. Do I love it and/or cherish it?
We have a lot of junk. I don't know how else to say it. A storage unit full of junk, as a matter of fact. I haven't yet convinced Jay that it's all junk, but we're living our day-to-day lives without it, so......why do we need it? I'll get there with him.

The next thing of importance to us is "living consciously". How many times have you gone through days, weeks and sometimes months without enjoying the time? That's one of my next challenges: Living in the moment and consciously. It sounds simple, but I'm finding it's not. Sliding back into how it's always been comes too easy.

We're also trying to live somewhat self-reliant. By that, I don't mean that I'll make my husband give up cable tv (at least not yet). However, it's important to both of us to make the attempts of being responsible for some of our own food, electricity, etc. We're looking at solar or alternative power for our larger "someday" farm as part of the energy source and we're making small changes in our lives today such as a large garden.
I understand that there's not total agreement with regard to the greenhouse effect,but I believe we can all agree that we, as a society, consume and throw away far too much "stuff". This year, as was noted in our New Years' Resolutions, we are focusing particularly on paper towels and plastic bags. This, in addition to the questions prior to a purchase, I believe will continue to make a difference. We try to buy local when possible, and we try to consider items with less packaging.

Many people strive to live a somewhat self-reliant, conscious life but don't desire to have a farm, but we do. Goats, donkeys, ducks, turkeys, alpacas and of course my beloved chickens will all find their way "home" to our farm as it expands. I've always loved animals and Jay has grown to become excited about them as well. Someday I would like to have the "farmer" mentality and raise animals for food, but for now, they will all be named and live pampered, happy lives.

In the next 5 - 7 years we plan to move again, this time to a larger piece of property (= neighbors further away). We'll continue to work toward a simplified, "good" life surrounded by people and animals that we love and hopefully less "things", including the everyday stresses that come with them.

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