Tuesday, 10 April 2018

the good, the bad and the ugly

When I began this blog I promised to post about our journey, warts and all.

Instead, when life got too hard, I stopped writing here.  It's been nearly two years since my last post.  I don't even know where I've put my camera and my life has changed dramatically.  So much so that I don't know how to fill the gaps succinctly but I'll try.

I became too busy to post in 2016.  I was offered an opportunity to learn a lot about myself and my effectiveness in community work.  I gained an extraordinary amount of information about community groups, being subjective about my use of time, my personal strengths and weaknesses, how government and organisations function, how to effectively communicate with people and the list goes on.....

It was a huge year for our entire family and coincided with a point in time that I was thoroughly overwhelmed by our attempts to live sustainably.

I was trying to be as self sufficient as possible, from gardening through to milking our goats and producing cheese from their milk.  Homeschooling the children was either very time-consuming if I was doing it well, or guilt inducing if I was spending too much time on self-sufficiency and not getting around to lessons.

These pursuits were wonderful, they truly were!  I loved the pottering around living our lives - the spinning, the cooking, the gardening.... However we didn't keep it manageable.  Our family had taken on so much that we were doing nothing well.  I was feeling dejected by the chaotic mess that was our life.   At this time, the dread of fire I developed every summer was playing with my head.  Our property was at high risk of not surviving during a bush fire.

The introspective journey of the program I undertook in 2016 made it clear to me.  Life needed to change.  I pushed passed my fear of the volume of work required to prepare our property for sale and set to work.  All else was put on the back burner and by April in 2017 we had relocated closer to my adult children and my grandkids.

I enrolled my children in the local schools so they could make friends in our new community.  I set about finding groups to join so I could know people and make a new life for us. I joined several committees and craft groups and the children joined sporting clubs.  I deliberately became a pub-goer for the first time in my life.

It worked.  Tomorrow we have lived in our new home for a year and we feel firmly entrenched and well accepted by the wonderful and diverse folk in our new town.  Unfortunately our environmental footprint is larger than it was at our last home.  It's an area that needs attention but I can't continue with the intensity of the lifestyle of previous years.  My sustainability was unsustainable.

I hope to post again soon about our family and the smaller daily details. 

Right now I'm trying to make an impact on a different level.  I'm trying to create change at a community and organisational level.  Hopefully all efforts count and if we all keep on trying, in our homes and out in the wider world, we will leave the world in a better place for those who follow.


Cheryl said...

Oh hello, hello, hell-hiedy-hiedy-ho!!!
Gosh I've missed you!!!
I feel like I've just reconnected with an old friend!!!
{Hugs to you}
I still have the perpetual leeks that you sent me in the post growing in my garden, and I really do think of you often when I water them!!!
So good to have you back in the blog community, sounds like you've had a lot of upheaval and growth in the past couple of years.
To everything there is a season.
So happy that it's your season to blog again 😬

Linda said...

LOL! What a lovely welcome Cheryl!! So nice to hear from you!

I have always had 'people plants' in my gardens that reminded of the giver. I'm starting a whole new garden here that will have a history too. I'm glad to be one of the people that are thought about in your garden.

I made sure to bring some of those leeks here from our old place. They're great!

Liz (Eight Acres) said...

Hi Linda! I missed you! Great to know what you've been up to. I know that fire dread feeling, so glad you listened to your gut. There is do much that you can do in suburbia and you have do much experience to share too. Be kind to yourself. -liz (eight acres )

Linda said...

Hi Liz! Another friendly face!

No, not suburbia! We've moved to a tiny little country town. We're on an acre on the edge of town but we no longer have all the animals. Just the little pony, chooks and the family pets now. It's much more manageable.

Anonymous said...

So lovely to hear from you again. I sometimes feel in a very similar place to where you've moved on from. I am feeling the need to consolidate. You sound as if you've made a very worthwhile move. Look forward to hearing more. Love Kate. Purple pear farm

Anne@ArtyGreen in Paradise said...

Great that you're back! It is hard keeping it all up sometimes. I know I fail on things regularly, but putting in community time kind of makes up for that I feel. Good on you - it sounds like it was a good move.

Suzie Simplelife said...

Was so surprised to see a post from you pop up on my sidebar .... so nice to see you back. Hopefully life is a little easier. Hope Buddy and the rest of the family are going well. :-)

Meg said...

Hello! I've found your blog again and so lovely to read your catch-up post. Sometimes, we go through a period of unease before we are really ready to change things. That time when things don't "fit" right but the solutions haven't crystallised. Your move sounds like it is working out well for you, that you found a solution to things that is making you happier. Meg:)

Tania said...

So good to hear from you again Linda, you have been missed.

Life is full of twists and turns and it sounds like you have settled for something that suits your family better, and good for you for finding the courage to change. We need to be happy in our walk on this earth :)


Linda said...

Kate, Anne, Suzie, Meg and Tania!! Wow! You are all still here. I imagined that, like me, you guys would have drifted away from blogging as life got in the way. Not so. I have so much catching up to do on everyone's blogs and happenings. I'm looking forward to some lovely cosy days of blog reading.

Chris said...

I'm still here too. We almost took the same route as you - there's nothing wrong with downsizing if it means you can keep your sanity, and be on top of your responsibilities. Because honestly, there's no-one else to do it for you! But we stuck it out because, despite the mammoth responsibility of taking care of acreage, we really are in the best place (for our family).

It's nice to hear (er..read) your friendly voice, in the blogosphere again. ;) Also, to see Buddy and your daughter too. I bet she was sad to say goodbye to the goats. I used to read her blog about them. :)

Anonymous said...

Belated I know, but so excited to see a post from you. I have often wondered how you and your family were going. How wonderful to be closer to your family.

Linda said...

Hello Chris! The goats have gone to a new home nearby and Belle has completely given up blogging. She’s now a fifteen years old with a beautiful soul trying to find her fit in the world.

I’m glad you feel you’ve made the right decision. It’s always hard to know because there IS no right or wrong and change can often be a leap of faith.

Linda said...

Lol! Lovely to hear from you but you have posted anonymously so I have no idea who I’m talking with...