I’ve been a bit silent over the course of the last six months only posting a couple of times. I’ve been busy with grandkids and trips here and there (Hi Marla in N. Dakota!). However, that isn’t the real reason. The real reason is that in just a few short months I had bogged down. I didn’t feel like I had a particular point of view or voice, if you will. I
read used to read lots of blogs and each one fit into a particular niche; homesteading, Christian homesteading, natural mommies, Christian natural mommies, natural health, Christian natural health, health and fitness, Christian health and fitness…….you get the idea. Because I’m interested in so many things and enjoy reading posts from a variety of authors with a wide variety of view points I found myself wondering about my niche. Where did I fit in? Do I have a niche? Do I need a niche? Do I even have anything to say to anybody about anything? And, because I struggle with perfectionist tendencies I became frustrated with the whole process of building a website/blog and gaining the attention of potential readers. I would visit sites for bloggers and there would be lots of articles on 5 Way to Boost Readership, 10 Tips for Top Blogs, 7 Ways to Go From Zero to Hero, 17 Reasons You Are Failing As A Blogger……. Of course I’m making all of those titles up. But the thought of working through formulas and trying to tailor my thoughts and my writing style to fit into a certain formula just drained the joy out of me. Then, I would have to spend my days trolling through various blogs and carefully adding a comment along with links to my own blog in order to build readership for myself while using others for my own purpose. It just didn’t sit right with me. The question of monetizing came up. Do I go through a source like Amazon so that I have ads and links to various products all over my page in order to make money? I think a bit of that is alright, but I have had to unsubscribe to many, many blogs because it seemed to me that most of the posts had to do with contests with links back to Amazon, or product reviews (that they got for free) with, again, links back to Amazon, or dire warnings about health issues with, you guessed it, links back to Amazon to the very latest “NEW!” product that would cure or prevent the very latest health crisis. Enough already!
So I took some time off. I began to assess my life and what I want to accomplish and what goals I have for my future. Goals that would be life-giving rather than joy-zapping. In doing so I also had to consider my husband. He is an amazing man. He has stated on a gazillion occasions that his desire is to help make my dreams come true. He is sincere. There is a problem with that though. We have very, very, very different thoughts on the perfect life scenario. I knew this from the beginning. There was no bait and switch. His idea of green living means living on a golf course. My idea of green living is very hippy dippy trippy —- living in the country with provision for off-grid (i.e., solar power) if the situation warranted. I want animals. Lots and lots of animals. I want plenty of acreage for said animals. I want plenty of acreage to grow food for all of those animals so I don’t have to buy much from other sources. I want milk goats. At least two. Which means breeding them at opposite times of the year to ensure a steady milk supply for the babies and for our family. Which means at least two baby goats and possibly more since multiples are very common. Which leads to the question of what to do with the babies. Keep them and breed them or sell them or eat them? I want chickens. Layers and meat chickens. Gardens. Big gardens with an abundance to eat fresh, freeze and can for the rest of the year. Fruit trees aplenty! Apple, stone fruit, pears and the like. Nut trees, mainly pecans and walnuts. A deep water well, a local supply of water (preferably on my property), as well as a rain catchment system. And since we’re talking rain catchment and water storage what about fish? Water tanks with fish for eating and reusing the water for irrigation and maybe hydroponics? A greenhouse would be great for year round growing. Say, don’t we need a gray water system? And a compost system? Would rabbits help the composting system? Which leads to……………………………..
My husband would be in Homestead Hell while I would be in Homestead Heaven. I don’t want my dreams to be joy-zapping to my husband. We are a team. If one loses we both lose. I want a Win-Win for both of us.
So, I have been downsizing the dream. Realistically thinking about the future. Where is the happy medium – for both of us? My new mantra is Something is Better Than Nothing. I’m not giving up on my dreams. Not at all! I am simply downscaling them to a more manageable size. For me. For Ken. If I had married a man with grand homesteading dreams my life would not be what it is today. I’d probably have all of the above and more. But I didn’t so I don’t. And that’s okay. I love my husband and I love my life. I just want to tweak things a bit to have some of the dream. Right now and in the future.
So I’ve planted a patio garden. I planted a couple of tomato plants, some mint and rosemary plants, along with kale, romaine, cilantro, and chive seeds. Small, but easy to maintain. I also was blessed by some friends with a quarter of their garden. On the plus side I was able to plant more tomato plants and a few jalapeno and bell pepper plants, as well as carrot, beet, bush bean, and snow pea seeds. On the minus side they live 30 minutes from me. I’m not as intimately involved with that garden plot. My patio garden has done quite well, except something is eating my kale and romaine as fast as it can grow. Snails maybe? The other day I was able to harvest my first tiny tomato!! The bigger garden isn’t doing as well. Very sporadic carrot and beet growth and beans and peas that have died even though they are on a timed watering system. I do have a bag full of jalapenos in my refrigerator and a bag of tomatoes in my freezer. I’ll be pickling the jalapenos and making BBQ sauce or something yummy from the tomatoes. Tiny successes, but it feels so good.
Having two small gardens even with snails and a 30 minute commute is better than no garden at all. I’m happy.
This whole Something is Better Than Nothing philosophy is spilling into other areas of my life. My perspective is changing. In a good way. I’m become more at peace with my present circumstances and my hopes and dreams for my future. As Martha would say, “And that’s a good thing!” So, I will write again. I’m not saying this is my niche. Maybe I don’t have one and maybe I don’t want one. But at least I feel inspired to write about my continuing journey as a person. Hopefully others will enjoy reading and will follow along with me as I go. I may not post the formulaic 3 or 4 posts a week. Or maybe I will. I dunno. I do know that (say it with me!) something is better than nothing. I now realize that whatever I do will give me a feeling of accomplishment. The perfectionist in me will just have to live with that. I’m not giving myself permission to be lazy, mind you. I’m simply giving myself permission to find joy in what I have accomplished. And that, my friends, feels good.