Well, we cant say no one warned us. The verdict on small-scale farming is unanimous-”it’s F-ing hard work”.
Everyone says they had rose-coloured visions of gazing at the sun-dappled pasture over the cooling jewel-coloured jelly jars, crafting, painting, reading…and the reality involves vomiting goats and falling into bed with brutalized muscles.
But, (you couldn’t see this coming)I want to do it anyway, and insist that “it’s gonna be different.” I’m not yet 40; I make no claim to wisdom.
For me, leisure is a strong enough imperative now that I just might have the fortitude to safeguard it. I’ve long thought of myself as a lazy person trapped in the body of an incredibly energetic and effective person. I privately long to live like a cat, and I fantasize rapturously about sleep.
However, I now believe the trapped personality is a creative one, and creativity requires fallow time. 14% fallow time, by all accounts. For that, I’m long, long overdue.
My primary focus of five years was improving a house to sell, working a real job, and trying to borrow enough money to keep working on house (rinse and repeat). In the periphery during those five years emerged an awareness of the true, pervades-every-aspect-of-life meaning of environmentalism, a knowledge that I hated what I was doing for work, while I had no idea what else I could do, and a realization that the very house I was pouring energy into like a sink was entirely unsuited to my values and to a peak-oil world. What I chose to do was step on the gas a little harder, to complete the project I’d committed to as fast as possible, so that I could wrap and then regroup. Just like natural gas, driving hard with big energy demands depletes personal reserves darn fast too. I pushed through every difficulty by promising myself future payoff, future rest. I’m arriving at both, now, and while I get accused of not knowing how to slow down, I think I’ll have no problems learning.