Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Prepared to Follow Your Dreams?

If your dream suddenly landed in front of you, would you eagerly scoop it up and take it home with you, or would you have to stop and wonder, "Is this REALLY the thing I want?"

Our long term plan for years has been to buy land in the country and build a self-sustaining ecosystem for ourselves. Maybe not to the extent of spinning our own thread and making our own clothes, but definitely with the eye of becoming self-sufficient as much as possible. Storage cellars, garden, chickens, (have I mentioned the 25,000 gallon water cistern I obsess over?), and whatever ways we can come up with to store energy.

I suppose the desire is rooted in the same place as our silly fixation with the zombie apocalypse. We want to own ourselves. We want to live close to our roots. And by roots I mean original life before all the technology we invented to make life easier, that ended up making life incredibly complex.

This plan has always been framed in terms like, "Someday. In ten years. Maybe five years." Then something came up this week that has me thinking furiously. Could it be time to grasp that dream? 

Suddenly I feel myself backpedaling. I am not prepared for this!

  • How does one go about living 20 miles from the grocery?
  • What about the internet? I think I could give up hot water before I could go back to dial-up Internet.
  • I also feel pretty strongly about plumbing in general. Flushing toilets, washing machines, purified water. And I did not really mean what I just said about hot water. That is a pretty important piece of technology.
  • Oh yes, and roads. Those are pretty important after a Texas sized rain.

So, while I want to go back to basics, I need to be clear that I could not go too basic.

A friend of mine just escaped country life a year ago. I texted her the other day, saying: “QUICK! Remind me all the reasons you hated the country life! I can talk myself into it, but I need to know I also considered the not-so-fantastic reasons!”

Her reasons (slightly amplified, but she will attest this as true):
  • Driving.
  • Driving.
  • Driving.
  • An Inconvenient Store = you may get the thing you forgot at the grocery, but it will cost almost twice as much.
  • Not the Whole Truth = no newspaper delivery on dirt (or sand) roads.
  • Nasty water, unless you dig your own well.
  • Manure smell.
  • Dirt.
  • Dirt on the car.
  • Wear and tear on the car.
  • Driving.
  • Schools, church, post office, library... you don’t realize how much you use those services until they are all ten miles (or more) distant.
  • Small town, small minded people.
  • BUGS!
  • Emergency response time much slower b/c FD and Sheriff are volunteer jobs.
  • Driving.
  • Dirt.
  • Driving.
The other reason she saved until I called her the next morning, and I found it the most compelling reason of all: the kids. She wanted her kids to have community. That does present a serious kink in my plan, because I want that for my kids, too.

And yet . . . I can’t get it out of my head. The country is burning a hole in this suburban girl's heart. I want a water well, an orchard, a barn . . . and I don’t know how long we have before the zombies come!

What's up with all this zombie talk, anyway?

Today I am curious, what would you do if your dream suddenly presented itself to you? Would you be ready to sell everything you had to pursue it? Or would you have to step on the brakes, reconsidering all the implications and other things you would have to give up in order to seize this thing?

Would you be prepared?


  1. I seized it but now have to live it out. Seizing is easier than living it. We wanted simplier life less untanglement to free us up for more. Debt is the top of the list. But in this goal-dream-vision, have been tears. Lots of'em. Not because we haven't been blessed but because I loved other things more. We now live in our small farm house on our rag-tag farm. Reconciling myself with Him and trying remember the world's allure isn't all golden. We've been there, done that, debted that. So, I understand. And by the way, I truly have come to love this country life.

    Ps. We're 10 minutes to a convenient-pricey store or 25 minutes to a regular one.

  2. Thought provoking post. Personal story ... how my husband seized his dream, and why. For 33-1/2 years, he served the city of Houston as a firefighter, then as a captain. And he pretty much knew when he would retire (he'd also been planning for and working on that for 33 years). After he retired in 2008, his plan (and his dream for 33 years) was to upgrade our bumper-pull travel trailer to a motorhome and hit the road as often as possible. We've always loved the RV lifestyle and had traveled a lot in between jobs, but this would be on a larger scale. During his first year of retirement, we talked about making the big purchase, but kept pushing it further into the future ... until one day when he attended the funeral of a fireman friend.. a man who had just retired, but passed away suddenly. My husband came home that day and said, "Let's do it. There's no promise of tomorrow." And so, we did. And that's how, and why, he seized his dream. We've never looked back.

  3. P.s.s. We also have DSL service through our local phone. So not all's forsaken here.

  4. we live quite rural, as you know. i love it, even though the distance is great for many things. you'd learn to plan your trips and do pretty well substituting.

    things we love:
    freedom to have a naked child in the yard
    no rules about green grass
    neighbors who're kind and know your name
    people who stop to help when you stop on the side of the road
    stars in the sky
    well water
    dsl (we have it!)

    some of our dreams are unattainable right now, but i'd say that seizing a dream is not unrealistic. maybe make some lists and stuff, but i bet it might not be as scary as you think.

    and we love our small town - people are more kind there to us about lia than the city!

    pray, go with God's heart.



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