When You Get The Life You Wanted

When You Get The Life You Wanted
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I wake up sore from spending the previous day weeding and harvesting, cleaning stalls, moving hay, hauling water, shifting bags of feed, jumping fence. But it is a good sore.

I pull out a cast iron pan and fry an egg from my coop in lard we rendered from our hogs. I eat it with a piece of buckwheat bread I baked the day before.

This is the life.

The life I wanted.

And I am living it.

When You Get the Life You Wanted...What Then? - A Farmish Kind of Life

It comes with small decisions and hard decisions and always decisions and upheavals. Sideswipes from things you didn’t see coming. Sweat and blisters and slivers and dirt that doesn’t wash off. It comes with an exhausting dailyness of things that could break your mind faster than your body if you look at them askew. But it also comes with a quiet you can’t mimic. A peace you can’t buy off a shelf. And some feeling that’s kind of like contentment and yet not, because in this life, contentment feels like a cheap word that barely scratches the surface of what it really is.

And yet, we are human. And ungrateful. And always forgetting.

I prayed every single night for a piece of simple and then watched as it became my normal. And yet I missed seeing it. Does that even make sense? I didn’t see it happen because it became my Normal.

Normal is good and comfortable and snuggly…until we forget how precious Normal is.

I don’t want to forget how precious this Normal is.

See, the worst thing that can happen is to finally get the life you wanted, and forget that it is the life you wanted. And there is no font or way of typing these words that will emphasize this tragedy enough.

I am walking through the front yard barefoot. The chickens rush me hoping I’ve brought a treat. I have, of course, because I always do.

I see more tractors and harvesters and gravity boxes than trucks these days, but today the gravel road is empty and quiet and safe for my boys to wander and think and plan and dream on. They grab the paper from the box at the end of the driveway and read it at an arms length, sensing that what’s going on in the world is out there and what we have right here is so different.

So different.

When You Get the Life You Wanted...What Then? - A Farmish Kind of Life

I sit on the swing in the front yard with my mandolin and play play play, listening to the call of the animals and staring at the barns and the woodshed and the red orange yellow covering my yard and think how lucky I am to call this mine.

And it’s almost not fair.

It’s not fair that it is mine if I forget how precious this normal is. It’s not fair if I toss it aside as just one more thing to do.

Because this is the life.

The life I wanted.

And I am living it.

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19 thoughts on “When You Get The Life You Wanted”

  • I have almost forgotten what it was like to live in the city but reading what you wrote makes me think of what we have here and how we raise a lot of our food. I just ordered another batch of Tattler lids so we will be even more independent over the next few decades. One think I have learned is that work is a good word.

    • Gravity box or gravity wagon – it is what the farmer uses to haul the grain or beans or whatever from the field to their farm or elevator or wherever they are taking them. 🙂 I only know that because the first year we were here I must have asked my husband a hundred times to identify different pieces of farm equipment that were in the fields that surround our house. 🙂

  • That is just good stuff right there. I want to be on the porch with you, listening to you play and watching nature work her magic. I dream of this kind of life, too. Thank you for this glimpse into your beautiful world.

  • This is excellent! I loved every word I read. I don’t have a huge homestead right now, my normal is just a tad bit different, but within time I will have a bigger homestead and all the things that come with it. This post made me thankful for whatever “normal” I may be living in. Thanks so much for posting your feelings on this 🙂

  • I’m still in the dreaming phases though I’ve learned a LOT of skills while dreaming for the “life.”

    I’ve often wondered how I will feel when I’ve accomplished the dream and am on my property, looking at the chickens and whatnot. Will I feel happiness or something else? Will I feel like “Well now that I’ve made it…what do I work toward? I’ve reached my dream.”

    This gave me some really great perspective, as did you other article that brought me to this one (Sitting With Chickens). You write so well – it’s like I am walking with you, listening to your stories. Love it!

  • And, remember those of us out here, in our own “normal”, that dream of the life you have. Ones like me that have experienced how much work it takes. (it’s simple, not easy) And, the ones who dream of it. I lost that world years ago. But, I miss it every day. And, I want it back. Hold on to your world. It’s so hard to lose it. And, harder yet to get again~~~

  • My mother recently read in a book somewhere that this tendency of humans to take things for granted is exactly what helped us evolve so many years ago! If we had been content with our lives, we never would have explored, or expanded, or gone to the moon, or made any of the great leaps in progress that we have. I found this very comforting. When you realize it’s in our DNA, suddenly you don’t feel guilty about it anymore. You can recognize it for what it is, and appreciate it’s purpose in your life. This has helped me take a step back, feel this feeling of constant drive, and use it to appreciate how it’s brought me to exactly where I am now. Good for you for actively appreciating where you are now; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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