Protecting Yesterday: A Call for Stories!
I'm excited for the day. There is nothing of import planned, but I'm still excited. I know the day started with sunlight, animals, music and some lofty goals. All that is ahead of me is enjoying the trying, which has always been my favorite fuel. Some people run their days on a sense of duty, or anger, or passive participation - but I opt for the higher octane, hope. I'm a big fan of what could be. It burns cleaner than what has been.
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. How many of us are in situations - be it physical circumstances (like homes and jobs) or emotional circumstances (like depression, anxiety, bad relationships) - because we're protecting yesterday? The psychology of prior investment is a dangerous thing and the number one killer of Barnheart. If you put the last ten years into one career, one home, one life every day of that ten years was another dollar in the bank based on that choice. Add if up and suddenly most of who you are is that set of circumstances. This isn't a bad thing by any means, but it is crushing if you aren't where you want to be and feel you've put in too much time into another life. You can't get excited about today, much less tomorrow, when all of your energy goes into protecting yesterday.
One of the greatest things about starting this blog was hearing from others who had the courage to let Yesterday go. I got a comment from Alyssa that brought me to tears last night on Sara's Law:
...Jenna, Just thought I'd pipe in. Back in 2009, we owned a Suburban Chicago house on a postage stamp lot, and it was there that I lived vicariously through you. I dreamed of having my own wood stove, my own horse... something more than our little square-box garden. In the Winter of 2010, we decided to up and move to New Hampshire sight unseen (I quit my job, yikes! My husband transferred with his company to give us some stability.) No family, no friends... Nothing, except for our two dogs and a hankering to renovate an old house and *finally* get some horses. In 2011, we closed on an former dairy farm built in the 1800s and quickly added two horses to our 'family' - a draft cross (riding, for me!) and a Haflinger (riding, driving and farm work, for my husband.) It's been a blast... lots of work, but a total blast. My husband now shows the Haflinger in farm shows, and we take trail riding vacations with them. I could never imagine returning to an office, working from 8-6...
I got really emotional reading that, because her story is my story. It's so many peoples' stories. But every once in a while someone comes out and says "I DID IT" and the fact CAF was a small part in making that happen is the kind of fuel enhancing goo I need. It's the extra stuff that keeps me seeking out new music, adding miles to my runs, not giving up on this place even though I get messages all the time telling me to quit. I'm not quitting because this little blog had a small part in getting a couple from Chicago to ridding across New Hampshire on a pair of horses. Alyssa and her man chose to stop protecting yesterday. They released their grip on the life they worked so hard to build and realized that claw marks on regret are not as pretty as hoofprints in the dirt.
So I am calling for stories. If any of you out there made the big and brave leap to a farm life, even though that meant risks and fear - share your story here. For every person that comments there are hundreds who don't and may need the proof on screen that others are doing this, too. Take a few minutes and tell your tale of making homesteading or farming your new reality. If you are in a a slower, more controlled and less risky form of making a change - share that, too! Anyone working towards their better circumstances - please add your story here in the comments.