Shortly after I posted the most recent update on this blog, I decided to quit my job, in April 2017. This decision had been a long time coming, and seven months later, I find I still have no regrets about making it. While spending less and living on more that comes directly from our farm has taken some getting used to, I feel like I’ve mostly adjusted. I’m truly comfortable with the idea of having more time while earning less money. Oddly enough though, after freeing up 40 plus hours a week from my mostly work-from-home job, I soon found that I had seemingly less time than I did before.
Initially, I had vowed to take a few months off before diving into any major projects, spending as much of the late spring and early summer months as I could in the outdoors - hiking, climbing, running, etc. I spent most of May working around the farm trying to knock off a “short” list of relatively minor projects, like fixing the leak in the roof, doing a major cleanup around the farm before the arrival of out-of-town visitors, etc.
As the weather began to turn really nice, I did manage to spend a lot of time running. One week, I did 48 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway. But soon after that, my achilles tendon began really bothering me, so I had to give up the running for a while. When it hadn’t recovered after about a month, I decided to spend one day a week doing some serious mileage hiking. For much of July and August, that’s what I did every Monday when the weather would cooperate. It was definitely easier on my body than the running, but the achilles tendon is still bothering me, in spite of several attempts at rehabilitation.
Earlier in the summer, I found myself spending many of my Wednesdays helping a friend cut vegetables and prepare and jar ferments in her kitchen. Most Thursdays, I spent much of the day in my own kitchen, preparing baked goods for Tasha to sell at the Friday farmers market. I also set out on some more ambitious long term projects. One of these was building out the existing space of the bouldering wall I completed in the summer of 2016 to incorporate a sort of tiny house – a mixed-use space of about 128 square feet that is now completely enclosed and will eventually have its own power supply (when I get around to installing our spare 400-Watt PV system).
And so along with doing some of the routine growing season maintenance and a few smaller writing projects, I found my time mostly accounted for as summer turned to fall. With the holidays fast approaching, I’m not quite sure where fall went either.
As the days grow shorter and shorter and the cold settles in, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and finally feeling that I’m ready to commit to some of the more ambitious writing projects that have been kicking around in my head for a while now.
When Tasha and I first embarked on this adventure almost four years ago now, I had in my mind what I’m sure is a much-idealized vision of living like Wendell Berry as a poet/writer/farmer; of retreating to the woods like Henry David Thoreau or Joseph Campbell, to read, write, and think about it all.
So as the year draws to a close and I begin to find a balance between contemplative pursuits and all of the other responsibilities, distractions, and detours I’ve found myself engaged with since April, I’m once again commiting to regularly maintaining this blog.
More and more, I’ve come to see the importance of having a daily writing practice, and I hope to incorporate this blog as part of that. Moving forward, I’m not sure what form my posts will take. I’m less interested now in describing the projects we are working on here or in providing the typical prosaic updates about how we’ve spent our time since the last blog post. We’ll see what form they take, I guess.
It’s good to feel like I finally have enough time.
Subscribe via RSS