This question resounds for me, recently. Vocation, recreation, dedication to something beyond the home. All are great opportunities and great burdens. I am part of a wonderful community, one that enriches my life in a daily basis. My work is challenging and fulfilling. Yet, I arrive home exhausted, daily, little able to do more than get dinner on the table and tuck sleepy boys into bed. The long term visions, the dreams of self-sufficiency are nigh impossible with such a schedule.
With this lifestyle, home is little more than a place to land for the night. Each morning, after chores and an all-too-hurried breakfast, our little tribe of four makes our slow way out the door, laden with books, bags, instruments and enough food to fill our bellies until dinner. The truck is stocked with reading material, art supplies and audio books, easing our twice daily commute. Rarely arriving home before dark, we dive into our evening routine of homework, music practice, lesson planning, dinner, stories and bed. I often wonder when there will be time to live.
Scott and I have returned to a study of Radical Homemakers, an inspiring work of research by Shanon Hayes. We are asking ourselves how much we really need to get by. We laugh at the irony of the question, seeing how tight the purse strings already are. Yet there is a hope there. Is it really possible to get by on less? To have more time for life? To invest time into our homestead, the work of daily living?
There is always conflict in such decisions. To leave behind an intense, almost full-time career brings a sense if relief and loss. One must be truly confident to embark on one's own, rather than relying on the external validation of the outside world. To not need a title, nor a salary…
I'm not sure I am there, but am ashamed to admit it.
Where do we begin? We have thought about many options. Writing, gardening, milking…these could all bring some needed income. But is it enough? Does it really count?
These are the questions we live with for now. This is my constant dilemma. It is also, bizarrely, my justification for the lapses in this blog. I am striving for a different way of being. Hopefully this blog will benefit!