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I’m trudging my way through a long bout of writer’s block.
It was easy to write when we were in the midst of building our home or solar shed. There was always some aspect of the project to document. Some little detail that could help others wanting to do the same.
But when you’re not actively in the middle of building, and things have settled into a routine and mundane sort of “normal”, it’s hard to feel inspired. After all, what do I have to share that anyone out there could possibly find interesting? Doesn’t everyone do this stuff?
No, apparently not, but bear with me.
After all, I go to the grocery, take my kid to karate, and spend a lot of time homeschooling. I watch Reels mindlessly. Listen to podcasts. Throw tennis balls in the yard for my silly little dog.
Heck, living with solar panels and rainwater feels so second nature at this point that I forget it’s novel to 99% of other people.
It’s easy to view one’s own life as mundane, but if I take time to zoom out and try to see it through someone else’s eyes, there’s so much more to it. I know that there is knowledge and insight I have gathered that I can share to benefit others; I’m just taking time to figure out what that is and where I want to go with it.
I mean, it’s been over eight years since I first started this blog! I’ve turned into a totally different person in that time. My family has grown and changed. My philosophies and outlooks have certainly changed. And because of that, my goals and outlook on this blog and my little corner of the internet have changed too.
Anyway, between taking care of my core priorities – raising my family and maintaining my off-grid home – I’m slowly working my way back to engaging in my own content and in the homestead community online.
Ahh, the internet.
I took a LONG time off of social media over the summer and fall because everything was starting to feel like you either *have* to live entirely in thrifted organic linen dresses while making your sourdough starter and standing barefoot in the grass while wearing that one beige hat every influencer seems to have. OR like you have to be completely angry at the system and make every act of homesteading a political and social statement.
I’m not here for EITHER of those things.
I spend most days in a black t-shirt and jeans. I sometimes *gasp* buy bread from the store instead of making it myself. And I have 16 acres but my food garden is even smaller than my friend who lives in the city on .10 acre and runs her canner nearly every day.
My current small garden setup is certainly not the expectation one has of someone who lives “off the grid”.
We’re getting there, but a variety of bizarre life circumstances over the last three years have made survival gardening less of a priority. We all have to allocate our energy in our own ways. No shame.
Allocating energy meant that for many months, I went almost completely MIA from my social media accounts. I noticed that the more time I spent there, the worse I felt. So I decided that the best way to combat that was to remove myself from the fray.
In the midst of a social media ecosystem that rewards outrage and distrust, I don’t want to make the fact that I have solar panels, harvest rainwater, and homeschool be a big middle finger to The Man. A lot of people choose to present themselves that way, but it isn’t for me.
I want to engage in homesteading activities because I LIKE them.
Because being prepared on a practical level, like for ice storms or illness (and not necessarily for a civil war or an EMP), feels GOOD and reduces anxiety.
I want to homeschool because it’s the best educational option for my child and our family culture, not because I have some vendetta against public education.
I want to be self-sufficient to the extent that I can, while also recognizing that we are never really SELF-sufficient.
We rely on community. We depend on relationships with the folks around us, especially during times of hardship or decline. And for the faithful, our reliance is never truly on ourselves, but on our Creator.
To fancy myself as a truly self-sufficient person would be delusional at best and blasphemous at worst.
I’ve been taking a long time to unpack these thoughts and feelings I’ve been having around the online homesteading community, and just wanted to share. Some of you will be receptive to it. Others won’t. Either way, that’s okay! I relish the fact that my readers have such a diversity of ideologies and philosophies. It’s something I wish I could find more in other corners of the internet!
So now I’m onto reclamation.
As I type this, some very stressful situations are coming to a close for our family. Someday I will be able to write more in-depth on those things, but this is not that day.
Either way, things are starting to look up, so I’m diving more into my actual homestead practices in the way I want to. Not the way Instagram says I should. Not for the reasons the internet says I ought.
I want to expand my garden for next year because I had so much success this year with my patches of potatoes, sweet potatoes, and surprise tomatoes and I’m finally in a mental place where I could handle growing and preserving more.
I want to learn more about foraging because I love identifying and finding fun ways to use plants. I want to learn more about permaculture and really start stewarding our land better than we have up to this point.
And online, I want to do something that very few of us “bloggers” actually do anymore: write just to write.
Not write for what Google wants. Or what Pinterest wants. Or what Facebook and Instagram want.
I’m writing what I want to write about! And sharing it with people I really appreciate…yes, that’d be YOU.
And I hope that in some small way, whatever I write helps you somehow. Whether that’s validating a feeling you’re having, giving you hope or inspiration, or supplying you with the knowledge you need to chase your dreams.
We chased our own dreams and that led us from the suburbs to our off-grid cordwood homestead!
Go down the rabbit hole with me:
Learn more about our original cordwood homestead project here. And be sure to join us on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram for more homesteading goodies that don’t necessarily make it to the blog. Thanks for reading!