“What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it”. -Author Unknown.
I saw this quote on Facebook today. It resonated with me because I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do with the days of my life. To those who know me some of this may be a shock, others know my disdain for my current job, while only a few may know my goals for the future. If you have been reading here for a while you know a little about the last two points. If you haven’t I will tell you now, I dislike my job! The work itself isn’t bad. It isn’t architecture, which is what I went to college for, but it is closely related. Basically, I sit on a computer and draw mechanical, electrical and plumbing schematics for an engineer. The bad part of the job is the commute, which never puts me in a good mood coming into work, along with some of the people, who don’t make being there much fun, and finally, sitting at a desk all day is something I have come to dislike.
My goals for the future are to become self-sufficient, relying on the land, hard work, and dedication to produce most of what I need. Eventually, I would like to have a decent size farm, maybe 50-100 acres. I would like to raise my own meat animals, adding cattle, hogs, and maybe some others to our current chickens and rabbits. Fruits and vegetables will come in the form of an orchard, vineyard, gardens, greenhouse, foraging, or aquaponics. Unless I’m in an area where I can grow enough through the winter, preserving the summer harvests will be key to keeping me from the grocery store. I realize that some of what I need I will have to purchase or barter for- a tractor, implements, what building materials I need that don’t come from the land or free from others, the list could go on for a while. However, I know people lived without those things in the past, but property taxes are unavoidable, so some money would be needed. So a job, preferably one where I can work from home, will be a necessity. You-pick fruit could bring in some income, in conjunction with a roadside stand or storefront on the property. Woodworking, hay/straw sales, meat sales, a Bed and Breakfast/ cabin rentals if I am near a destination area, or making my farm a destination in itself could be other ways to pay the bills, again the list could go on for a while. Working off farm part-time would be okay too, full-time wouldn’t be ideal for me, but if I had to I would.
The question is what do I do for now? I have college loans, a truck loan, house loan and monthly bills to take care of, so I can’t just quit. I have been considering selling the truck if I can find a close enough job to ride a bike to. I wouldn’t be able to haul anything, like the free wood I get off Craigslist for example. But really we use under two cords of firewood a year and with a delivery charge, the cost would still likely be less than a couple months of paying for the truck. The biggest drawback of not owning a car would be the inability to easily go visit my parents or take a weekend camping trip a few hours from home without renting a car. The student loans for the degree I hardly use (in reality, I could have gotten a two year associates degree in CAD Technology to do most of the jobs I have had related to architecture) are the biggest thing keeping me from doing what I want to do. They won’t go away until they are paid off and the house I don’t want to sell, so the only other things are the monthly bills. TV I can go without so the satellite can go away. Internet I would want to keep. Our only other bill is electric, which we could always be more conservative in our use of, but it’s not really that expensive. I’m either stuck doing what I am doing, finding a similar job with similar pay, or working more hours at two lesser paying jobs to pay the bills. Lately I have been considering the last option even though it would leave me less time to work around the homestead. Landscaping and farm work would be ideal jobs to find but I would even work retail or food service right now. Hopefully being less stressed and happier would be the trade off of lesser pay/more hours.
Sorry if this has been too much of a rant.
Have you been in a similar situation? Have any advice for myself or others who are similar to me?