The Can’t Do It All Homestead

At the beginning of this venture, I truly believed that Doug and I would be able to learn, complete, and excel at every  homesteading skill.  We could be self sufficient!  We don’t need nobody.  We would be so busy chopping wood and weaving clothes, sheesh, we’d do even more than the pioneers!  We’d learn everything and do everything.

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Hmmm.  I made a list.  Remember my list making post?  I do excel at making lists.  They open my eyes and help me figure out what my next step is.  This is a list that I would encourage you to fill out as well.  It can really help your life move in the direction you want it to, see what you is no longer important to you, and what you downright don’t like to do.  Let go of old hobbies and open the door for new things.

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Make four columns.  In the first column write out the things in your life you LOVE to do.  These are things you do without putting them on a to do list.  Things you don’t have to even think about, you love doing them.

  • Raising babies; chicks, goats, kittens
  • Milking
  • Making soft cheese
  • Making food items; vinegars, oils, etc
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Collecting eggs
  • Making things as gifts
  • Preserving
  • Entertaining; being with friends and family
  • Sitting in the sun, working outdoors
  • Making herbal medicines
  • Writing
  • Reading

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Now that you have your list of the things that you need no prompting to do and that you still enjoy, write in the second column the things you like do doing once you get started.

  • Yard work, domestic chores
  • Painting (on canvases)
  • Sewing (not intricately)
  • Yoga
  • Farmer’s Markets
  • Making body products

I was surprised to see that painting was on my once I got started.  I keep planning all these fine paintings.  I am to show my work in a coffee shop next month.  I have nothing new.  Perhaps I am not as into it as I used to be.

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On to the third column.  List everything that you put off.  Things you make every excuse in the book before doing.

  • Training animals
  • Calling customers
  • Filling orders
  • Spinning
  • Crocheting
  • Piano
  • Fiddle

This was an eye opener for me.  I have such a strong vision of Doug and I wiling the hours away playing good country music together.  We love the idea, but hate to practice and don’t really want to get any better.  We want to be magically better.  I used to be quite a good pianist when I was a kid.  It doesn’t come natural to me.  I quickly forgot everything I learned and would have to start over completely.  I took a piano lesson Wednesday to try to get back into it.  I fidgeted on the piano bench worse than any six year old she’s had.  I looked at the clock to see when it was time to go home.  She gave me lots of homework.  I came up with every excuse yesterday why I couldn’t practice.

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I put my fiddle, piano, Doug’s mandolin, and my spinning wheel on Craigslist.  These things require dusting, and moving when we move, and are never used.

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I do not like training animals.  My alpacas will not come near me.  They are not lovey creatures.  I do not like to spin.  These have become expensive stand offish pets.  Cute pets, don’t get me wrong.  I will try to sell them back to where I got them.  This farm is way too small for animals that don’t fit in.

Doug’s list complemented mine.  He enjoys the same things as I do.  He also loves talking to customers and filling orders.  He doesn’t even mind dishes.  We just need to rearrange our chores.

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Now the fourth column is for what you want to learn.

  • Beekeeping
  • Green house growing
  • Making hard cheeses

These are this year’s projects.  If I don’t like them, then I can move on to the next venture.  I do not have to know how to do everything.  I do not have to do everything.  This is still a homestead.  There are plenty of homesteaders out there that enjoy knitting.  I can support them by purchasing or bartering for their wares just as folks out there love my herbal medicines but don’t have a passion to make them themselves.  We all work together to make homesteading successful.  Not self sufficiency, community sufficiency!

brigitta and me

This list can be used in any aspect of your life.  It’s important to stay on top of our goals and release what is no longer important.  I love homesteading, this whole journey, all the learning and hands on projects.  Now, it will be that much more enjoyable!

12 thoughts on “The Can’t Do It All Homestead

  1. this was a great task for me- I need more direction to accomplish my goals and this tool will help- thanks for posting

  2. Unlike you, I’ve never had dreams of being able to do it all on our future homestead. If you talked to my hubby he would say that I have dreams of doing too much and I could discover that he is right. However, how do we know for sure unless we actually try it? How were you to know for sure that alpacas weren’t right for your little farm without giving them a try? How were you to know you wouldn’t like spinning unless you tried?

    I am of the belief that life is to be experienced. Those experiences teach us things about life, the world and ourselves. You are experiencing life and learning from those experiences. What a wonderful way to live!!

    By-the-way, I also played the piano. For a matter-of-fact, in my early 20’s I taught beginning and intermediate piano. Then life happened. Slowly but surely I lost interest. For the last 20 years, my piano had become nothing more than a plant stand. No good piano deserves to just be looked at, so I put it on Craigslist and sold it to a woman who was thrilled to take it off my hands. I hope those ivory keys are getting a lot of use and bringing much joy to other’s lives.

    1. I agree that we need to try everything to see what we are really interested in. It was fun learning and experiencing those skills, but I am also relieved to give them up and focus on what I really love, dirt farming, food, goats, and chickens!

  3. Your honesty is refreshing. It’s not always easy and we aren’t always successful handling everything we out on our plate. I too have bitten off more than I could chew and although I’m getting better about it, I still have pie-in- the -sky dreams and encounter more bumps in the road than I would like. Keep plugging away and sharing the good and the frustrating. We are rooting for you!

  4. Still loving your posts! I like that you try anything and are not afraid to admit things you are not good at and are wiling to give that up and move on to another task. Such as the Alpacas. And the fact that you don’t like to spin. I’d be horrible at it. LOL!

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