May 7, 2012

What Triggered Your Shift?

Kelly, over at the Morris Tribe blog, is sharing excerpts of her new book "Paradigm Shift: The Case for Sustainable Living".  Her blog post today describes when she hit that "magic moment", that moment in time that shifted her thinking from "having it all", to having what she really wanted and needed.  It got me thinking....

I grew up on what most preppers and others would describe as a "homestead".  We didn't know that is what it was called at the time.  My parents moved us to NH from CT in August of 1972.  I was seven.  I don't remember being particularly upset about leaving CT.....I don't remember much about living down there.  The only thing I do remember is having my own room, and growing up sharing a bedroom with my grandmother, I would dream of that room sometimes lol.  Fact is, my mom and dad worked jobs that helped them get from week to week, paycheck to paycheck.  They owned a house, they had 3 kids, and they wanted something different.

My father especially.  He grew up visiting NH and upstate NY as a kid, staying at a cousin's farm for the summer.  It was soon obvious to him that it was in his blood, farming.  So he relocated.  Now he didn't stop working, nor did my mother.  It amazes me, to look back now, and realize just how hard they worked.  Both working full time jobs, and raising every bit of food we ate.  We had 3 large gardens, raised beef, chicken, lamb, and pork.  All to feed ourselves.

As a kid, I sometimes hated it.  All the work, hauling water from the well and then carrying 5 gallon buckets of it to the barn for the animals.  Of course, many homesteaders today can't imagine not having running water.  But that is exactly how it was for us...we had a hand dug well on the property, that we dropped a 1 gallon pail into, hauling water up and filling the larger buckets.  

But the freedom that I got from that work, and the life my parents gave me, is something that I desperately miss.  When did my thinking shift?  I would have to say that it has been shifting for a couple years, ever since I hurt my shoulder.  I am dependent on the "system" to help me get by each month, especially in the area of groceries.  I don't want to be dependent.  I want to be independent.  I want to know that I can take care of my family on my own.

I want to know that each day, we have food enough to fill our bellies.  I want to know that each day we have a safe place to put our heads down.  I want to know that each day I did it, not the "system".  And that is one of the driving forces moving me to NC.   Down there, with the lower cost of living, and the more moderate weather, I have a fighting chance.

When did your thinking shift?


  1. Chickens. I got chickens for the fun of it. And the eggs. But for the first time I saw the circle of how homesteading works---eggs and extra roosters for eating, poop for compost in the garden, scraps from the table and garden to feed the hens. It was impressive how much those little chickens changed our world. I bet many, many people entered homesteading after some success with chickens.
    BTW, we are in NC and the fall and spring are nice season for animals giving birth to young and, with frost covers, we can garden pretty much year round. Works for us!!

  2. I don't guess I ever had a shift. This is all I ever known or done. My brothers and sister made the shift to be dependent on the system, but I never did. I never knew the names for what I do until I started blogging. I always thought is was just living. The names, rules, titles and know-it-alls have made it more complicated than what it really is.

  3. When did my thinking shift? When I met my husband. I was raised in suburbia, never had an urge to garden, have animals or live outside of town. Kinda sorta had my life planned but living the life we have lived for the past nearly 50 years never entered my mind. It all changed when I met this guy with very definite ideas about how he wanted to live his life. Both of our families were quite concerned that I wouldn't be happy with such a life change, but it immediately made sense to me and I jumped in with both feet and have never looked back.

  4. Now that you mention elders ,I have never in my life wanted to go back in time and meet them in real life,so to speak,as I do know .Its getting where people don't even remember how hard people worked" back when"I know when I say something about helping out more ,even my grand kids say" but grandma ,we don't live in the 17th century anymore" lol