Do you ever get really down and discouraged with your homesteading progress?
Sometimes, despite our best-laid plans, we don’t meet our goals. Drives me nuts!
You might have noticed that I am goal-oriented, always have been. I get depressed if I don’t have a goal I’m working towards, even if the goal is to just “chill out”.
Setting goals is a bit of a skill in itself. Well-constructed goals should include the following:
*Reasonable – Is this goal reasonable considering what I have to work with? The funds that I have? The climate that I live in?
* Achievable – How long might this goal take to achieve? Give yourself adequate time for set-backs.
* Sustainable – Can this goal be sustained, considering all circumstances involved?
* Quantifiable - By what gauge will this goal be measured by?
OK, so you’ve done all of that and you still feel like this poor cow, with it’s head stuck in a ladder.
What I’m talking about is the unforeseen.
This year in Ohio, we had record rainfall. Our average rainfall in this part of the state is about 12.45 inches. We got 24.78 inches this year so far……yeah.
Spring rains went on and on well into May. Farmers had a tough time of it trying to get crops planted, not to mention us small farmers who couldn’t even get equipment in place to plow, due to such heavy rains and flooding. Cincinnati set the record for the wettest Spring in recorded history. Columbus and Dayton placed #3.
If that wasn’t bad enough, fall rains have been just as bad. It rained about an inch on Monday, another inch today and it’s finally turning to snow tomorrow.
SO, despite anyone’s best efforts this year, most of our goals fell short. Spring came so late and the growing season came to an end so abruptly.
Many of my 2011 goals were met, like getting goats, chickens and miniature donkeys in place…what a blessing. Crops grew fairly well, we had great foraging opportunities, plenty of venison to eat, lots of great compost and manure to use and plenty of milk and eggs to learn what to do with.
Overall, we “climbed mountains” in terms of pushing hard to get some infrastructure in place on our small homestead. Barns and outbuildings take time and money to complete, time and money that needs to be taken from something else. It’s all a balancing act, that’s for sure.
Yet, other goals that seemed like projects that really could have been finished were cut short. Actually, now that I’m writing and reflecting on 2011, I have nothing to complain about. Knowing when to “let it go” can be something I struggle with.
Regardless of what you choose to do with your life, we all need to realize that a purpose-filled life isn’t easy.
Life in a large multi-racial, adoptive family isn’t easy. Multitudes of issues with the children fill our plates each and every hour of the day. We are small business owners and involved in ministries that require time and energy. It’s not like we’re slacking!
At the end of the day, I need to deal with any degree of frustration that I feel with gratitude and revision.
I now know that last year held a ton of rain, so what if I plan around that possibility for 2012?? Adjusting my expectations by looking at history is prudent and wise.
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: ”Acceptance is the key to all your problems“. Then, and only then, can I be as happy as this little piglet.