Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Taking the next step

Firstly, thanks to all of you who commented on my last post, This farming life. I never cease to be amazed at how you folks are my most supportive and generous cheering squad -- and we've never even met. I am so very grateful.

While going away is always stressful and it takes a few days for me to feel caught up, this time it feels a bit different; I've spent the first half of this week being buffeted between feelings of elation, inspiration and excitement and those of sheer terror, uncertainty and my constant companion, worry.

Going to the conference reinforced that I am on the right path. Simply sitting in a room filled with 300 other like-minded souls, people who believe passionately in producing food and fibre in ways that provides sustenance to their customers, their farms and their bank accounts, felt like a homecoming of sorts. It just felt right.

It was good to be reminded of why this way of life is important, whether you're a farmer or simply an eater. Our industrial food system is horribly broken, besieged by an overuse of hormones & antibiotics, poorly regulated slaughterhouse practices, rampant use of pesticides & herbicides, GMOs, and so on. Food which is supposed to nourish is making us sick; there were over 11 million reported cases of food-borne illness in Canada last year -- that's 1 in 3 people. And family farms are disappearing under the weight of commercial agriculture that promotes profits over people.

While I'll get into the details in future posts, the conference left me feeling inspired and motivated. Simply setting my intention feels like a big deal. I used to be was the kind of person who once I decided to do something, there was little to dissuade me from my path; throw caution to the wind, and all that. But as I've gotten older, it seems much scarier to take that first step, to even consider what I perceive as taking a risk -- I've got the kids, my marriage, my career, the mortgage and other financial matters to consider. Rightly so.

I'm content and happy in my roles as mother, wife and writer, but what excites and inspires me is making this place productive again -- and that's way outside my comfort zone. But would I regret not trying? Absolutely.

As for the specifics of what comes next -- I'm working on it. But I can tell you the first plan of action is to actually make a plan. I'm a great idea-generator and fabulous at winging it, but that's not a great way to start a business, or even run a homestead. It's very easy to over-extend myself and get swept away in ideas and inspiration but the best way to temper that is to start small, ask for help (ack!) and blog about it. Besides being a great source of support, you folks keep me honest. So please join me in the next stage of our 'simple living' adventure!


Erin said...

I look forward to sharing in your adventures! It is very natural for you to be looking for the next phase in your life of nurturing - the kids, husband, new homestead... now the kids are getting older and you know your land, you are moving to the next thing that gives you inspiration, with of course the benefit of it being good for your whole family! You are creating a wonderful life, go as slowly or quickly as you need to, anything worth getting so excited over is definitely worth doing! I know as a mom and "family risk-manager", weighing all the pros and cons will come naturally, trust your instincts!

Annie*s Granny said...

You can count on me sticking around for the ride!

mtnchild said...

I will be here! I might not be able to answer a lot of your questions, but I can still suggest and play along. You have very good common sense and you know how to use it, so you are wayyyyy ahead of a lot of the crowd! I look forward to 'hear' of some of the things you learned.

Mama Pea said...

Wa-hoo! Can't wait for the ride to begin! My only caution would be to start a smidge bit smaller and slower than your enthusiasm might dictate. Doing a really good job on something will give you more energy, inspiration and confidence to add something else rather than trying to do more initially than is humanly possible. You want this whole venture to be something that will add joy and good feelings to your life. (Advice given by someone who has never been bright enough to do it the sensible way.) ;o) said...

Erin -- thanks for these words of wisdom, from one mama to another :)

Thanks, Granny! -- Strap in -- it's going to be a fun ride!

Yvette -- I am open to all the suggestions and support you can give -- thanks!

Mama Pea -- I knew I could count on you to be a voice of reason. You know me too well already! I keep catching myself, racing ahead, thinking about all the wonderful things I COULD do here (I even thought about raising a turkey, or two or three), and then I bring myself back down to earth with a few figures: 1 person, 24 hours/day, 2 kids, 3rd full summer on the farm. How's that for snapping me back to reality!! :)

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Kid, you can always count on me to be a wet blanket! ;o)

Mr. H. said...

This is very exciting and I can't wait to join the ride. Remember, like Mama Pea said, slow and steady wins the race. We will be doing this with you.:) said...

Not a wet blanket at all, Mama Pea! I NEED a voice of reason! Lucas, too, as I think his voice is getting a bit hoarse :)

Thanks, Mr. H! I'll be visiting your blog for loads of 'how to' info, I'm sure!

Kim said...

I am so excited for you and I can't wait to read about all of your adventures!

David said...

Fiona, I've always found in my case that when starting a project, to make the task at hand always small enough that I am left wanting to do more instead of having the task so big that I get overwhelmed by it's enormity. It is good to be connected with folks that reinforce your desires and passions rather than being with folks that tell you it won't happen, or it's too much work, or blah blah blah. The power of words is mighty. Hang with the ones that encourage you to reach for the dream.

Have a great entrepreneurial day.

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