Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dead Reckoning


I've been making a lot of plans in my head. I've been collecting things, learning skills and trades and crafts and lots of 'needful' things for as long as I can remember to go along with these nebulous plans of mine. I get frustrated at the lack of forward motion and obvious progress. I can be very self-critical, but after a half century of life I have come to a brilliant conclusion. That does not solve anything or even help. So I stopped myself and thought, what would my advice be to someone else if they were thinking about the things I think about and facing the same circumstances. My advice to me is this: I think it's about time I get something down in writing.

I have heard that for years, literally. I have asked people how they accomplish things and they have told me to set goals, make lists, get a planner. I have listened to speakers or teachers that I have respect for. They all say prioritize. People have told me unbidden, which indicates my issues were obvious, that a clear plan helps. I have taught these things myself, and taught them properly and I think I taught them well. I just don't think I have ever kept them in practice long enough in my own life to actually see the results of a deliberate, well organized plan. What a shame. What a waste, and what a loss of a blessing, to not experience the feeling of real accomplishment.

I was told that it was my artistic nature that made me that way. I was a free spirit, the creative type and all that mumbo jumbo. Actually I was told that many times, which served to make it more believable. That was my best excuse for many years to come. What a bad bit of 'encouragement' that was! Of course I realize now what a detriment that mindset has been to me in my life. If I can organize my thoughts long enough to get these creative ideas, plan them out, start and finish them, then obviously it can be done in any area of life even if I am the 'artistic' type, whatever that was supposed to mean. Besides, God told me to be a good steward. I must be good with my talents, my obligations, my finances, my home, hobbies, habits, relationships, my time and whatever else He has given me. It may be easier for me to be a good steward in certain areas, but that does not excuse me from being a good steward in the areas that are not so easy.

For me the problem has always been that I didn't know I didn't know until I did know, and no amount of telling me, teaching me, nagging me or even threatening me could cut through the fog and make me know it any faster. I just had to get it on my own. I'm a relatively busy person and I have always known that it does me a world of good to put things in order and look at them on paper, and to re-arrange them until they resemble a plan. I know that. A simple list of errands shows me that. I do it when I write sermons. I do it when I write lesson plans. Yet in bigger issues of life, in areas that can become overwhelming or things that stall out and frustrate me, I do not do it without being prodded or otherwise made mindful that it should be done. In the past, when I finally would make an attempt at it I tended to misplace the list or set it aside for issues more pressing at the moment, but typically it would never make it back to the top of the stack.

There is no excuse for me to have been so discombobulated all these years. I could have saved myself tons of time and energy if I had determined to do this way back when. Plain for others to see, I didn't see it. I just did not. Now I do.
Thankfully, I have one redeeming quality. Once I know, I don't let any grass grow under me. There's no time like the present to make the changes and get it done.

So, I scolded myself well and committed to myself that with so many big and wonderful changes in my life, so many new horizons, I should make this sort of thing a priority in my life. Organization, list making, and prioritizing are all things I would and have counselled others to do, but have been so pathetically lazy about in my own life. I'm not even sure how to start, or where, but start I will.

I will at the very least begin a list, or a plan, or whatever I will call it, and start sorting my ideas. Maybe once I have a cohesive outline I'll share it here. I'm actually pretty excited about it all. With a fix on my present location, and with occasional recalculations and corrections for unseen roadblocks and detours I think my course is set. I feel better already.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sometimes the World Feels Far Away


I was having a conversation with my husband over dinner. We got off on the topic of different blogs we read and found that we both read several blogs with some common topics, such as preparedness, homesteading, self-sufficiency and even survivalism. We have talked about things like this before. Naturally we have similar hopes and dreams, things like living more rurally, more independently, but I guess we really never talked too much about really specific things, because he mentioned a blog where some of the contributors were always talking about BoB's, or bug out bags, and I told him we have one, and he was surprised. No, we'd never discussed it, I just assumed he knew. I figured he'd want one. It made me feel a little bit silly, because he was talking about the bloggers as though they were just a little over the edge with the whole survivalist, bug out thing, and here I am setting one up!

All this got me thinking. I'm not some super qualified, weekend practitioner of survival skills and bug out emergency drills. Not that I wouldn't like to be. Actually, I'd love to. I just never have. I haven't made the time for it. It seemed like too much trouble, with kids and animals to contend with and with my husband's weird schedule. I haven't sat down and mapped out escape routes, or listed what I think are necessary items to have in my BoB, but, hey, it's my BoB, my interest, my weird preoccupation, so why not make it the subject of a few posts? Maybe I should dedicate a blog to it.

Many of my friends know that we're planning on moving to a more rural location someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, and living a quieter, more self-sustained lifestyle. I had actually planned to blog about our day to day life once we had more concrete plans laid, but maybe I should start now. I've noticed there are many blogs about moving out, about finding land, scoping out the area, setting up a rural lifestyle, caring for animals, small farms, you name it, but I don't think I've see many from people like me. I'm not doing much. I'm more than a dreamer, and more even than a serious wannabe. I am more than a future farmer or homesteader or whatever you want to call people who do these kinds of things now days. It's not just a plan, and it's not just a dream. I'm not fearful or planning an escape. It's who I am inside and where I live every day of my life at, I just have to live there in my head and my heart for now, doing all the things I mentioned, but kept only slightly out of sync with it in a physical way due only to my physical circumstances and absolutely no other reason.

I realize that sounds like an excuse. I know that technically qualifies me as a wannabe. I'm aware that a 'real' homesteader, or a 'real' survivalist would probably laugh at me. I can tell you, however, that if heart and spirit and attitude truly are the biggest things in ones life, I am what I want to be in my life minus the land. I think I am truly qualified to blog in my field. What's my field? I'm not sure what you call it... heart of a farmer, spirit of a gypsy, will of a warrior, all mixed in with what is currently known as a prepper, I suppose. That might make for interesting reading for someone else who is hemmed into a life uncomfortable and unfamiliar to their own spirit.

I am happy; very happy. I'm happier now than I've ever been. To be happy in my life and yet to strive for something else that is deep in my soul doesn't mean I'm discontent. They are two very different things to me, distinct and never touching one another at any place in my life. They are comfortable being side by side until they can co-exist someplace in my future.

So what do you think? Should I throw caution to the wind, inviting criticism from the 'real' gypsies and warriors of the world, and blog til my heart's content, or should I continue to stealthily change my world, hat in hand and head hanging down, ashamed of my lack of obvious forward motion?

Maybe I should just continue to plan to take over the world with my mad ninja skills.