Start small…very small.
What do you see in this photo? Nothing? Look again. It’s our first step at our new home towards our goal of a simpler lifestyle. That water spigot and one other one near the horse pasture were all we managed to add our first year of living here; and that was only because we had to have easy-ish access to water for the dogs and horses. And while I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed at the slow pace, I was also deeply exhilarated as we began planning each step.
It’s a journey, not a race.
And that slow pace is exactly what you need as you begin this new journey. I can’t tell you how many promising homesteaders I’ve seen start too big and burn out before the first few years have passed. Most of us have kid-sized dreams of growing an entire year’s worth of food our first season, only to discover there’s a lot more work involved than we anticipated. (And our budgets are often a bit on the leaner side of our dreams, too!)
Start with ONE new venture.
So start with a single water spigot. Or three to four laying hens in a small portable chicken tractor. Or maybe your first step towards a simpler lifestyle is simply spending a year building community while looking for local farmers to supply your family’s needs. Even better, take at least a full year to learn the myriad forms of self-sufficiency, the various skills you may wish to learn, and more. By being patient, you just may find that your original plan needed a bit of tweaking to make the most enjoyable journey ever.
Keep it fun.
Whatever way you start, remember to start small and keep it fun. I was reminded of this wisdom just the other day at our local bee club meeting. A young lady whom I’d never seen before raised her hand to ask a question. Later, I spoke with her to find out where she was from. Turns out, this young lady was chomping at the bit to get started on her own journey to self-sufficiency. Yet, she had the wisdom to know she needed to spend an entire year studying on her own chosen first step–beekeeping. And boy, did was she having fun reading all the beekeeping books and meeting us old folks at the meetings. Excitement just radiated from her huge smile.
It is those who start small that will succeed in this new, simpler lifestyle.
So start small–and be patient. It will come with each passing day.