The Shift, part 4

I’m a bit of a miser. That’s not a secret, and I honestly wear the badge proudly. I wore my favorite pair of boots until the sole fell off entirely (at work, no less) and was fully prepared to find a cobbler or, y’know, just gorilla glue the thing back on myself for free. Kyle, ever the spender, said “Absolutely not, Nicole. Go buy yourself a new pair of boots.”

“But there’s still life in them!” I protested.

He just held up the detached sole and boot to silently illustrate that things don’t often have life in them after decapitation. Point taken.

That sums up my thoughts on buying things. Before I buy something new, the one I have had better be darn near half-dead. And even then, when it comes time to replace that, I want to buy the cheapest version possible that looks made well enough to last a good long while. Which is, evidently, a year or two, in my eyes because that’s about all the longer my stuff lasts.

This is a problem and serves as a metaphor for this entire series of posts. I spend more resources by not investing in quality built to last. This doesn’t just apply to buying things, it applies to taking my community, my skills, and my love of learning for granted. I have the means to do so much more with my life, and because I have maintained a mentality of scarcity, I haven’t allowed myself to take full advantage of what is available to me. Sadly, that means I settle for a quality that is well beneath what will take me throughout the rest of my life.

This, dear reader, is the shift. I want to start investing in my own future in as many ways I possibly can. My job as a mother has completely changed so that I can focus more energy on preparing for what comes at us down the road. This may seem like such a simple move (and in many ways, it is) but the process of not only changing my ways of thinking, but also learning new skills and researching, on top of good ol’ trial and error. . . this is going to take a few minutes and a lot of patience I’m not used to exhibiting.

To put it another way, I am learning to be a homesteader. My grandparents did it, their grandparents did it and I’m blessed that that generational wisdom is still available to me. Not only is Granny a phone call away, I have access to the knowledge that she taught my mom and her siblings. I am, in essence, choosing to turn away from the more modern, socially accepted lifestyle we have lived in favor of one that provides more security for the future.

I’ve got about ten years to make this shift and a lot to learn about darn near everything, but I’m calmly looking forward to the peace and simplicity it will bring in the long haul. I’m open-minded about the connections to my local community and tapping into the wealth of knowledge and resources available there. But above all else, I’m feeling the peace that comes with knowing the future is mine for the taking.

That “taking” will be taken slow, though. I’m not trying to upend everything overnight, but I will be making more conscientious decisions daily with the end goal in sight. With such a slow shift, it’ll be easy to forget how far I’ve come.

That’s where this blog comes in. I will be documenting the changes in short essays here, with photos and maybe sometimes videos. My goal is not to teach anyone how to do what I’m doing, but to learn more as I go along. With that in mind, please do comment if you have something to say about a post. I want to share in your experiences.

Well, that was one long introduction, but I believe properly laying the foundation (for myself as much as for a reader) is important to build upon later. This is a beginning for me and I still have so far to go.

One step at a time.

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