We’ve been living on our property almost a full six months now and couldn’t be happier with the amount of work we’ve gotten done. In six months’ time, we’ve been able to collect tons of tools and materials that we will need to build our home, install a septic system, build a cabin, mill some lumber, and work for a few months on our online business. Going into 2016, we had some equally lofty goals (or even more lofty than in 2015). But we have a confession to make…
Since we are going into 2016 living on our own land with a roof over our head and our basic needs met, we planned to get a lot done. Some of the thing we were / are hoping to get done this year include:
- Build the framework for our barn and get it dried-in by winter: Living in our travel trailer was never meant to be a long-term solution. We would like to be living on solid land as soon as possible.
- Finish the hot tub deck: We didn’t think tackling the barn first was a wise idea as thought it would be better to start on something small… and having a place to soak away our sore muscles would be absolutely amazing.
- Take care of unfinished business in Oregon: We have a rental property we would like to sell and have some unfinished business with the sale of the business. Because there are loose ends in Oregon, there is a chance we will have to return at some point in the near future… hopefully on our own terms.
- Pay off all debt: Our original goal was to pay off all debt this year, including our land. This is a lofty goal, but we do think it is feasible. We have a significant amount of money wrapped up in assets but the problem is… we can’t simply pull the money out when we want to. It’s a timing thing and we have to continue to be wise investors.
- Slow down a bit: We’ve been going at this pace for many years, and it is exhausting at times. We would consider ourselves “workaholics” which means that we get a lot done, but we often disappear for months at a time (ask our neighbors and families!) and ultimately, we only stop working when we reach burn out. We have been doing this to accomplish goals, not for fun, but our pace is not sustainable and continuing to go at this rate could end very poorly.
- Continue to strengthen our business: We catapulted ourselves into a new industry over a year ago so the first year was really a lot of trial and error. This year, we feel that we are in the optimization stage where we can fully analyze what is working, what is not, reduce expenses, cut out parts of our business that aren’t working well, and invest in the things that we feel strongly about.
- Continue to blog: We are passionate about helping others transition to a similar lifestyle and find a greater sense of happiness in their lives, and the blog is a great medium to do that. We would like to continue to produce great, helpful content that is high-quality.
- Build relationships in the community: We didn’t move to the community we did to be hermits. We love this community and want to strengthen our relationships in the neighborhood. We want to have neighbors over for BBQ, be frequent visitors to the farmers market, and even understand how we can bring about positive changes to the community, even if it’s just helping to preserve what the community already has.
- Collect materials: We want to build our barn and develop our property with as little money as possible (don’t mistake that with being cheap… we always strive for quality). We want to be on the lookout always for great values on materials.
Are you exhausted yet? Us too!
A Solemn Confession
We were hoping to hit the ground running on the first warm day of the year but we’ve had warm weather for a few weeks now, and we are completely exhausted. 2015 was a big year for us, and we have spent the last 10 weeks working on our business 14+ hours a day.
Because we spend so much time staring at a bright computer screen, our bodies are out of whack, we have messed up sleep schedules, we’ve been sleeping poorly. The sun is out, the birds are chirping and more people are stopping by to say hello. We could get started on the barn if we wanted, but our bodies are so out of whack that we don’t even know what day or time it is. We are really, really tired mentally.
We have one again hit the “burn out” wall. Looking at our self-imposed to-do list for the year is overwhelming. We can’t continue to go at the pace we’ve been going or we could face some serious consequences or even injury.
We’ve come to the conclusion that we need to slow down and lower our expectations of what we can accomplish in the next year, which is really, really hard for over-achievers and workaholics to do.
Going Forward in 2016: The Plan as of Today
While there is a chance we can accomplish all of those goals in 2016, it is unfair to put the pressure on ourselves to get it done OR ELSE. That is suicide.
At the end of the day, all we can do is make sure that we have taken steps in the right direction, and then be happy with where we are in life. We’re living on our property in a dwelling that we own, and are become more and more self-sustainable on a daily basis. What more could we ask for?
We think we are going to focus on having an “optimization year”.
How We Plan to Optimize
In all honest, I think the biggest stressor so far of this year has been the idea of getting our barn up and dried in by winter. There is so much that needs to happen to achieve that goal, and it’s not our only goal, so that’s an awful lot to have on our plate.
Here are our new thoughts for 2016:
- Don’t worry about getting the barn up and dried in by winter: There is so much to do in order for this to happen, and would have to be basically our only focus. That is just not possible. There are reasons why we haven’t started on this yet and the main reason is that we just have no mental space for such a project.
- Continue to collect materials: We do know that we will need a substantial amount of money to build our barn so we would rather build it more slowly, but with affordable materials that we either make ourselves (lumber) or find second-hand.
- Give some TLC to our belongings: We have many belongings in need of TLC including our four wheeler, truck, Subaru and other various tools. In order to tackle a large project such as our barn, we need all of our tools and vehicles to be working properly.
- Give some TLC to ourselves: We have been neglecting our bodies for a couple of years. We do our best to eat a relatively healthy diet, but we both have some back pain we would like to address. We may take time to seek out a chiropractor to see if we have anything more serious going on or if we simply need to give ourselves more self-love (going on relaxing hikes, stretching more, upgrading our bed, etc.)
- Finish our hot tub deck: This is a priority. We hate things that are half-done and in all honesty, I think we could finish this up in a week or so.
- Start a small garden or developing our soil: If we don’t have the pressure of getting the barn done, we can do more small projects. Starting a garden would be extremely rewarding.
- Start canning: We still spend more than we would like to on food, but canning would be a relaxing and fun project, could help to lower our food bill (buying meat and veggies in bulk, anyone?) and it really would be nice to have more than a week’s supply of food.
You Can Only Do What You Can Do
The last thing we want to share, as we know many of you are in the beginning stages of embarking on a similar adventure, is that you can only do what you can do.
While we all want to be perfect and get an insane amount of stuff done in a short amount of time, we can only move so fast. We are only human, and that is okay.
If you know us well, you’ll know that we will still get a lot done this year, and we very well may get the barn up and dried in by winter, but we simply need to re-prioritize. Sometimes, in reducing the pressure on yourself, you can actually get more done. While being patient is hard for us, we feel it’s the right thing to do and our gut rarely seems to lead us astray. We can’t wait to see what the warm weather has in store for us.
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