Thursday, February 16, 2012

Be Realistic, It's Important

Some people never chase their dreams, they let life stop them. They are fools. Some people go into their dreams having no idea what they are getting into. They are smart fools. Some people go into their dreams knowing exactly what they are getting into. They are smart.

Let's talk about being realistic. I've heard it said, that people who are realistic are downers. I disagree. There is definitely something to be said for knowing what you're getting into. Being realistic doesn't you are a doubting Thomas, or a naysayer, it just means you should go into it with eyes wide open. It doesn't mean having a defeatist attitude, it means being psychologically ready to take on your dreams, especially when your dreams require a huge lifestyle change - like moving to a farm. Or a bare piece of land. Or moving to Hollywood to become an actor. Or leaving America to perform missionary work in a third world country.

There are all kinds of lifestyle changes people make every day. The successful ones either have good contacts, or are prepared for the blood, sweat, and tears needed to achieve their dreams.

For example, maybe you want to raise pigs for meat. Well, some hippieyuppie (I apologize in advance to all the hippieyuppies out there) with no experience will look at them and say, how cute. Then they're going to be shocked when they realize that pigs have to DIE to become meat, if they haven't been realistic. I realize this is extreme, but that's about the size of it.

Or the person going to Hollywood? If they have no experience acting, they are likely to be waiting tables while dreaming of "hitting it big." We've all heard the stories. It doesn't mean don't do it. It means, have a backup plan.

Ok how about another example? Me. When I move to my land this spring, there's nothing on it. And I mean nothing. No well. No water. No house. No garden. No driveway. No electricity. (Although there is an easement for the power company and a power line runs through it.) And the soil is seeded with rocks - big ones, little ones, huge boulders and slabs of rock. It is surrounded by a barbed wire fence - a rusty, barbed wire fence with serious gaps that the deer jump through. And the coyotes. So I guess it does have a crappy fence, deer, and coyotes at night. Oh, and there ARE trees, thank goodness. We're going to have to tent it. I will have to haul water to heat over a campfire for sponge baths, and filter drinking water. There will be no tv, no internet, no refrigeration, no nice comfortable bed, no conveniences. If I went into it with just a hazy dream of having a house up after a week with running water and electricity, I would have a nervous breakdown 8 days in. Same goes for my son. Luckily, I do have some kind of experience living this way, but not nearly enough to prepare me for what I'm going to do without being realistic.

In short, it's going to be miserable. For a couple of months. But then, (and this is the hazy dream part) I'll begin to start living the life I want to. The life I dream of. And I can't wait. In fact, it's hard to write about anything else. Getting my house ready to sell? Boring. Necessary, but boring. Why write about that mundane stuff when I can write about adventure! Yes, this will be an adventure, and there is a good bit of risk involved. I am saying, don't be afraid of risk, but know what the outcomes can be and don't get blindsided because you didn't think about it.

I can't wait for the dream I can't wait for the dream I can't wait for the dream!!



  1. Hi Beth--

    I just "found" your blog and wanted to say hello. Good for you, having a dream and finding your way home. You'll never regret it (at least I haven't).

    We still have a long way to go too, but we're on a little piece of dirt and growing our own food and taking it all as it comes. I have chickens and I have fruit trees and I have a pond. I have (so far) 9- 20 ft raised garden beds with plans for more this year.

    It's a good life. I'll be back to see you!!

  2. Thank you for this post. I've been long labeled as "negative" because I was willing to point out potential problems that had to be dealt with. This annoys "go with the flow" folks. I think too, another key to success is being able to adapt one's lifestyle to the challenges that present themselves. I may want to grow English walnuts, but that may be more work than I have time & energy. Pecans would be a better choice. Different flavor, but it would be easier to adapt to that.

  3. Annie, hi, and thanks for following! I can't wait to get back to the country with my son. Sounds like you have a good start on your dream.

    Leigh - I hear you. People tend not to really look at a the difficulties. I believe they think by doing so they would lose optimism and hope. I believe by doing so you can figure out how to work through them - maybe even coming up with two or three strategies. I think this means that when ugliness rears its head you are prepared and can meet it head on with an axe! :) Instead of having to quit because you are so dejected it didn't work out how you wanted. Key word, wanted, not realistically expected. The trick is to say, yes you can do it, but let's have a plan to be successful and a backup plan so you're not up sh!t creek if you aren't.

  4. Your attitude is definitely a step in the right direction. If you have one around, check out Cabelas. It is a hunting and fishing store. They have large hunting tents that have a wood burning stove that you can cook and heat your tent with. They are great shelters to use till your house is built. We also have a dream of living on our own land. Till then we are turning our yard into a garden. It's a learning processes. But I will know at least a little bit of what what to expect.LOL