Homecraft Happiness: Jumping Off the Wheel (Again)

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Nearly two years ago my husband and I realized we were living our life on a continuous loop of work, pay, buy, work more. It’s bad enough to work jobs we didn’t love, but then to realize that all we work for had to be paid out so that we can live to work another week, well, that was really depressing. We decided to do something drastic. Here’s a brief recap of our adventures two years ago when we finally said, Enough.

We made the decision and came up with a plan. Bought an old motorhome. Began renovating. Realized we were in way over our heads. Plowed on anyway. We met a great family in Kansas who was doing the exact same thing. Same RV model, same goal and same time line. We began to plan a caravan up the AlCan. After we moved into the RV I quit my job and we rented some land to live on while hubby kept working and we saved like squirrels, planning our one way trip to Alaska, our land search and the ultimate goal, a cabin that we would build ourselves with a cozy wood stove for the kitties to curl up next to. All this while writing and publishing books, homeschooling and living partially off grid. Looking back, it’s amazing all we were able to accomplish. We had campfires and the boys learned to make their own arrows. (the fact that they lit them on fire and had “Viking Wars” is another post.) Those woods were the ultimate boy freedom. They tracked animals and built forts. One of my sons even started dabbling in carpentry with me. We had the money and time to do what we wanted when we wanted. Without the constant distraction of TV and video games, they actually started living life.

Then the rains came. And kept coming. Over fifty inches for the season, to be exact.  While the new roof my husband put on was sound, our resolve began to spring leaks. With two teenagers and four cats, my husband and I began to think what everyone else was thinking about us. We’re nuts. We needed to regroup and rethink our decision. However not willing to go back to being rats on a wheel in the miserable work/pay cycle, we found a manufactured home in Utah and bought it.

There. You’re all caught up. For the last sixteen months we’ve been here, working on this place. We’ve had ample time to rethink our goals and they were spot on the first time. The original plan was to upgrade this home and sell it at a profit, upgrade rv’s and get back to the dream. We’re a bit over deadline and this place isn’t near finished and ready to sell.

We realized that we were right back where we started. Boy, that’s depressing, considering the first time around we were so excited and committed to our dream we sold off all our crap and even downsized to one car. And now we are right back to work, pay, work harder, pay more. (Oh, and we’ve been slowly replacing all the “crap” we got rid of just a year and a half ago!  A few weeks ago I was actually thinking about buying a flat screen T.V. ACK!!! And the final nail in the coffin to a life spent running on a rat wheel, we rented a storage unit for our excess crap. That was my wake up call. What in the hell just happened? We tried. We aren’t happy.

Tired and depressed, (and feeling utterly trapped) we have to resurrect the dream. There are a lot of things we will do differently this time. We learned a lot living tiny for nearly six months. We are working faster and harder on the house, shopping around for RV’s and back to planning our life and our retirement. It’s strange to some that getting rid of most of one’s possessions and heading out into the last frontier would make someone so happy. But we are happier than we have been in awhile. The goal is a homestead in Alaska. Our target date is next spring. Between now and then are endless preparations.

The decision has been made. We have resurrected and committed to the dream.

Now all we need to do is jump.

Posted on June 9, 2014 and filed under Homecraft Happiness.