That's not like me!
We've had a mad busy January, a lot of things have changed, and it's not been that nice.
To cut a long and frankly depressing story short, this year has to be the year we get out of debt. Really.
We still have land to work, and a dream to believe in, so this year's words are CHANGE and surprisingly COMMUNITY.
We've started (again) a proper written budget. The debt is the thing that's killing us and the reason I have to work full time and Neil has to work for himself full time and our smallholding plans are always on hold.
We've decided to declare a year of 'Buying Nothing Needlessly New'. Where business and growing is concerned we've had to acknowledge some needed new - like a hosepipe! - but for our personal use it will all have to be wombled or charity shopped.
Vegetables absolutely must be grown. In full on Dig for Victory mode, with the cheapest of seed and the plainest of fare!
We've decided to focus on money earning to clear debt via 1) My job 2) Neil's business and 3) Side hustles - so far the cut flower patch, the turkeys, and maybe writing are on the list.
The farm based side hustles are important, because we really long to keep our self sufficient, and land based business ethos alive in this incredibly testing time.
And then. My new year insight was that in terms of community, and all that that brings, we might be sitting on our own 'acres of diamonds'.
So we resolved to join the garden club, at the very least, and make more effort to be out and about in this village where we live, because we might surprise ourselves.
I feel like the internet is amazing at connecting like minded people, but that can make us intolerant of the unalike people who make up our local community. Sure I can talk to natural goat keeping christian homesteaders who homeschooled part way through seniors then moved to state school and who like crafts! all day long online, but my real, messy community consists of people who think we were nuts to homeschool, have never heard the term homesteading, can't tell a goat from a sheep, and while going to the local CofE at Christmas and on Remembrance Sunday are suspicious of chapel types .. but they are our local people .
We're mid church-change for various very, very upsetting reasons. I'm mid job-conflict which is also not very nice. The girls are in transition and at loggerheads. Into all this comes this triple challenge:
- Save all we can
- Earn all we can
- Join our community.
Any wonder I left it a month to write? 2017. Bring it on.