Is life supposed to be about stuff? Or about joy? And how can you abandon all the stuff that makes up your comfortable 'lifestyle' to pursue your dreams?
Here's what I've come to believe: no material thing - job, house, car, even a Lamborghini 4-wheel drive loader-tractor - is more important than experiencing joy and fulfillment in your life.
I left a good job (by most standards) because it was slowly driving me insane (Since I used to work in the post office, I think I may also have done the world a favor - I'm a good shot with a long gun ;-)
The process of separating myself from paid employment began when I realized I DIDN"T CARE about the tasks and goals set for me by the corporation.
And it got harder to even pretend I cared. I could do the job, and well enough to get promoted and even accoladed for my work. But my goals and the goals of my employer were diverging day by day.
It got to the point I could only force myself to go to work by pretending it was a game - I would see what outrageous things I could get away with before getting caught.
Looking back, I have some pity for my managers; there were days that I was actively, creatively, joyfully EVIL in pursuit of a little fun at the corporation's expense. And because I didn't care, there was little they could threaten me with.
But I eventually got smart and got out. It took some time, but I created a life that brings me joy every day. I can honestly tell you I am thankful every single day to be able to work on things that interest and excite me. I've got my farm, my consulting work, my teaching, speaking and writing.
And I'm deliriously happy NOT to be stuck in a Dilbert-style cubicle farm all day.
All this would seem unbelievable from my perspective of 17 years ago. I did not at that time plan any of those things. But it came about step-by step as I explored how to 1 - find meaningful things to do that made me happy, and 2 - find a way to make a living at it. And magical things have happened along the way.
By the way, none of this could have happened without Suzie's 100% commitment and support. Picture this: you're the mother of two small kids, and one day your husband says he wants to leave the well-paying job and the safe career path he's on to pursue "happiness"; definition to be determined later. And you say 'Cool! go for it!' How great is she? (I dropped this little bomb about 2 weeks before Christmas, too)
Giving up a bunch of stuff and a job and a lifestyle that isn't fulfilling you is, in reality, giving up nothing. None of these things abide; you will lose them all someday (we all die.)
So ask yourself, 'what have I got to lose'? Material objects are ephemeral, and NOT more important than having meaning and some fun in your life. Be courageous, pursue your dream, and I promise that magical things will happen for you as well.
Your path probably won't look like mine. WHAT you do doesn't matter, only WHY. And the 'why' should be because it fulfills you deeply. Give up the 'lifestyle' and get a life!
For further reading . . .
One of the best parts of having a small farm is watching the animals' behaviour. I get a lot of entertainment from watching our horses, pigs and chickens interact. You can also learn a lot by watching their behaviour. With that in mind, here's
some life lessons from the chicken coop
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