Several years ago, I saw a nice little card that said: “she designed a life she loved.” It struck a chord with me – and while I don’t have anything with the phrase adorning anything I own, I think about the phrase often. Daily, almost.

I hated the idea of becoming an adult. Loathed it, in fact. When my brother got his driver’s license, I sobbed in the Smitty’s parking lot because I was so scared of not being a kid. I was 10. Six years later when it was my turn, my mom had to force me to take the exam.

My avoidance of adulthood followed me for longer than it should. I floundered through college, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted out of my life, and I set myself back in a lot of ways. I started my career at 25 and at some point after that, I realized I can make my own dreams come true.

So I started doing it. I got chickens. Later on, I got ducks. I tried my hand at beekeeping, though that was cut short due to a fallen tree.

I started figuring out what I really cared about. I started focusing on quality over quantity. I spend a portion of my time every day trying to learn about the life I want to lead.

The prospect of buying new land has me in research mode. I know what I want it to look like eventually, but I also know that I need to implement things in phases rather than going all in at once. I know I will always keep chickens. Whether I keep ducks or not will likely be dependent on whether the location of the pond. I want to eliminate roosters and have guardian geese with the layers. I want bees again, although I want to always be sure to cultivate a good environment for the native bees.

I want a dairy cow and a few beef cattle, not only to provide company, but to provide my own food. I want to raise a few feeder pigs per year, again for food. In a total dream world, I would want a few dairy goats and maybe a small herd of sheep. But that’s absolute dream land and even I can recognize those additions might tip the scales into “too much stuff” mode.

I want a closed loop system on the farm. I want to follow the basic guidelines in “Holy Shit” by Gene Logsdon and the general guidelines from Joel Salatin.

I want to be as self-sufficient as possible on my little corner of the world and leave it a better place than I found it.

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