“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came time to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau
Disclaimer: I do things in the way I believe works best, costs the least and harms the planet as little as possible. Feel free to try anything you read here (preferably in an open field with a fire extinguisher handy) but don’t get your hopes up that it might be worth suing me.
I have come to homesteading at that perfect age (my mid fifties) and I say that to prove the point that it is possible to put a positive spin on anything. In physical terms, it would have been better to start on this in my twenties. Financially, it might have been nice to wait until I was about 200 years old.
This was not a choice we arrived at overnight. My partner Elaine was widowed twice before we got together in 2010. By that time, she had a pretty clear idea about the life she wanted. If I look back on my own life, I can make out a fairly clear trail that brought me to this place. After much careful discussion and negotiation, we set our sights on a life that was comfortable and secure. Self sufficiency was the key to making it happen within our modest resources. Since we were both inclined that way, it was an easy choice to make. Our decision to become homesteaders was at its core an economic one, with a cluster of political, social and quality of life issues thrown in.
I doubt if we fit into any of the classic stereotypes, such as Wide eyed but soon to be disabused urban back to the lander, or Tin foil hat wearin, gun totin, doomsday fearin, bunker monkey…. We are seeking security, dignity and peace of mind. Self sufficiency is the means to achieving those goals. Making a lot of money to be able to pay other people to do everything for us, might deliver a form of security, but living simply close to the land seems like the best way to find contentment.