Blogging about real life on a homestead can be an interesting challenge. On the one hand, I don’t want to use this blog as a platform for whining when things go wrong, as it’s my vision to inspire and uplift others on their homesteading path. But to not share the challenges of homesteading seems unfair and unrealistic as well.
The truth is, we all have homestead set backs.
A few months ago, I mentioned to a close group of homestead blogging friends that I was feeling particularly affected by a long list of personal challenges: Our property is currently threatened by a high-voltage power line project. A lower back injury has taken months to resolve and I’ve been left with some minor nerve damage. The cow that we had been waiting for months to arrive ended up not being able to come live with us.
In other words, life happened.
Luckily, I’m a pretty upbeat person, and I tend to bounce back from challenges pretty quickly (although boy, do I feel them acutely in the moment!!!). I’m at the core of a grassroots group fighting to protect our community. My back is (slowly) healing. A reader contacted me about her sweet Jersey cow, and Creme Brulee will be coming to live with us in a few days.
Life is moving forward.
My general strategy when faced with challenging personal or homestead situations is to fight despair with action. After a good cry, or a healthy mourning period, I tend to get practical. What can I do to make my situation better? How can I turn a lemon into lemonade? Not to say that real life challenges are always easy to turn around. Certainly, I have yet to find a real silver lining to a debilitating back injury, but perhaps some day I will!
As our homesteading group discussed these challenges, we got to talking about homestead set backs in general. How do we cope with them? What characteristics make a good homesteader? What traits has homesteading given us?
I found our discussion really inspirational and full of wisdom that I hope will help anyone on their homestead journey.
“I know that stubborn determination has kept me going in many many things. I am hoping this same stubbornness that I see in my own children is going to benefit them in the long run!!”- Leona of My Healthy Green Family
“When It comes to farm set backs, to me it’s easy. Get up. Dust your self off. Move forward.” – Katie of livinlovinfarmin
“The homestead life does change you and give you emotional coping skills that you maybe didn’t have before.” – Chris of Joybilee Farm
“I’ve found that the homestead life cheers me up because I love it so much. We are closer to the life and death cycle living this life, which makes it both challenging and beautiful.” – Isis of Little Mountain Haven
“I do think there’s a certain grit homesteaders possess. Maybe they don’t possess it from the beginning, but they learn it real quick- it seems to be the only way to survive. I think you have no choice but to do the next thing after something goes wrong on the homestead, because all the “next things” have to get done anyway.
The overarching theme of my life- clearly the lesson I am supposed to be learning- is perseverance. So many things I don’t want to do or deal with, or conversely that I want to accomplish, seem to rely on perseverance. To either get through the things you don’t want to be dealing with or to accomplish something you want. Always perseverance. Maybe a hefty dose of stubbornness in there too.” – Ashley of Whistle Pig Hollow
For more thoughts about overcoming homestead set backs, check out these posts:
Annie at Montana Homesteader wrote a great post about The Power of Positive Thinking on the Homestead.
And here’s a good reminder from Heather of Green Eggs and Goats about what do do when you feel like quitting homesteading!
What about you? How do you overcome homestead set backs? What qualities do you think homesteaders must have?