Lesson Learned. It does not require a major move or job change to start living a simpler, more sustainable and rewarding lifestyle. In fact, doing so has only served to slow us down a bit. One of the biggest mistakes we have made on our EdenFeed Journey revolves around location. Along the way, my husband and I found ourselves convinced that we needed to move to a bigger piece of property in a more rural location in order to build our EdenFeed lifestyle. Ultimately we wanted to live as off the grid as possible. So we set about looking for a position or positions that would allow us to do this.
Since our plan was to move, we held off doing some of the home projects and investments we would make to the house if we were staying – such as new appliances, adding on a screened back porch, adding rainwater collections, etc. The more and more we thought about moving, the more and more we disconnected from the home and community we lived in. The things that we did not care for to begin with (such as traffic) became major frustrations and increased our desire to move and our disconnection.
Luckily at the End of 2007, we obtained a position that met all of our financial needs and gave us the freedom to work from anywhere in the United States. Unfortunately in 2008, circumstances worked against a move from all angles. 2008 turned out to be a dangerous year to be one of our loved ones. We lost over ten that year and spent many weeks traveling to funerals. We also had a few major family milestones including my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary that required our attendance locally. Oh and the bubble burst and the economy tanked. The idea of moving to a more rural location where we would have less employment opportunities overall, should we lose our income, quickly started to feel like a really irresponsible decision for two adults with small children to make. Especially given that we currently owned a 1900 sq. ft. home with a monthly mortgage less than the price of a two bedroom apartment, as well as, had an established network of family, friends and colleagues. We had given ourselves a deadline for our “move or get off the pot” decision and so as our 2008 ended with more funerals and travel, we threw in the towel on moving.
Never before had Tony and I had to fight the powers that be so hard to make our plans come to life and we took that as a sign we were not heading on the right path. We were going to stay put for a while until we were given more clear direction on where to plant our next chapter. Really, we are not that hard headed, we probably could have been convinced to stay without double digits deaths and an economic collapse. It is not like we don’t love Florida, it is just that our current location has several factors that we don’t find exactly chive well with our vision. Our recent experience has taught us that we are going to just have to work around those factors and keep moving forward.
So we opened our 2009 with home projects and reengaged in our existing home, life and community. We redoubled our efforts to live a sustainable life. The plan shifted again to accommodate this fact that our sustainable lifestyle (for the foreseeable future) would need to be built in an urban setting on our small plot of land in a deed restricted neighborhood. Thank God for that fence!!! Turns out the powers that be know what they are doing because in June, 2009, we lost our entire family income.
Our desire and work to move ultimately slowed down our efforts to become more sustainable. The job loss has not helped either from the perspective of further slowing investment money that could be used to converting our home to run on less energy. However, we are still making progress and, all in all, have come very far in the last few years. Fortunately, even while we were working to move we were still developing skills and sustainable practices at home. We are extremely grateful for the EdenFeed work and skills we acquired prior to our job loss as we have weathered this experience much better because of it.
It is funny how this went down, because one of our original motivating factors to move off the grid to a more rural location was an expectation of social and economic breakdown. We just did not beat it in our preparations. We expected some more time and a different source for the breakdown. Not that we currently believe we have altogether escaped further economic and social breakdown from limited natural resources and increasing civil unrest worldwide. We just may have to weather it from our current location.
So this was our biggest mistake to date. We will keep you posted. I am sure we will make more.