This spring has been one of the most challenging in recent memory. I won’t go into the gory personal details, but suffice it to say that it’s been tough and time-consuming.

I think it’s also been beneficial, though. We’ve had to reevaluate our life plan, our lifestyle and our choices. Have we made the right choices? Is there a better lifestyle based on different choices?

Charlie has given me this reminder a few times recently: “We are control freaks.” We’re very careful and purposeful about our choices. We try desperately to not be the people to whom life just happens. We do our research to determine what is the best decision, and we plan out major life events years in advance. Of course surprises occasionally come along, but we do our best to avoid them.

Charlie pointed out that one of the reasons we have a hard time reconsidering our major life plans is that we have been carefully crafting a lifestyle.

We live in Columbia because this town aligns with our values. Charlie ended up in CoMo because of going to school here, but I doubt we would have stuck around if it weren’t a pretty fine place to live.

We live in the house that we do because we purposefully chose it so we could walk to work. When we tell people that we walk to work, occasionally we get the reaction of, “Oh, you’re so lucky!” It wasn’t luck: we drew a 2 mile radius circle around campus, and determined that this is where we would buy our house. We could have bought a bigger house farther from campus and paid less, and had a 20-30 minute drive every day just like everyone else. But we chose not to, because it didn’t fit with the lifestyle we were crafting for ourselves.

We grow our own food. Worms compost our scraps. We collect our rain water for the dry season. Our grapes are producing fruit for the first time ever. We eat whole, unprocessed foods, homegrown or locally grown if at all possible, that for the most part I make from scratch – even though it takes longer. We do it because it is important to us, both for our health and because it just tastes better.

We don’t have a TV. Occasionally this is met with the response of, “Oh… I’m sorry.” But we chose not to have a TV. We spend our free time on Sundays or in the evenings working in the garden, working on the house or in a side business.

Everyone has to choose their own lifestyle. This is what we have created for ourselves. Our lifestyle is replicable to greater or lesser degrees in other areas of the country, but CoMo makes it easy.

6 Responses to “Carefully crafting a lifestyle”

  1. Amy Swiney
    15 June 2011 at 9:30 am #

    Your lifestyle sounds pretty good to me. Just like I have chosen my lifestyle on our farm, and am continually making changes to create what I want.

  2. CoMo Homestead
    15 June 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Thanks! Sometimes I dream about living on a farm, but then I remember that farms = hard work. :)

  3. Jessica
    15 June 2011 at 11:50 am #

    You and Charlie sound exactly like Neil and I. We are so careful and so thoughtful toward all of our decisions and how they will impact our future or other things we value, “carefully crafting” is the perfect way to put it. That’s one of the reasons we stayed, because after immensely careful consideration, we’d lose too much of what we love.

    I feel it sometimes puts us at a disadvantage sometimes though. Sometimes I think we’re TOO careful and talk ourselves out of things by overthinking them. Like having kids, etc.

    If you guys ever want to commiserate with two other control freaks, we’re happy to oblige.

  4. CoMo Homestead
    15 June 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Haha, thanks, Jessica!

  5. Jenn
    15 June 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    This all sounds ideal to me. I get accused of worrying and overthinking too much sometimes (which isn’t entirely untrue), but there’s a lot to be said for being deliberate and intentional, and really considering different options and outcomes and how they fit into life. Not all of my choices will be perfect, but giving some thought to them really helps me to come up with those that most align with my ideals and needs.

  6. CoMo Homestead
    16 June 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Jenn – It is hard to find the balance between careful consideration and worrying. I definitely tend towards the anxiety side of things, so it’s something I have to be aware of.

    BTW, I see you’re from Ontario! I spent most of my life in Kingston.