Big changes are coming to this wannabe homestead, and I’m not sure how I feel about them. One minute I feel excited; the next I feel like a failure. My husband insists the latter is absolutely false, but I’m still in the wallowing phase, so I’m not sure I agree.
I have an interview tomorrow with a staffing agency. After about five months of less-than-part-time work, I have to go back into the workforce. The tutoring job I was working for two years ended in May when the owners decided not to commit to the franchises requirements and had to close the center. Between that and the occasional jobs I was working with my husband, we were getting by. Now, with the loss of that $500/month and fewer and fewer hours with the other job, we find ourselves dipping into the savings account more to pay the bills much more often.
I have started substitute teaching again now that school is back in session, but it is not enjoyable for me. I’m just too old school and the new things being done are just too chaotic for my old brain to handle. I’m a big fan of desks and raising your hand and asking permission and showing respect. That is falling away in favor of teaching to tests. I know a lot of folks will disagree with me when I say that there was nothing wrong with the way I learned in school: sitting in a desk, paying attention (or facing the consequences), and not requiring constant entertainment to keep me engaged (some things were just boring but had to be learned). I thought I could get with the program but I just don’t know that I can. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, I guess, which is sad because I truly believe education is vital to success in life.
So, with that said, I am going back into Corporate America for the sake of my family. It breaks my heart. To be perfectly honest, I’m terrified. I have worked in that environment for decades and it was the most soul-sucking experience of my life. I hated every second of it (except when I was running a machine in a film-processing plant). I’m afraid that I won’t be able to make this wannabe homestead work. I’m afraid I will be so drained and dried up at the end of every day. I’m afraid I won’t want to spend my weekends catching up on what didn’t get done all week long. I’m afraid that I will get sucked back into the land of processed food and boxed meals because I just won’t have time.
On the other hand, I am excited. It will be nice not to struggle so much. I look forward to being able to make better choices such as grass-fed beef and a share in a CSA. I look forward to taking my husband on a honeymoon. I look forward to taking trips with friends. I look forward to not having to worry as much if something happens to one of our cars. I look forward to having real health insurance and not the abysmal Obamacare policy we have now that costs a fortune for nothing.
I want this homestead to be successful even if I have to work full-time away from here. I want to continue to work on building that dream pantry lined with jars of food I canned myself. I want to work in the garden every spring and summer. I want to add chickens to our little homestead. I want my husband to have more time to pursue his work as a Realtor, something he has always wanted to do but had to put on the back burner to keep things afloat here. I know there are other folks out there who work outside the homestead and still keep up. I want to hear from you. How do you make it all happen? What are your tips and tricks?