Summer Reflections

I’ve spoken before about the fact I tend to be very future orientated. I always have a list of plans, goals and dreams for the near and not-so-near future. I don’t dwell on the past much and, in some ways, I think that’s a good thing. Focusing on the future keeps me moving forward and means I don’t carry a lot of baggage. Like most people I’m nostalgic about my happy memories and hold them close to my heart, but I’m pretty good at letting go of life’s unpleasant and less important bits.

Daisy and Strawberries

All that said, in the past couple of weeks I have found myself looking back a bit more than usual. The season has changed and summer is here which, in our part of the world, means the end of the year is drawing near. The start of a new year is always a good time for a bit of reflection. Our recent bloggy win has also got me thinking on our blogging journey and all that has transpired since we started sharing here in May 2011.

I often feel that we aren’t making any progress. I look around our house and see all the work we haven’t done; the walls that need painting, the kitchen that needs replacing, the roof that needs retiling. I look at the baby fruit trees and think how long it will be before they are providing fruit and shade. I look at our tiny veggie garden and see the things that have been eaten by bugs or destroyed by frost and I think how much we have to learn. I look at my Etsy shop and think how far away some of my business goals seem. But when I focus of these little details I’m missing the bigger picture. I’m not seeing the forest for the trees.

Mango and Sandals

Just over two years ago we were living in an apartment in the city, dreaming of fresh food and more space. Today we live in a country town with a population of 500. We have a little veggie patch bursting with lovely rainbow chard, peas and herbs. We have two sweet hens who provide us with eggs. We have tiny fruit trees in the earth and strawberry plants reaching for the sun from hanging baskets swinging outside out front door.

Dear Delilah Packages and Peas

Just a little while ago we were worried we’d be trapped in jobs we found unsatisfying for the rest of our lives. Now Reuben has a job (in an area we never imagined he would) that he finds interesting and fulfilling. I am living my dream of running an Etsy shop and in recent weeks it has been so busy, I have hardly been able to keep up with it. Every day when I log in to check orders and respond to customer enquiries my heart is full to bursting point with happiness and gratitude.

Reubs and Sky

Just over a year ago we were renting (half convinced we’d never get out of the renting cycle) and we had a small amount of debt. Today we own our own home and we spend less on our mortgage than we ever did on rent. Though we earn far less than we did when we were living in Sydney, aside from our mortgage we are completely debt free, and we are working towards building some savings.

Christmas Bauble and Poppy

Not so long ago we were stressed and tired and lost. We were sick of our routine. We were worried about our future. We had vague imaginings of a different kind of life, but had no idea how we’d make them a reality. Things are so different now. The overwhelming worry and fear and tiredness is gone. Though (like everyone) we have struggles and bad days, for the most part we are content and thankful and hopeful.

When I take the time to pause and reflect on the last couple of years, rather than focusing entirely on the future, I can see how far we have actually come. We still have so much more we want to accomplish, and in the scheme of things we are only just beginning, but that’s ok. There will always be more to do. What matters is that we are on the right path. I am so proud of our progress and grateful for the changes in our world over the last little while. Our life is far from perfect, but I know it is exactly as it is meant to be right now.

Summer is here. All is well.

I hope all is well in your world too.

Katie x

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Katie

About Katie

Katie is a coffee-drinking, granny square-making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights. Katie's raspberry baked cheesecake will rock your socks off.

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19 Responses to “Summer Reflections”

  1. Katie December 10, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    You’re right, there will always be more to do. But it’s great that you can see how far you’ve “travelled” and all the changes that happened. I wish you lots of luck in the new year and I hope very many wonderful things will happen to you and Reuben!

  2. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur December 10, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Beautiful post Katie. I know exactly what you mean!! I look around our little farm and think about how far we’ve come. There’s still a bucket load of work to be done, we’re along way from self sustainability, and sometimes it seems as though nothing will ever change. But, in comparison to the last few years, we’ve come a long way. We can now keep up with our own supply of beef, we haven’t had to buy it in over twelve months. We grow our own poultry for meat consumption too, and despite the fact that we moved house only 1 year and a bit ago, we’ve been able to grow enough tomatoes to have plenty to preserve, which should see us through at least half of the hot, wet days of summer. It’s hard work, sometimes I want to throw it all in and move back to town! But mostly life is good. And where we are is good for now.

    Merry Christmas to you and Reuben! I hope you have a lovely one

    Sarah xo

  3. tricia December 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Beautiful post Katie. I love that you have highlighted the value of reflection and what has been achieved – rather than focus on what needs to be done. I can so relate. We’ve made a similar move from the city to the country – but still feel like we are in transition because there is still so much to do. But despite the hassles of living in a temporary home and the long to-do list – when I look back I can see that we have come so far – and it doesn’t matter that we still have a long way to go – because where we are is good too.

  4. Brenda December 10, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    What a beautiful post, your life is very rich xx

  5. shinypigeon December 10, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    I always love reading your posts. I totally envy your lifestyle!

  6. Lornaswishingwell December 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Lovely post! x
    http://www.lornaswishingwell.blogspot.co.uk

  7. Georgia December 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    I love this post. This is exactly how I need to be looking at things right now, your post was a very timely reminder. x

  8. Meg December 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Thanks for sharing a lovely heartfelt post Katie. xx

  9. caroline December 11, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    So glad all is well with you….all is well here too!!! :)

  10. The Life of Clare December 11, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    What a lovely post! I too often get stuck in yesterday, when really I should be looking at today or tomorrow. It sounds like you guys have come such a long way!

  11. janine December 11, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    I love your blog it is one of my favourites. Trust me you two have come so far, I am in my forties and we have only been home owners for the past 10 years. It is an absolute credit to you both in what you have achieved so far. Even though it may seem that your visions are far away, look behind and see how many steps you have taken forward towards your dreams. Loving the recipes for Christmas, maybe you could to a tour of your home. Hugs and love Janine,Whyalla South Australia.

  12. Mevrouw Wispeltuut December 12, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    ‘Our life is far from perfect, but I know it is exactly as it is meant to be right now.’ And that’s why it’s still perfect. Because you live your live with your head up!

  13. Susan December 13, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Very nice post :-)

  14. JB December 14, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Awww! I love this post!

    I stumbled upon your blog recently when I googled “being happy with a quiet life” and I am so thankful I found your blog. :-)

    I share a lot of the same dreams you have expressed here and it is so nice to see happy people who are living their dream.

  15. Cassandra December 16, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    What a delightful reminder Katie – so often we punish ourselves by looking at our glasses as half empty. When we see what we really do have, suddenly our cup is running over with things to be grateful for.

    Especially this time of year that is highlighted by over-consumption and the temptation to want everything and want it now, is it a great idea to make the most of our simple blessings.

  16. andrea December 17, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Dear Katie, I have just found your blog and was so uplifted by your beautiful reflection and honesty. It is so inspiring to hear you story and see that your last year has brought you so many of the dreams you aspired to, those desired and also those pleasant little surprises. I hope 2014 continues to take you on a wonderful journey. I will be sure to take some time to ponder the year that has been and look to the year ahead! All the best. Andrea x

  17. SunnyGirl December 17, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    Long time reader and rarely a commenter, but I just wanted to say you have made such big changes in your lives! What a wonderful life you have set for yourselves living in your own home, with chickens and fur babies and I am sure plenty more adventures to come!

  18. Lornna Olson December 21, 2013 at 3:40 am #

    I’ve never submitted a comment to you before but I really need to say that I love what you are doing on your blog and the life that you have created for yourself. Your post is brilliant and it reminds me to look at the positive in life. You’re both very inspiring!! Thank you!

  19. Sonia Shapiro December 24, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    Thank-you for your wonderful blog. I am not at all surprised that you won. Yours is the only blog I follow consistently and it’s a big inspiration. My sweetie and I set up a website with a view to have a blog when we bought our 28 acres of abandoned fields and scrub and wetlands. But we haven’t built our little house yet and are still living the city life, saving up to buy the housebuilding kit, etc. We will move out there in two or three years. Your story and wisdom has helped me to take the pressure off myself. I have not failed to get my blog off the ground. It’s just not time yet. The occasional weekend afternoon spent planting trees and going for walks out there is not a life yet. Have a great time in NY. (If you come to Boston I offer you my apartment to say in — I can make myself scarce and you can have a no-cost pied-a-terre in my conveniently located little flat but only if it’s a weekend)

    Sonia (617) 436-4156

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