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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.