I was looking through my 2013 photos while reminiscing on last year’s accomplishments and shortcomings in an effort to establish my goals, both personal and professional, for 2014. This photo of me strolling through fresh compost was goofy at the time but it represents where my mind keeps taking me when thinking of the future. Since I retired from law enforcement two years ago I have felt a constant desire to take steps to live a simpler life. I have really enjoyed the weekend farmer market lifestyle. From my beginning with compost bins to my progression into the world of backyard birds, bats, produce baskets and school gardens I am truly on a path with no solid destination. Contrary to my type A personality and fear of failure, I am not overly afraid of the unknown but rather I am excited for life’s possibilities.
I can honestly say I have not missed working in law enforcement. I loved my job but I had enough. What I have missed, to some extent, is the what ifs, if I had stayed working. I have struggled some with news of the promotions of my former peers. I think of increased financial security that promotions may have provided while I have worked so hard to find my direction with Urban Compost Systems. It has taken me awhile but I am at peace with my place in life and building a small business from the ground up. I have really come to enjoy the process of building products that people appreciate and are willing to spend their hard earned money on. I have enjoyed the people I have met and the new friendships I have made with like minded “gardening people”. I am learning new skills and am sharing what I know with others who also want a simpler, more self sufficient and healthier lifestyle.
To me living a simpler life means focusing on making the efforts of my day directly correlated with my life. Growing my own food, raising chickens, tending my bees, grinding wheat to make homemade bread, making cheese, yogurt and butter, providing shelter and food for wildlife, and building products to help others do the same are some of the things that currently interest me the most. I find little interest in material things and rather than desire more I often think of living happily with less. My only wish for having more involves land for agriculture and solitude.
Looking at my simple life goals for 2014, I want to build the pvc greenhouse that I did not get to last year. I want to move my compost bins to another part of my yard and in its place build a new chicken coop and pen that is more user friendly to keep clean. I want to build a new red worm bin area with a rooftop garden. I look forward to building a new brooder and raising a new flock of chickens. My bees have been out flying on warm days and I look forward to splitting the hive into two hives. I plan to build a soldier fly larvae bin to take care of all my meat and dairy kitchen waste that doesn’t go into the worm bin. I would like to put in a backyard pond but that won’t be this year. I plan to get more into canning my fresh produce and better utilize my grow light system for micro greens. Funny how none of what currently occupies my mind involves living in the rat race. I can’t say that necessity will never lead me to the corporate world, but I can say I will always look to the simpler life for happiness and well being. If only money would grow on trees…..Maybe it will someday.