If someone were to ask you, ‘What does living well mean to you?’, what would be your answer? Would it have to do with cars, a big house, high paying job? Maybe it would be an amazing spouse and loving family. How about a bikini body or six pack abs? All of those are wonderful and can make life better. My ideas about living well are different in some ways and this is the focus of my blog.
I spent many years chasing the American dream. I wanted a large, beautifully decorated home, designer clothes, a nice car, and a picture perfect family. My reality was losing my amazing husband to cancer with two young daughters to raise. Along the way over these last 18 years, I have made so many mistakes. While I love my daughters more than life itself, I was a (much) less than stellar mother. I tried, but was never able to achieve great mom status. Being an introvert with a sales job has been difficult as well. While I am good at what I do, and truly love helping my clients, I’m just not the extroverted go getter type that makes the big bucks. As a realtor, I love working with first time buyers and those with low budgets to help them to be able to purchase a home of their own.
So what does this have to do with Living Well? Over the last few years since I bought my property, I have gradually transformed it into a small farm. In turn, the farm has transformed me. This process has involved a lot of work and a lot of prayer. I have questioned my place in life and what really matters. For so many years my identity was as a wife and mother. After my husband died, my sole focus was raising my children. When the children grew up and moved away, I realized for the first time in my life, I was truly on my own and it was scary. I had often felt sorry for myself and would get mad and frustrated when I tried to do things on the farm that either required someone much stronger than I am or an extra set of hands I did not have. It took some time but I realized these trials were only making me stronger, that I love my farm and I can do this on my own. The past is gone and nothing I can do will make it return. It died, it moved away. So now, for me, Living Well means self sufficiency and good health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. It means not depending on others for help or happiness. It means trusting in God and the plans He has for you. It means slowing down and living a simpler life.
In light of the events that have transpired over the last few weeks, I believe good health and living well are of the utmost importance. All of the hospitals, doctor’s offices and medical centers that seem to be popping up on every other corner are a testament to how ill our society has become. Our foods have become depleted of nutrients, laced with glyphosate, and fast food is a staple of the American diet. We need to take control of our own health and well being. My belief is that the first step is with our food. Grocery stores as we know them have been around for less than 100 years. Where did food come from before then? Local farmers and ranchers and many people grew at least some of their own food.
These last few weeks have strengthened my resolve to grow as much of the food I eat as possible. To plant things that will sustain me for as long as necessary should the grocery stores not have what is needed, to eat high quality nutrient dense organic foods that travel feet rather than miles to my table. It has also become more urgent for me to let go of ‘stuff’. No longer are the big house and fancy car important. What is important is taking care of what matters, the earth and it’s people.
My goal and my prayer is to help others do the same through my journey of learning to be more self sustaining. I am blessed with more than enough land to grow my own food but a farm is not necessary. I have seen many people grow literally tons of food on a small suburban lot. I love the idea of taking over vacant inner city lots to grow a community garden. There are so many possibilities.
So let’s take this extra time we have to be creative, to take control of our lives and health, to Live Well!