The Learning Years


To quote a FaceBook post I saw this morning, “Those who say it can’t be done should get out-of-the-way of those who are doing it.” From our experience, we have had to deal with those Negative Nellies who tell us we can’t. We have had to deal with our own doubts and apprehensions. But after a few ‘learning years’ we are stepping off the treadmill in 2 weeks and embarking on our biggest adventure yet.

Our theory of years goes something like this:
First there are the learning years: These are the ones where the lessons are hard-won, and often cost more than the benefits, if any. But these years are crucial and can’t be avoided. Knowing this and accepting this makes the losses a little more bearable, especially if you commit to retain the lesson learned.
Next are the growing years: Still learning, not quite as painful. A few more rewards in spite of losses, but overall, a sense of hope that the lessons learned are going to pay off.
At last, the harvest years: By now you realize that the learning is never done. However, those things that were such a struggle are second nature, there are fruits of the labor, the blood + sweat + tears expended, and there is time to fine tune one’s actions.

Any given part of your life can be in any one of these stages all at the same time.
Isn’t that exciting?!?

So while I won’t be working 40+ hours a week for a paycheck, I will be working 40+ hours a week for our livelihood. It isn’t that I won’t be employed, I will have a different employer and a different set of tasks to do. Our goal of self-sufficiency doesn’t mean that we are pulling inward, to hide from the world. In truth, it is just the opposite. It is to make our life situation such that we can share ourselves more with each other, our family and our community.

Yes, the harvest we are realizing now is also the re-start of the learning years all over again…but I know that there are more harvest years to come…

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2 Responses to The Learning Years

  1. Daixin says:

    I didn’t know until today from your email that you’re moving across country and starting a new adventure. How exciting!

    I love your theory describing the years as learning, growing, and harvest. It holds true not only for homesteaders, but for workers, parents, students, and well, anybody who has not stopped learning and growing. It is truly something that I need to hear. As a parent in the learning years who becomes weary easily, a harvest time could seem so far out of reach. Thanks for the reminder that we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.

  2. allyn says:

    i’m truly excited for you + find your theory incredibly reassuring for all walks of life. thanks for sharing the reminder that we should keep on going. . .there’s a lot to look forward to.

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