I'm not one for New Years resolutions, but one New Years tradition that I do enjoy is looking back at my photos from the year and reminiscing over everything that happened on the farm - the good, the bad, all of it. So much happens in a year, and it all goes by so quickly. Those of you that grew up in the 80's like me will remember this quote from one of our generation's favorite movies "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." The photos in the collage above all remind me of the simple pleasures I've enjoyed on the farm over the past year and why it's so important to remember to take time to enjoy these moments. I'm the kind of person who has a hard time slowing down and taking time to do something small, something simple, just for me. I always have a running to-do list in my head of dozens of things that I'm hoping to get done today, tomorrow, or for sure by the weekend! Scraps of paper litter my desk, the living room table, the coffee table, with lists of things that I need to do for someone else. Sometimes I have trouble focusing on doing one thing because of all the other things nagging at me, and I can't decide what the most important thing to do first is. I realize that I need to do things a bit differently in 2020.
This has been a successful year for me. My environmental consulting business that I started in 2014, after moving to the farm and leaving my job in the city, continues to grow. It provides a good steady income for us and funds our farm life, but there are so many other things that I enjoy doing and want to have time for that I found myself turning down more than a few potential projects this year. My hobby soap business saw a big jump in sales this year, and I have all of you to thank for it! It's gotten me starting to think about a business plan for the future. Thinking about a time when instead of spending the better part of the day doing things I don't really enjoy - like preparing permit applications and dealing with the regulatory agencies for my consulting business - that instead I'm spending the day making soaps and lotions and sending out happy mail to people, instead of frantically cramming these things in after dinner and trying to wrap it up in time to enjoy some leisure time before bed. In a sense I have two lives - one in which I'm a responsible business owner helping others meet their project goals and which brings financial freedom, and a semi-frazzled entrepreneur trying to indulge the creative side of myself and which brings more personal rewards. I need to find a better balance between these two things. I haven't figured it out yet, but I know it needs to happen soon. At some point there will likely be a leap of faith involved, just like when we bought the farm and when I quit my job in the city. But with change comes growth, and I never want to be afraid to challenge myself and pursue my dreams.
So getting back to enjoying the simple pleasures and prioritizing 'me' time. I guess that is a resolution after all :) I've been thinking about some of the fun things that I'd like to make time for in the new year. I've decided that 2020 is the year that I will be successful at growing pumpkins, dammit! I've tried growing them on a whim the last few years, but I haven't really dedicated the right space for them or planted them in the most ideal growing conditions. So last fall, we started a hugelkultur bed that will be dedicated to growing just pumpkins which I'm really excited about. I've also decided to dedicate a smaller area of the garden to growing vegetables, which if I'm totally honest with myself, I always have big aspirations of eating and putting away more vegetables than I actually manage to do, so why not grow more flowers instead! One of my dreams for many years has been to hatch silkie chicks and have an army of little fluff balls on the farm. We finally have a young pair of silkies that will be just perfect for the job, and when Bella goes broody I'm hoping to finally make that dream a reality (but don't tell the hubs just yet, I'm still working up to that!) Cheesemaking was a hobby that I dabbled in before moving to the farm. I still make soft cheeses on occasion, which are far less labor and time intensive, but making hard cheeses that are dipped in wax and aged was something that I barely experimented with and I haven't done for years, and I would like to get back into it this year. Kombucha is a totally new to me undertaking that I am looking forward to trying out. My Christmas presents this year were all about the kombucha supplies, and I have a neighbor that will be giving me my first SCOBY soon. I look forward to sharing these new farm adventures, and maybe even a few more, in 2020!