Craig & TracyWhat drove us to simple living.

We don’t think our story is unlike many of our simple living friends as it started with a burn-out and a desire to live a more stress-free lifestyle.

Have you ever had the feeling that the world was closing in around you, that you wanted to run and hide and find a place where you could be alone? Well, that was us six years ago! 

At that time, my husband and I ran a successful web hosting and design company. We loved our customers, but we were on call 24 hours a day. The rat race of keeping up with the latest technology, along with living in the city was so far from our up-bringing that the culture shock finally got the better of us. It was a hard decision to sell our business, our home and give up our security, but in the end we knew we had to make a drastic change and make it quick.

We lost some friends; upset many of our clients, shocked our family, and it took us a year to make any sense of what we wanted to do next. We took a year off and planned the changes we were going to make. We knew that if we didn’t change the path we were on, one of us was going to an early grave. I had terrible stomach problems from the stress, and it took a year for Craig to key down from being on call for ten years. 

During our year off we made plans, lists, goals and talked about every scenario possible. We dug deep into what made us happy and wrote them down and read them often.

For me living in the country and being a homemaker was all I dreamed of. For Craig, it was being able to walk out his back door to go hunting and to go back to what he loved and knew best…drilling. 

In the very beginning, we looked at the biggest picture and then tried to figure out how we were going to achieve our goals one step at a time.

Our list is still one in progress, but we get to cross new things off every year and that is such an accomplishment. Will it take us our lifetime or at least another five to ten years to complete? Probably, because we are doing it one-pay check at a time and only tackling one goal at a time. 

Here is what our list looks like. We work backwards, so the top of the list is what we are aiming for and just for the record we are just starting our fifth year of working on this list. 

1. Live on a small homestead & be self-sufficient 

2. Build a barn

3. Build solar panels and go off grid

4. Raise beef cows

5. Raise pigs

6. Grow sunflowers and make our own oil

7. Grow corn for feed

8. Grow wheat for milling

9. Drill a water well in the fruit orchard

10. Live on one income. 

11. Pay debt off (We have no debt but our house and car.)

12. Build a house (We downsized to a very small house that could fit our budget.)

13. Raise meat rabbits 

14. Raise meat chicken

15. Raise chickens for eggs

16. Raise bees for honey

17. Plant a herb garden for medicinal health

18. Plant enough garden to preserve enough vegetables to last a year

19. Buy a tractor (A 1940 Ford 9A was all our budget could afford, but it is working for now.)

20. Plant a fruit orchard (Our hot, dry summers and no water source in the orchard is proving to be a challenge, out of twenty trees we only have five that survived.)

21. Build a small temporary barn (We are out-growing this tiny barn but for the time being it is still serving its purpose.)

22. Live in the 5th wheel until we can build (We just sold our camper after living in it for two years.)

23. Dig a well and add a septic

24. Buy land

25. Sell our house in the city

26. Change our “must have must do mindset”

Our lives have changed in the last six years! I am no longer a basket case, and Craig loves going to work.

We may not have a lot of money in the bank, don’t drive brand new cars and we don’t live in a big fancy house, but what we do have is a newly found love for the sound of a rooster crowing, a pig splattering mud on our face, seeing the stars stretch out across the sky and the smell of freshly turned dirt. 

If you are dreaming of a life somewhere other than where you are, make a list and work backwards by taking one small step at a time. 

A dream is only a wish until you write it down, and then it becomes a goal.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tracy Lynn

P.S. Do you like what you are reading?

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