Monday, September 14, 2015

The Unknown Path

For the last five years you've known me as The Weekend Homesteader.  I worked full-time, and projects on my urban farm were completed as time allowed.  But even before I started my blog, I was building a farm on a part-time hobby basis.  Some raised beds were joined by edible landscaping in the forms of fruit trees, berry brambles, and fruit bushes.  Next came just two chicks, which turned into upwards of 25 at one point.  Angora rabbits were transitioned to meat rabbits.  Along came honey bees and ducks.  More and bigger animal housing and a greenhouse made an appearance.  I named my farm Bottle Tree Farm and gave it a logo.  All of this was done part-time while I worked to pay the mortgage.  And, over the years, it changed me and fulfilled me in ways my daytime job could not.

So today, I have a confession to make.  About a year and a half ago, I left my job.  It was the toughest and scariest decision I think I've ever made.  Those who know me personally know of this decision.  Some thought me foolish because I left a wonderful work environment, a steady income, and excellent benefits.  Others thought me courageous because I was stepping off the deep end into the unknown.  And, perhaps I was a little of both.  All I knew was that I just needed a break to explore other options.  I was fortunate enough to have a husband who supported my decision and a bare bones lifestyle that doesn't need six figures to keep it going.  I haven't felt comfortable discussing this publicly until now as this path I'm on is unknown, and it's a path I felt was mine to walk privately for a time so I could feel my way.

I knew I didn't want to walk privately forever though, as I hope my decision will inspire someone out there to take that first step to making a change from a lifestyle that doesn't suit you anymore.  I'm not saying run out and quit your job tomorrow, but put a plan on paper, set some goals, and make some decisions that put you on your unknown path.  You never know where it may lead you.  My path may lead me back into the workforce, and I'm fine with that.  But it may also lead me to places I never imagined. 

With that, I leave you with a favorite poem of mine by Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Happy homesteading,



  1. Hi Candace,

    I'm on a similar path. Only just growing up after being a stay-at-home mom for 22 years! My kids are older now and I am changing courses, slightly, although still at home - it's an unknown course. But isn't that true no matter which path you take. Nothing in this world is for sure, it's all fading away... I choose a SimplyLiving lifestyle :) I love your posts and this one is particularly encouraging right now - Thank you!


    1. Hello! I'm glad I could encourage you, and you're correct. No path is known and we have to take each day as it comes. Being a stay-at-home mom is an excellent role to play, but it's great that you can change courses and try something new. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Wow , what a coincidence that I am in this place in my life that I so badly want to make a change but too live in fear of 'the unknown' and your post somehow pops up in my Facebook feed. Good for you to take that chance and enjoy life! Maybe I can say the same one day : )

    1. Things like this happen for a reason. I think it's important for us all to sit down and decide what really matters to us, and then make a plan to achieve it. I've worked on this goal for several years, both in building my farm and living within my means financially. Good luck to you and thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi Candace

    (I think my first comment got eaten?) Anyway, thanks for making this public! I hope I can follow in your footsteps one day, as I too am most fulfilled in when in my garden.

    1. Hey, it must have as this is the first one I've seen. Yeah for technology, right? I hope it happens for you sooner rather than later! Cheers, Candace

  4. we live like that too and love it. i dont miss my corporate live at all. we laugh that my husband has the job but i'm the one that works! ha! congrats on your big adventure!

    1. Thank you! I can't say I miss that life either! But, I can't say that about my husband. He has a job where he really works hard. I'm so thankful for him!