2022 was a monumental year of accomplishments for our family.
I know we aren't the only ones who experienced setbacks since 2020. Two years ago, was a major shift in stability for a large portion of the people on the planet. We all had to find new ways to move forward in our lives, despite the upheaval and loss of the way things used to be.
Here’s a little story about how our family has turned setbacks into opportunities.
Shift happens. We can reflect on why things unfold the way they do and then stabilize before the next shift comes. One thing is for certain, more cyclic waves are on the way.
It’s amazing what the potential is for human beings to thrive under pressure. There is something to that old saying “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, because we’ve been through some ringers and are becoming more resilient despite the moments of battle fatigue. Perhaps there is something to this tempering process that creates a self.
This year was all about radical adjustment, conflict resolution, pressure to leap and make swift actions, accelerated growth with a streamlined focus.
We went from living in a glamorized tent otherwise known as a yurt, to living in a very comfortable home where our whole family can be under the same roof. If you want to know the back story, it’s in my post about the 2020 Slater Fire that destroyed our homestead. If this link isn’t active yet, I’m still writing. I guess it’s kind of a healing process to tell the story. Subscribe to stay in the loop.
Sometimes things don’t work out the way people expect them to, and this has potential to cause conflict. The conflict is not about the other people involved; it’s about making adjustments in your own life and inner self. This is how we started off in 2022. I’ll spare you the details, because that’s not important. What matters is learning the lessons and leaving a clean space before transitioning away from that relationship or situation. I am at a time in my life now where I will not accept a harboring of toxic residue.
Our time at the yurt came to a close in June. We had started looking for a new option for housing the day we moved there, shortly after the fire. The original plan was to stay there for two to three years and save money for rebuilding at our farm. Plans change though, and the owners of the property let us know that we needed to find a new place to live after being there for a year and a half.
This created a lot of pressure for us to find housing quickly and it also meant that our savings was no longer going towards a rebuild on our farm, but on finding a rental. The problem is, out where we live in an isolated area there are no rentals. Especially since these fires are displacing so many people. We didn’t want to waste money on an RV to put on the property because that wasn’t really getting us much bang for the buck.
The last option available existed only by the fact that my husband, is an exceptionally skilled builder contractor.
He had his eye on a house that wasn’t even on the market. It had been boarded up for the last ten years, vandalized, and was the creepy weird house at the end of the street that seemed to go unnoticed amongst the lively houses in the neighborhood. We walked inside and could see the exposed flooring and crawl space under the house. It was full of garbage, rodent feces, and somebody’s failed attempt at putting back together what was hacked away with the demolition.
The choice was to jump right in on this deal and stand our ground in this little town or turn around and begin looking for a place to live closer to a city. I could really only see one choice though. On April 2nd we got the keys and set to work. The deadline was coming up fast with only a two-month window to complete an entire remodel from the ground up.
The workdays went on into the night for 60 days straight. Keep in mind, the nearest place to get materials or supplies for construction is two hours away, and that is basically the entire day if we needed to get a part. We had some help from Patrick’s work crew, which helped to speed things up. My daughter and I would make lunch for everybody and help in any way we could. The task was enormous considering the time frame, but Patrick loves a challenge.
If you want to see a quick video of our remodel process, check this out. It doesn’t show the finishing touches, but you’ll get the idea of what we did.
During the hustle and bustle of remodel work and moving, I made sure the farm was in full production. My energy was streamlined and focused on getting everything planted on time and correctly. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very satisfying to see such good yields come through after a couple of years of failing. In 2020 the fire destroyed all the farm produce except the winter squash and in 2021 we were still dealing with the FEMA cleanup crew and rebuilding the infrastructure of water lines, water tanks, and a getting our well fixed.
That’s why this year is so monumental to us. We have a home and the farm produced lots of food. What more could I ask for?
Amongst these two major feats there was more work coming in and that is always something we are grateful for. Somehow things just lined up one after the other for Patrick and his business as a contractor. It’s a great place to be for now, but we are always looking forward to a time when we can move back to the homestead wherever that may be. It may not be here; we are looking for opportunities outside of the normal parameters.
Life can feel like it’s pushing you around or it can feel like an exhilarating kind of exercise. It’s important to keep a fresh perspective rather than boxing yourself into a way of seeing things.
Sure, there are reasons to feel doom and gloom, defeated and burnt out, but part of the journey is experiencing the process of pulling yourself back together and creating new motivation with momentum.
Looking forward into 2023 I see more acceleration of growth and maturity as we take our business to the next level while finding new ways to work together with our tightly knit group of like-minded friends and co-workers. That means learning new skills along with an upgrade to our process of organization and communication.
On a personal level, as an individual, I relinquish self-doubt. I've identified this sneaky little self-sabotaging quirk that pops up every now and then to put a halt to all my creative endeavors. It's got to go and now that I've got my eye on it, I'll be checking its antics thoroughly and promptly.
In conclusion, I truly believe love will win the war. Please be kind to yourself and others. We’ve all been traumatized and need to heal. You can expect more turbulence moving forward, it’s all in how you ride out the waves.
Shauna Mayfield – Thera Phase Art
If you’re interested in learning about how trauma can be healed, I am reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk and writing a series of blog posts as I go through the chapters.