Saturday, January 28, 2012

Are you ready for hard work?

I knew when I decided to live off-grid that it was going to take planning, determination and hard work, a lot of hard work. A great deal depends on how developed your off-grid location is when you move there. Even if it is fairly well developed there will be lots of work and lots to get used to. I have to deal with a number of things we don’t usually don’t think about when we live on the grid. But it was not as bad as I had thought.

When I finally made the decision to purchase into Wisteria, I was ready to find a site, clear it and get it ready to build and I knew it was going to be a huge task. I even had purchased plans for a round house and even starting planning the building of it. I must admit purchasing from the young couple saved me a lot of money, work and time, but there is still a great deal to do.

Being willing to do hard work is a requirement when you live off-grid. I have days when I get home from work and just want to sit and relax. This isn’t a huge problem in the summer because it is nice outside and it stays lighter longer and I can take some time to relax before I have to do things. Winter is another story. It is usually dark by the time I get home and when it is wet and/or cold getting motivated is really hard.

Three days a week I have to drive to Columbus to work. The drive is approximately 2 hours one way depending on weather and traffic. I usually don’t get home until about 7:00ish in the evenings. I know when I get home I will have to warm up the house, bring in firewood and get dinner and then get a shower and maybe haul water. Not things I am looking forward to doing after working 8 hours and driving a total of 4.

Planning is really important. I have figured out the amount of water I need to have for the week and try to get it in on the weekend so I don’t have to deal with it during the week. I also try and put as much firewood on my porch as possible so I either don’t have to deal with it after work or I only have to bring in a load or two. Not much I can do about dinner unless I stop and pick something up but I do plan on easy quick things to cook when I have to drive to/from Columbus. When I work from home I cook; run errands with my friend and eat out or if I am really lucky my two friends who live on the land will come over and she will cook for us. Which, in my book, is a true friend and a huge benefit.

So getting our mind in the game is really important. Also pre-planning is important. The original woodpile was not working for me so I placed the woodpile closer to the house so I don’t have to haul it from far away. This makes the task of bring in wood quicker and easier. Since I heat with wood I know that it does not matter how tired I am or how much I don’t want to bring it in I have to do it. Part of hard work is doing something you really don’t feel like doing but know you have to do it. Heat is obvious and necessary so it does not matter if I don’t want to bring in wood, I have to.

Sometimes doing things you either don’t want to or have the energy to do is hard. And sometimes it is not he the physical labor that causes me to not do things that need to be done. Luckily when I get in moods that I don’t mentally want to do things it is usually nothing that is necessary but more of things that should be done but can be easily put off. For me this is when hard work is more mental than physical.

So here to all of the types of hard work that we must do living off-grid, both the physical and the mental, may we all have the determination and strength to make it all happen.


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