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Sometimes the things we really want to achieve take a lot of work. This is true in all areas of our life, not just on our homestead.
Growing a Homestead
Growing 80% of our food is not going to be easy. Having a productive garden doesn’t come without work. Sometimes things take hard work and then you don’t see the progress you want and it is discouraging. So then what? Do you quit trying just because you are not getting the results you want as fast as you want them?
Learning to Ski
I have been learning to ski. Before we moved to an area where skiing is easily accessible, I had been snowboarding two or three times in my life and tried skiing once. The first time I was ever on a snowboard or skies, I was well into my twenties and already had a healthy belief that falling will hurt, but I really wanted to know how to ski.
Last year, we finally got to go about 6 or 7 times. I took a couple of lessons and had several days of really working so hard and being so exhausted that I wondered why I was even bothering. I go slow because when I go faster, I feel like I am out of control and I panic and slow down. It is a constant struggle in my own head to keep trying and I know that what is limiting me is my own belief that I need to go so slow.
I still have such a long way to go but it gets better and a little easier every time. Instead of looking to the bottom of the hill and thinking “holy cow that is steep,” I just look to the next step, the next turn. Then suddenly I am skiing down the mountain and it is fun!
I want to learn this so bad and am so determined to figure it out that giving up has never been an option. I persevere through the moments of being freezing, and my legs hurting and not doing what I want them to. When it feels like I will never get any better, I try again because I know that only practice will move me forward. The only way to get what I want is to keep moving forward.
What if we faced all our challenges this way? What if we wanted to get the results bad enough that the hard day or the random setbacks didn’t really phase us. If there is no other option than to keep moving forward, then that is what we would do. I don’t know why I want to learn to ski so bad that I have such an unwavering determination, but it has shown me some great lessons.
I do know why I want to grow most of our own food. I know that doesn’t come easy either. There are years when you have a ridiculous heat wave and as soon as the plants start to thrive a plague of deer and gophers come. Does that mean I will give up on my goal? No way. I will learn more and adapt and move forward. I am closer to my goal than I was before and even though the progress is slower than I would like it is still progress and I can only improve.
The Only Way to Fail is to Quit
Just like my dad and grandpa and so many people have said, determination and hard work really do make all the difference. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fun at the same time. Working on something you want is so rewarding because when you work so hard for something the reward is so sweet. When I ski down a hill, I feel such a sense of accomplishment at the bottom. When I grow a bunch of tomatoes and make a years’ worth of tomato sauce, I know my family is one step closer to our goal. When I learn how to make cheese and it turns out amazingly delicious, I feel that same sense of accomplishment. So, while sometimes the progress isn’t as fast as I would like, the only way to fail is to quit. Being determined to achieve my goals means I will. What do you want to achieve bad enough that you won’t stop making progress?