Living With Passionate Purpose

It has now been 7 months since I moved from California to Washington where my husband had started his business and we were finally ready to live in one place together in a more settled lifestyle.  Before I moved it was grueling, heart breaking, lonely, and stressful. I spent 5 months alone – dotted with visits from the Mr every 2 to 3 weeks.  I continued to work at a job that I hated, for a boss that hated me and did everything in her power to make me feel worthless, stupid, and always in fear of loosing my job.  I popped antidepressants by the handful and went back to the doctor to have my dose increased.  I lived with up to 10 panic attacks a day, riddled with anxiety I hid it the best I could while I was at work, often going to the bathroom to cry silently. 

Then the business took off and it was finally ready to leave behind California and it’s madness (along with in-laws I sorely miss) and stake a claim in the south-western Washington.  The first few weeks were chaotic at best but we have settled into live in our semi-rural home nestled in acres of pasture, trees, birds, and all sorts of wonderful wildlife.  The Mr had picked out the most wonderful house and property.  Since I was still living in California and packing I saw only a few poorly chosen pictures captured by the real estate agent so I wasn’t prepared.  The house is lovely, it’s set up well, not to large, has plenty of storage (with a second unattached garage), 5 acres of enclosed pasture and a wonderful barn that makes me all sorts of happy.

Still, something seemed to be missing.  I spent my first few months knitting ferociously, reading, cooking, cleaning, unpacking, exploring, and spending copious amounts of time with Tank on walks.  We added chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks to the property giving it a sense of purpose and giving us a sense of satisfaction in growing something that was meant to nourish our bodies as well as our spirits.  We had been lost in the fold of Californian greed, and frankly, it hurts.  Raising our livestock fills a need to create and harvest that is intensely satisfying in a way that is hard to explain.  It’s hard to put into words that this chicken has lived a good, well cared for life and now will nourish the family that raised it.  That the vegetables will grow and their harvest will be reaped and enjoyed more than any store-bought lettuce ever has.  Wool shorn from my sheep and spun into yarn and knit into a sweater will be a better sweater than any ever offered by a designer.

We are returning to the land as my Father in Law puts it.  The odd bit is that he seems to say it with pride.  We never expect anyone else to understand why we have chosen the life we are living – and of course this is only the tip of the iceberg – but we certainly don’t expect understanding and such acceptance.  We love it, but most people would rather not raise chickens and turkeys for the dinner table, though many do it for eggs.  Raising livestock isn’t hard but it isn’t as easy as dropping by the store after work and grabbing some chicken breasts.  What it lacks in ease it more than makes up for in environmental impact, sustainability, and wholesomeness.  I know where my birds come from, I know they are healthy and what they eat.  I know they have no extra hormones and that they have never suffered (except when they are slow to get into the coop at night and I pick them up, and they will tell you this is suffering in the worst sort!).

I finally have realized in the last couple of weeks what was missing.  I was missing my stress, my worry, my anxiety.  I wasn’t taking any anti depressant (which I had been doing every other 6 months or so for the last couple of years).  I’m happier than I have been in years and frankly, after that long, it’s a little odd.  Yes, I’ve been always pretty happy, I have an amazing husband, an amazing family, amazing friends, and an amazing dog, but there was always a tinge of misery I hid from the world.  Now though, even on the worst days, even on days when no chicken wants to go into the coop at night and I have to pull them out from under the coop, kneeling in chicken poop in the process, or when Tank finds coyote musk and rolls in it happy as can be I am happier that I could imagine.  I am happiest now when I am the dirtiest, most tired, and most sore because it means I am doing something meaningful, something with purpose.  I didn’t realize before how much I needed this but now that I have it I don’t think I could give it up.  It might not be the life for everyone but I think I have finally found my best life.


10 thoughts on “Living With Passionate Purpose

    • Thanks 🙂 It has been a very emotional year & 1/2 for us and it finally feels like we are once again on solid ground. When are you free next for coffee or something? 🙂 Preita

  1. A big congrats! Your life sounds wonderful and while I love California, I do wish I had space to raise chickens and some veggies, etc. Again, congratulations!

  2. I found you from a Ravelry pattern a few months before you moved, and I have to say this web stop has become so much more interesting and intrigue since your move. It is wonderful that you have found a good place for you and are actually happy, as I do not believ most people truely ever find that in life. Congrats! And enjoy it!

  3. Darling daughter,
    we am so happy for you and matt, we love that you are finding your peace of mind and happiness. it will only get better. after new york i can say this positively. it is so amazing when you realize that you are happy most of the time for no other reason than waking up. it is a great feeling so enjoy every moment of it.
    love you always for the wonderful daughter you are
    love mom

  4. yeaaaaahhhh…. that’s the way! I am thrilled that life is good in the NW for you and the Mr. and the Dogster. I miss hearing your laughter in the “other room” but I am so happy for you and what you’ve found in your new home. Good – good – good, as Susie would say. gd

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