Saturday, July 03, 2010

Looking Back on the 1st Year of Permie Homestead is a year old!  I wrote my very first post last July 2nd, so this post is a day late, but it's exciting that my homesteading concept is still going strong for me!  I know it has been a roller-coaster of a year, for the blog as well as myself, but I still think the anniversary deserves some reflection over the last year.  I'd like to start with what most people might find dry (but which is interesting to me), then move on to what has changed over the course of the last year, and what it means to me.

I wrote 60 posts during the last year.  They came in fits and starts, which made for a less interesting blog, but I maintained a pace of a little over 1 post per week.  I guess that's not too bad, though I wish it had been more evenly distributed.  

I made about $75 via my AdSense ads with Google.  I am happy with this, as it covers the cost of owning my domain and buying extra space for rich content for several years to come.  I wouldn't mind if I made more money off of this blog, but I'd also be perfectly fine if I didn't make a single cent.  Permie Homestead is not only my way of connecting with people and sharing my ideas, but at it's most basic it is a personal journal, and one that I would keep even if my domain cost five times as much to maintain.

I received no donations to my Land Fund.  I am also perfectly fine with this.  My homesteading ideas certainly do not rely on the kindness of strangers, and given that I've been so inconsistent with my blog I cannot blame anyone who might've considered then thought twice about how serious I was.  I will continue to maintain donation as an option, but again, if I never receive a single cent in donations my homestead will still someday come to fruition.

Now, to get into what this reflection is really all about and talk about where the previous year has taken me.  When I first decided to start a blog, it was because I wanted to have somewhere I could document my ideas for my homestead of the future.  I was also hoping to build community with people around the world who are into permaculture and would want to read about my ideas and share theirs with me.

At the time I started Permie Homestead, I was in a somewhat downtrodden period of my life.  I had left my job as a math teacher at a charter high school and decided to pursue a different avenue that I thought would lead me to living the lifestyle of a homesteader much more quickly.  I planned on applying for an internship with the Bullock Homestead on Orcas Island in Washington, and would be in the thick of it with them now if I had been selected.  For better or worse, life doesn't always go as perfectly as we plan it, and I was not selected for the internship with the Bullocks.  Along with this disappointment, money that I was still owed by my previous employer was not finding its way to me, and I was having trouble finding another job thanks to the recession we all experienced last year.

Things started to look up during the late Fall of 2009 though.  I moved, and my roommate I share my current house with is just awesome.  I also found a job with Starbucks (also thanks to my roommate) around Thanksgiving.  It didn't pay much, and it certainly was not very fun, but I was no longer unemployed and I could definitely appreciate that.  And since the opportunity with the Bullocks did not come through, my mind cleared enough to be able to start thinking about pursuing other options.

Homesteading fell off of the table for me a little bit during the winter and early spring.  I knew it was still what I wanted to pursue with my life, but I was much more focused on getting caught up with my bills and making ends meet than with planning too far into the future.  Finally in mid-March, I was contacted by an outdoor retailer, and by early April was hired as their Shipper/Receiver.  This may turn out to be a major point of inflection in my life.  I love working here, not only because I work with awesome people and have a lot of co-workers who are interested in similar things as I am, but because the company has been taking very good care of me, and shows tremendous potential to be exactly the kind of career I am looking for.  I want to work for a company that pays me well enough and gives me enough freedom outside of work to be able to pursue my homesteading goals as well as build a career.  A major epiphany for me last year was that I would be ok with almost any career I had, as long as it allowed or encouraged me to pursue my passion outside of or alongside of it.  Not only does my job encourage me to pursue my passions, but it also syncs up with them in so many ways.

Now that I have settled in with my new job, and gotten used to my new routine and learned most of the things I need to learn for my position, I am returning to Permie Homestead in it's 2nd year reinvigorated.  I have found that my routine has settled into one that should allow me to pursue my projects and goals, and leave me time to write about them for the blog.  I will also finally have the money to do the things I'm passionate about, and write about those as well.

If you are one of my few consistent readers from my 1st year of blogging, I thank you for your encouragement over the last year and I hope I can provide interesting material for you to read about more consistently this 2nd year.  If you are new to my blog, please subscribe to my feed or bookmark my site and come back often.  And please, anyone reading this, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts about what I'm doing, or what you are doing with yourself to pursue your passions.  Something I would like even more than new readers this year is readers that comment and get involved... I really mean it when I say that I want to build community and meet people who are like-minded, so please post a comment and let me know your thoughts.

And of course, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading!!