So, there’s something I haven’t told you. We almost bought an alpaca farm. You might think this is something that happened, like, way, way in the past, but it actually was only about a year and a half ago. I didn’t tell you because I had just written a book about all the times I moved to my dream house (Love the Home You Have). I just felt like it was way too ironic and awkward that I would be considering buying an alpaca farm.
But it is true, before we even considered a move to Seattle to live near our family, we considered an entirely different life. A life on an alpaca farm.
Our goal at that time was more family togetherness and in the process, we dreamed some pretty big dreams. We dreamed about ways we could expand what we do as a family and somehow, the idea of a bigger property seemed like a reasonable idea at the time.
When an alpaca farm came up for sale, we went to look at it. We fell head over heels in love with it … the farmhouse, the circular driveway, the big studio, the amazing barn, the rentable apartment, the property and the way the buildings were set up and … the alpaca. We visualized our future there, living off the land, planning events and church gatherings and weddings in the barn and hosting craft days in our own studio.
We pictured how cute those alpaca would be running up to greet us when we would return home. That’s what they did when we came to check out the farm, they ran along the fence to greet us! It was so charming. They must have known we would be suckers for that.
We were really serious about the farm. We couldn’t get it out of our heads. We dreamed of ways to decorate the house and imagined waking up every morning to make a farmhouse breakfast. We dreamed of looking out the window to see our doodles Jack and Lily frolicking through the fields with the alpaca. We dreamed of having chickens. We thought of great ways to use the property and figured out how it might impact the things we already do in positive ways. It was a dream in so many practical ways, as well as impractical ways.
It was a big vision, I’ll admit, but our entire family got on board with it. It wasn’t just me dreaming big this time :). The property was a dream. The potential was exciting. But fortunately, before we went off the deep end and bought an alpaca farm, we all came to our senses.
Not that the property or the dream weren’t worthy of considering, they were! We just had to stop and re-define what and where our true priorities were for that season of our life. My natural inclination when I have a big dream is to just be brave and to jump off the deep end to see what happens. And doing that is a good thing, as long as you’ve carefully considered what you are doing to make sure it aligns with your goals and you are ready to take the plunge.
As dreamy as that property was, we had to be honest with ourselves about what we could handle and what we actually needed in our life. We weren’t the right people to take it on, nor was it the right season even if we wanted to. We wanted to simplify life to have more time for our family, not complicate it.
As idyllic as it sounded to frolic around on a farm with chickens and alpaca, we had to get real with ourselves. We aren’t farmers. We aren’t big property people. We don’t need more to manage, even if we would laugh all day long just knowing we owned alpaca.
Turns out, we loved the idea of the alpaca farm more than we would have loved the work involved.
We could have become farmers if we put our mind to it and felt it was the right timing, but did we want to go through the learning process, time and expense that would be necessary to succeed at farm life?
We decided we really weren’t prepared to add alpaca to our life. We needed to pare down and focus our energy on less things, not more things.
As a big dreamer, I always have more ideas in my head than time or money to do them. In fact, I have always have more grand ideas of what to do with my time than is humanly possible to squeeze into a day! Being a dreamer gets me in over my head if I’m not careful. I can get easily swept away with the romance or the vision or the potential of anything and lose sight of what is more important to me.
To experience peace in my life and my home, I have to continually pare down, refocus and simplify everything we do to what is really essential if I want to succeed at what matters to me. I can’t do it all. I can’t keep it all. I have to be intentional.
If I don’t take the time to be more purposeful in what I do and what I invite into my life, I’ll be ALL OVER THE PLACE. Like, literally I could have set myself up to be wearing overalls, FEEDING baby alpaca, PLANTING wheat fields or DRIVING TRACTORS or whatever we would have to do to live off the land while trying to still keep up with everything else we already had going on. It could be a dreamy life, but it just wasn’t the right dreamy life for us at that time.
I just got sidetracked from my real goals for a minute.
I’m definitely getting better about reining myself in so I can focus my attention on the dreams and house and people and pets we want to commit to. Simplifying means letting go of all the extra stuff (even if it is good stuff like an alpaca!) that will just weigh us down and distract us from our our real goals.
Sometimes simplifying means I have to let go of the dream of owning an alpaca farm.
Sometimes I just have to let go of the clutter in my closet.
But saying no to one thing I really don’t need (even if I love it!) means I have room in my home and life for something that matters so much more to me, and that makes letting go worth it.
If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of my new book, Make Room for What You Love, word on the street is that Amazon already released it two weeks before the launch date ( and maybe even Barnes & Noble!)! In it I’m sharing the little ways I’ve learned to simplify my life and home and pare down to what really matters. Enjoy!