Discover more from Temporarily Not Compost
We're pulling the table cloth out from under our life...
A big life update: Come along as we adventure towards our next chapter.
Sometimes small adjustments here and there just don’t make the impact that is needed.
Ordinarily, I’m all for tiny course corrections. Small, manageable changes are usually the most sustainable way to make positive change. Shuffle something here, reorganise something there, habit-stack a new action onto an old familiar one. Brilliant.
But sometimes, something smells a bit funky in the back of the cupboard of life, and it’s time to don the hazmat suit, be brave, drag all the stuff out of the cupboard, and give it all a thorough examination to see where the pong is coming from.
That’s where we’re at.
All the things of life are out on the kitchen table, some things will be freshened up and put back in the cupboard, but some things need to be composted so other things can grow and thrive in their place.
Metaphors aside, we’re stressed, tired, and life has changed suddenly because our kids, who used to ride their bikes down the street to the local primary school, are now catching the bus an hour each way to the big city high school.
Alongside that, we’ve just about to finish our 9-year-long renovation at home, my mental health has been rocky the last couple of years (burnout and anxiety have been real) and our farm business has been kicking goals for the past 11 years, and we want to continue to give it 110%, but there aren’t any spare percentages left in our day.
So it’s time for an epic edit.
Image: Me at a recent climate action rally, volunteering with Clarence Climate Action holding a flag I made for their climate flag project.
It’s been a little while since the last newsletter, because of all the happenings in this update, but it feels like time to write a bit about it, even though we’re still in the thick of it.
Here’s what's real right now:
Our kids are now schooling in the city, and because they are twins we are acutely aware of how time will fly between now and when they spread their wings and head off into the world by themselves.
The time has come to say goodbye to our farm business. We’ve given it all we’ve had over the past decade or so and made something awesome, but it’s now time to move on to a new adventure. We’ve decided to either wind it down or pass the baton on to someone with fresh energy (any farm fans reading this, you’ll be getting much more detailed communication from us later in the year when plans are firmer. Hold tight.)
We’ve been renovating our small 1950’s house for 9 years, and we’re soooo close to finishing. While the weather is alright, we’re pushing on through the last few jobs, with a lot of help from friends and family.
Workwise, my freelance photography is ticking over, I’m truly grateful for my fab ongoing clients and the odd new one here and there.
My new fascination with visible mending has given me a spark of inspiration and energy I think I have needed recently. Last weekend I rallied a group of friends to get together to eat cake, chat and mend together for an afternoon. I hope to organise more of these. It was so good for heads, hands, and hearts. I feel like that saying ‘energy flows where attention goes’ is how I’m feeling about mending right now. Every time I speak up about mending, sharing skills and connecting through mending, I get a lot of positive energy flowing in my direction. So I’ll follow the rabbit hole some more.
Image: A weaving mend for a friend. Let’s all appreciate her incredible rainbow op-shop cardi for a minute.
Ok, here’s what’s unknown:
Without the kids’ schooling locally and the farm business keeping us tethered to our country town, we feel free to imagine a different future for ourselves. What that looks like exactly changes often, and wildly. From an inner-city suburb that is bikeable and walkable - to a few acres off-grid, halfway up the mountain. Anything could happen… stay tuned. What a cliffhanger.
We’re not sure where the chips will fall for the farm. We have and continue to explore every option and idea to keep it the business running. From selling it holus-bolus, to leasing the business, to wholesaling or donating the trees. The cogs are still turning, and we’ll muddle through it to get the best outcome for everyone.
What’s really unknown, is whether we’re making the right decisions or not. How good would a crystal ball be sometimes? Doing lots of due diligence and deep brain things is one thing, but there’s also your heart having an opinion too.
Image: An adorable spoon I carved from a leftover piece of timber from our new deck.
Our goals for the future:
To thoroughly enjoy the next few years with our boys.
Make space for joy, awe, and good mental and physical health.
To live and work meaningfully, with a capacity to share what we have with others.
Image: An armpit mend on a favourite linen shirt, that I finished while watching my kids and their mates at the bike track.
It’s all been super emotional, with the lows of grieving over the farm and the highs of imagining what our future could look like. Right now, it’s really bloody excellent to enjoy our almost-finished home that we’ve poured our hearts and souls into. While it’ll be hard to leave here, it feels really right to edit our lives in such an epic way.
We’ve always taken giant (well-informed) leaps of faith. We’ve lived and had babies overseas, house-sat all over the state for 18 months with two toddlers, then bought an absolute dump of a house with a vision for it that not everyone else could see… So here we find ourselves on the precipice of a new adventure.
Stay tuned. I’m pretty keen to know what happens next too.
Thanks so much for reading.
Image: A recent butt blowout mend that I did for my brother-in-law.
Damn good links
Here are a few damn good links for you on the theme of life and change. Also, you can find an ongoing list of great things to listen to, read, and watch here.
BOOK / The Enchanted Life: Unlocking the Magic of the Everyday, by Sharon Blackie.
“Taking as her starting point the inspiration and wisdom that can be derived from myth, fairy tales, and folk culture, Dr. Sharon Blackie offers a set of practical and grounded tools for enchanting our lives and the places we live, so leading to a greater sense of meaning and of belonging to the world. Enchantment … a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world, a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life.”
BOOK / Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, by Hector Garcia Puigcerver.
“The people of Japan believe that everyone has an ikigai – a reason to jump out of bed each morning. And according to the residents of the Japanese island of Okinawa – the world’s longest-living people – finding it is the key to a longer and more fulfilled life. Inspiring and comforting, this book will give you the life-changing tools to uncover your personal ikigai. It will show you how to leave urgency behind, find your purpose, nurture friendships and throw yourself into your passions.”
BOOK / Wilder: A journey back to life, by Meg Berryman (I’ve just started reading this one, but so far so excellent!)
“Wilder explores how we can follow our body’s feedback and disrupt the norm in order to come back to life, one breath at a time. An antidote to hustle culture and a balm for the weary soul, this regenerative collection of stories, quotes and reflections offers hope and companionship on the journey toward embodying our wilder selves.”