Feeling Stuck

Sometimes… mostly on the days when I actually slow down long enough to contemplate life… I am almost overwhelmed with a feeling of helplessness. Not a depressing helplessness, but one of frustration.

Sometimes, I feel so stuck.

Stuck in a world of too much stuff… too much debt… too much technology.

Stuck in an overwhelmingly demanding world.

I feel like we are working so hard to free ourselves from so many things. And yet we remain shackled.

We’ve come far in the past 6 years. We’re growing more of our food, making our own medicine, gaining independence from the power grid… and yet sometimes I feel like we’re still on a hamster wheel.

We still have a mortgage. My husband has to work long hours away from home. I’m oftentimes strapped to the computer for longer than I care to admit. Our home seems to spill over with stuff, despite my best efforts to continually purge.

These things weigh on me.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love my life. I’m so grateful for everything I have. I just can’t help but want more.

More freedom. More time. More simplicity.

It doesn’t come easily, my friends. This life we are working to have does not come easily.

It’s a daily struggle. It’s challenging. Like trying to swim against the current. And I suppose that really is what we are trying to do.

But you know what?

I don’t ever want to quit.

When I start to feel like I’m drowning, when our goals fall out of sight- that’s when I have to swim stronger than ever.

Because nothing worth having comes easily. And the “simple life” takes hard work. Not just physical work, but emotional and spiritual work. It takes faith and prayer, determination and steadfastness.

I also have to remind myself that the reward is not at the end of the road- the reward is the journey along the way.

And then I pick myself up by the bootstraps and get my hands back in the dirt. Because once you’ve come this far, there’s no going back.

You ever have days like that?

29 thoughts on “Feeling Stuck”

  1. Kendra! I get it!

    Today ALL the “menfolk” are off at “real” jobs at least 45 minutes from here. All the chores fall to me on days like this. And sometimes I grumble about it. Why? I don’t know. What a blessing that they all have income-generating work to go to!

    But, when the snow-load brings the tree limb crashing through the horse shelter at midnight during a storm..and the horse bolts…guess has to pull on her boots and gloves and put the whole mess back together?

    Gotta love it!

  2. Life should be lived by the moment we are in. All the moments we have lived leads us to this very moment in time. Make the best of this moment and the next moment will fall into place leading you exactly where you should be. Dwelling on yesterday brings depression, worry for tomorrow leads to anxiety. Worry less, live more.

  3. Great post and so true.

    There is a distinction between duty and outcome that I think is helpful when I feel this way (often).

    Macro forces of various sorts can make true self-reliance unobtainable (economic), irrelevant(war), and illegal(regulatory).

    The truth is that there is only so much we can do. That is a let down for sure.

    But the bigger Truth is that our duty is only to do what we can and should. Having a path to take towards self reliance is liberating, even when the path is hard. Knowing we have done our duty (moral, ethical, spiritual) is fulfilling, as you say, the reward along the journey.

    A desirable outcome is not always within reach, duty and fulfillment are.

  4. When one walks where there is no path,
    When one ventures into unknown places,
    When one learns what was once unknown,
    Then that one has lived a fuller and more prosperous life.
    Though many have tried, seldom succeed…
    Because we all measure success differently.
    You venture where seldom others do, so you will have to self motivate constantly
    and remind yourself of where you are trying to get to.
    One day, you will look up, take a breath and realize that you are one of the few
    that have made their dreams come true.

    Keep smiling… 🙂

  5. I understand the feeling. We live in the city and I am trying to save to buy land and get out. I can grow what I can in containers and go to pick your own farms.My goal is to have a small house with several acres. I don’t want any debt either. It is so frustating at times. Seems ever step forward I get dragged back five.My husband and I are older and no one thinks that is what we should do. I hate the city but it sure is holding us here. The neighborhood has gone down bad and we will not get nothing for our house when we sell it.I am determined to make this happen. My husband is so good about it because we have given up most extras. I lost my job and haven’t been able to find another in three years which really hurts with the savigs, Pray for us please. I do believe in God’s miracles and pray it is his plan for us to move out of here and live in an area that I can grow all are own food and not have to hear people screaming at each other. I want to wake to God’s beauty all around us.

  6. Amen! Did you take a peek into my brain?? I seriously could have written this post. We’re on the same page girlfriend. I’m so grateful for how far we’ve come, but I long for the day when my husband can quit his day job, and we can live a simple life off the land as a whole family. And ultimately that’s why we stick through the crazy days, and hard work, right? Because eventually we’re gonna make it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I totally get this!

  7. Kendra, i just recently read a book that helped me get more organized. My life has changed so much. I feel like my head is more organized and i am getting things done that i have been meaning to forEVER. its called “the right questions” so sry i cannot remember the name of the author. Do you find that you have more time during the winter months with less food stuffs to do?

    • Karen,

      I’ll have to look up the book 🙂 You know, you would think the wintertime would bring more free time, but honestly it doesn’t, lol. There are still so many things that need to be done, that I let fall behind during the gardening/harvesting months. I freeze a lot of stuff from the garden when I can’t get to it all at once, so I do a lot of canning from the freezer through the cold months (stews, tomatoes, jellies, etc). It’s also a time when I can catch up on sewing projects, make soap, make herbal recipes (tinctures, syrups, salves, etc) for the coming months, and stuff like that. When I first started homesteading, I thought the winter would be the “slow” time of year. I’ve quickly found that isn’t the case, lol. Though that’s my own doing because I’m constantly trying to take advantage of each and every day, so no time goes to waste. Thank you for the recommendation, though. I’ll check it out.

  8. I love this post! I often feel the same way. I have to remind myself of how much more freedom we enjoy than a lot of others just from choosing this life. Keep on keepin’ on, the Lord has a plan and he knows what is in store for us. 🙂

  9. Debt is a dream killer. It should be avoided as much as possible. That begins with learning to live within your means while young and beginning to save. Yes, it is hard…I was young once and I remember very well the low wage jobs.
    I am now 64 ann nearing retirement. I live in Houston, TX and draw a very good wage. My wife and I both work and we decided long ago to live on the proceeds from one wage earner and save the other. We now have generously funded retirement accunts and 20 acres to retire to which is free and clear. No mortgages, no car payments, No CREDIT CARDS. For years it has been pay as you go and we have probably saved many tens of thousands in interest by doing so. That is all additional money that can be used to fuel your dreams. People sometimes think you are a little odd. They see you have income, they know you have savings, and wonder why you are buying that used car instead of a new one. But it pays off!
    Don’t get discouraged. I have had a lot of years head start on most of you guys, and I took a different route to get to the same place. And there is a downside to my approach, as well. You are living on your land and experiencing all the trials and tribulations while young. I will meet those challenges at a more advanced age and some will not be so easily met.

  10. I’m probably older than most of you guys, my children are grown ups, but I still strive to lessen ‘things’ we have so much stuff after 30 years of marriage. How do you have less. I am so impressed that at your age you are doing what you are! I only came to this conclusion when I was in my forties I’m now 54 and although we are growing most of our own food and we buy our other food responsibly, I am aware of the burden we place on the planet, we have our roof covered with solar panels!, we try to be responsible and not buy what we don’t need and mostly I am very content with my life. Our house is paid for, it would be at this age, and we have some savings, I don’t worry about what will happen to us financially when we retire, we will survive but I still worry that I have too much stuff! I’m not growing as much as I should, I should be doing more to my garden I should be more content, I should be using less of our planets resources but at least we are all doing something to live a simpler life, well done you! It’s hard now but I’m sure it will get easier for you you started this simplifying life much earlier than I , chin up!

  11. I am the same way. Especially on the part of debt. I hate it! And I dislike the use of the word “hate.” We were making great headway on paying off our debt. Then 1 1/2 years ago, my husband got laid off. It took 3 months for him to find another full-time job (which seemed like an eternity!) The job he found has been great…locally owned and the only boss he has are the 2 owners, who are decent and honest men. But, it pays 30% less than his old job so we have only been able to pay the minimum on our debt and have scrimped in every which way we can. But I am trying to be thankful that we can at least make ends meet. It’s just super hard to get people to understand that we can’t travel, go out to eat, sometimes not even spare the gasoline to go across town. I’ve been called cheap, stingy, and some people think we are alienating them on purpose. That’s been the hardest of all. I have been on the internet a lot more to be able to find support from other homesteaders b/c they are few and far between where I live…which is in the heartland! I keep telling people, you are surrounded by farmland! What I do is not that weird! lol! But, I’m sure you know how it is. Thank you for your article and letting me spill some weight. <3 <3 <3 I also want to point out, like you did, that I am happy with my life. When I am able to block out the naysayers, I am fulfilled. My boys are being raised on gardening, chicken keeping, canning, preserving, and making things from scratch so they won't know any different. Plus we are due to have a little girl in January and are very excited!

    • Congratulations on the exciting news, Jen Hen!! Thank you for sharing your experience with us as well. It’s encouraging to me to hear that others are in the same place- content where we are, yet working hard to get to an even better place 🙂 Blessings to you as you continue on your journey.

  12. Well you can always look at the alternative. You could be living in Section 8 housing with a free cell phone and a EBT card and watching TV all day with no purpose in life. So, yes it’s the journey and how you get there that counts. I think we all feel the same way from time to time that it takes too long or we get sidetracked which make the journey seem much farther. That’s one reason I refuse to walk around on my property on Sunday. I start seeing things that need doing and get depressed cause I’m not working on them right that moment.

  13. Thanks so much for this post.This couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel like I am never going to get things accomplished. I’m on my own in this whole dream of mine and it is hard but for whatever reason I haven’t given up completely. I did, once, give it all up and was miserable for at least two years before I pulled myself out of the funk I had gotten into. Thanks for making me not so alone.

  14. Ditto, and ditto, Kendra!!! I am learning that when I feel like this, the very best cure is to look up, and get my eyes back on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. (Heb 12:2). Every step we take toward debt freedom and self-sufficiency is a step in the right direction, my friend. You’ll get there, my friend, and so will our family. And then when we reach these goals, there’ll be more in their place. It is indeed about the journey. 🙂

  15. All the time. Some days I feel like I’m spinning in place. I use to be so organized and so on top of everything in a very busy working world with 3 children. Now my load has lightened and I still feel like I get nothing accomplished most days. But I am healthy, upright, and breathing so I thank the Lord above for his blessings on my life and for loving me so. Be strong and steadfast and you will do well. You just have that determination to not let it….the system get the best of you.

  16. Oh I hear you on that! We are struggling so much here. No matter where we pinch, tighten, work harder, plan, and save something is always around the corner costing us more time and money than we have. We keep praying for that break, that path, that light at the end of the tunnel, that open door. I will say one thing, I’ve prayed for creativity and we’ve found it!


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