On this 187th Episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast, I discuss about how Our Time is Finite as we enter a Season of Change here at Small Scale Life.

Spring 2021 is coming. We seem to have turned a corner on the weather last week.  Something is in the air.  The birds are showing us that something is up: from the pairs of eagles flying over Eagles Ridge and near the Third Floor Castle in the Sky to the cardinals popping up everywhere. 

We are entering a Season of Change!  There will be a lot happening on Eagles Ridge, Small Scale Gardening, Small Scale Life and in our lives.  

Time might be infinite, but our time is finite.  There is only so much time in a day, and it really comes down to how we use that one essential limiting resource: time. 

It is time of new beginnings, and we can still be the lighthouse even though things look differently.  If you remember, these are my Guiding Words for 2021 (I did set New Year’s Resolutions in 2021).  Things may change, but not all change is a bad thing. After all, gardeners and homesteaders know that as old, unproductive growth is removed, new plants can sprout and grow.

Hall of Heroes – Gratitude

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“It’s hard to have a bad day when you START your day with gratitude.”

As part of intentionally Practicing Gratitude, I am starting this podcast episode by recognizing some folks who have been active on Small Scale Life.

These folks have reached the Hall of Heroes for this episode of the Small Scale Life Podcast:

Thank all of you for listening to this podcast episode, and if you want a shout out in our next Hall of Heroes, get active and participate on Small Scale Life.

What are you grateful for?  Maybe you should tell that person or that organization (or favorite podcaster).  Give it a try!

My Daily Grounding Practice

 

In case you aren’t following Small Scale Life on Instagram and YouTube, I have developed a Daily Grounding Practice where I stop what I am doing and take a little time to connect with Nature. It can be on the deck of the Third Floor Castle in the Sky to a wayside overlook in La Crosse to the banks of a laughing brook to the edge of Eagles Ridge.  Usually (but not always), I am standing barefoot in the snow for a couple minutes. 

There are four purposes of this practice:

  • Remind myself to be grateful – I am extremely grateful for the people and events unfolding in my life
  • Connect with Nature
  • Practice discipline in good times and more difficult times
  • Be mindful – Some live outside in these extreme temperatures. Never forget those less fortunate

You can see all of my Grounding Challenge and Grounding Practice videos on the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel. All of them are quick videos between 2 and 6 minutes, and I try to post them almost daily.

 

 

Grounding Message: Time is Finite

 

When I am doing this Daily Grounding Practice, I try to be open to inspiration and ideas. It really is amazing what happens when you quiet your mind and take a few minutes to be still.  Trust me, there is more going on than the 2 or 3 minute videos on YouTube! 

I usually ask the Universe what it is trying to teach me and have me know. Sometimes I get a direct answer; sometimes I get a feeling (or a vibe); sometimes I just get cold feet!  It is just one of those things; not every day is some revelation out of the heavens.

Some days, however, I do get a feeling or a message. On February 24, 2021, the message I received during My Daily Grounding Practice seemed to be distinct and clear:

“Time is finite. Use it wisely. You only have so much to work with in a day.”

 

As I am growing older, I know that this simple reality is very true.  Time is slipping through the hour glass (“like sands through the hour glass, these are the Days of Our Lives” – good Lord, I said it), and we can only do so much in a day. Throw in work, family, friends, issues, exercise, meditation, and other issues that come up, there isn’t much time left to get everything that I want done.  

Our time is finite. We only get 24 hours in a day.  When you consider how that breaks down, it usually looks something like this:

  • 8 hours are usually for sleeping
  • 8 hours are for working at your job
  • 8 for the extra stuff

 Let’s chat about that “extra stuff,” shall we?

 

The “Extra Stuff”

 

The Extra Stuff is usually the most important stuff.  It’s the stuff that makes you hum: your significant other, family, friends, experiences, chores, laundry, hobbies, gardening, leisure and other odds and ends. This stuff is important, although we seem to waste a lot of time in this category! 

Remember: our time is finite.  You only get so much in a day to take care of the “extra stuff.”

You might feel like you have a good handle on the extra stuff.  Life is comfortable.  Then…something happens. Murphy shows up (bad luck), good things happen (a promotion) or something unexpected and/ or amazing happens that starts a new adventure.

Perhaps that new and amazing opportunity appears, and you decide it is time to take that on as a new project.  Maybe that amazing opportunity is something like building a new house!  That is certainly going to change that time for the extra stuff!

 

Eagles Ridge Homestead

 

I took the picture for the cover of this post at Eagles Ridge on Saturday, February 27, 2021. We were winding down on burning our biggest brush pile.  It is notable because this pile included the first brush we cut on the property in June 18, 2020, when we bought the land.

I did not lose the symbolism of this burn and the importance of that moment as the embers continued to glow under the hazy sun as the new front moved in from the west. Julie and I purchased this property in the heat of the COVID pandemic and right before the Floyd Riots in Minneapolis, St. Paul and across the country. 

It was Saturday, June 2, 2020, when I declared that it was time to push ahead on our plans after hunkering down and preparing for the worst as the Twin Cities burned to the ground.  We haven’t looked back as we fixed up and sold our North Minneapolis house, packed our stuff, moved to the Third Floor Castle in the Sky and began designing Eagles Ridge.

As we push through this design and build process, Julie and I are realizing there are a myriad of things to do: completing design, pulling permits, meeting with contractors, soliciting bids, selecting bids, site prep, holding meetings, buying materials, getting DIY projects done….There is a lot on the front end.

Then the real work begins: starting the actual building project!

I know it is going to be busy this year. It is going to be incredibly busy! I need to figure out a path forward to make this project happen, keep my job and have a happy marriage and family.

 

The Great Consolidation
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I have always called this Eagles Ridge Homestead project “The Great Consolidation.” Julie has always thought that I was completely off my rocker when I called this whole operation this phrase, but it has a distinct meaning.  Here is what I mean by the phrase The Great Consolidation:

  • Julie and I are focusing on ONE PROJECT, one piece of land and one house right now.
  • I am selling my 38 acres of land in Central Wisconsin (pictured above).
  • We are taking pieces of my family’s history and Julie’s family history, consolidating that and creating our history.
  • Julie and I are going to have one (and only one) gorgeous piece of land that we call home.
  • We are using all of our skills learned over 48 years at work and at our homes to build this project.
  • Julie and I are putting our lessons learned through all of our travels and struggles to make this project a reality and this house a home…with very little debt at the end of the project.

 

It is powerful to focus all of your efforts on one singular project. It is even MORE powerful to focus and work on that project with your significant other! When two become one on a project, we know that nothing can stand in our way.

Julie and I are on the same page, and this is really good.  We need to be together and working hard on this project. It’s our biggest effort yet!

Things are happening fast at Eagles Ridge.  We have:

  • Design Plans
  • Driveway permit
  • Land use permit
  • Septic permit
  • Lined up a contactor to build the shell
  • Have bids for subcontractors
  • Cash in hand to build this project for little debt.

 As soon as we are able in Spring 2021, we are breaking ground!

Our Time is Finite: Prepare for a Season of Change

 

Recognizing this, I have been mulling some things over as time moves forward and the weather gets better. 

What kicked it off was a renewal email for Small Scale Gardening domain that hit my inbox last week. 

Small Scale Gardening has been an on again-off again project since 2014. I did get a sense of satisfaction seeing the numbers of followers increasing in 2020 and early 2021 as I posted more regularly there. I was thinking that it could be a regular blog. 

Of course, it doesn’t just start and stop with the blog: I started developing the YouTube Channel, Instagram page, Facebook Page, Facebook Group, MeWe Group and email newsletter. These things have a tendency to grow on their own somehow! I just don’t know how that happens!

In the end, the problem is that there is only one me. There is only so much time in a day, week, month, and a year. My time in 2021 and probably into 2022 is Eagles Ridge. 

As I did my Grounding Practice, the realization hit me.  The message really is this clear:

“Our Time is Finite; Prepare for a Season of Change”

 

A huge part of Rewilding is getting back to the land, and, for me, that working on our house at Eagles Ridge and creating a new garden in the future (2022?). I need to concentrate my efforts because my time and energy will be limited.

Talking to our neighbor this weekend and testing with my phone, I know my internet connectivity will be limited too. It will be difficult to keep up the pace of things on all these platforms when we have limited internet and our focus is going to be this house.

I have made a decision.

I decided that I will be putting all my time, effort and talent building Eagles Ridge, and I will post to Small Scale Life when I can. Podcasts might be spotting in 2021 as we move forward in the timeline and the project starts, but I can still create short videos and updates on Instagram.

Small Scale Gardening is shutting down permanently.  In the next couple weeks, I will be moving content to Small Scale Life. I won’t renew the domain name, and I’ll let it go of all of the Social Media.

I have already dismantled Instagram account, MailChimp account and Facebook Page. I will be pulling back on Facebook Group as we move forward. 

As I said in the Burn, Baby, Burn video on the Small Scale Life YouTube Channel:

 “Sometimes you have let things go.” 

This is one of those things that I have to let go in order to focus, create and grow. It isn’t easy, but it has to be done for other things to grow taller, stronger and bear fruit.

 

A Time to Grow; A Time to Let Go

 

What do you have in your life that you are holding onto and can’t let go?

Maybe you need to loosen your grip, let it slip and move on. There is a big world out there waiting for us, and we only have so much time on this spinning green and blue sphere.

We have to use that finite time wisely. 

Change can be hard.  The silver lining is that there might be something better once the change happens, and we transform to something new.

Our Time is Finite; Prepare for a Season of Change

 

Learn, do, grow and be a little better everyday!

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