accepting struggle as part of the story

the messy road to progress

Hello there. Sorry I’ve kept you waiting — not that I think you’ve been sitting by your computer, wondering if there was something wrong with mine because there’ve been no posts in such a long time. But I know you’re there, somewhere, and I feel like something like this might have crossed your mind maybe once or twice: “Huh. Haven’t seen anything from Denise in a while. I wonder what’s going on with the yurt and Joyous Gard and all those big dreams she had.”


The truth is I’ve been struggling. And that truth is the very thing I’ve been avoiding talking about, which is why there’s been so little out here. OK, nothing out here. Whatever. The meat of this nut is that I’ve been stuck on so many levels that I kinda started to wonder if I was slowly calcifying into a stone and settling down into the mess of my own mud and just…stopping.

I haven’t wanted to talk about the crushing weight of the very dark place I’d been in for about two years — too much loss, too fast. I haven’t wanted to share my struggles with the gig culture, which has all but defeated me as I’ve been coming out of that suffocating place. I haven’t wanted to mention my frustration with trying to find full-time work as a 55-year-old woman whose field skews incredibly young. I felt like I was whining when I sat down to write about how lonely and hard and scary it is to do all of this alone. I felt like a failure because I had to consider — and still might — selling Joyous Gard instead of continuing on with this crazy journey.

I feel like a fool because I’m currently refusing to do that, despite the potentially catastrophic risks.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading other people’s blogs, and they’re so polished and pretty and positive. It seems like their farms and homesteads and lifestyle choices just sprung up, fully-formed and humming along beautifully. Not that any of those writers have pretended that there’s no effort involved. It just all looks so…smooth. I felt embarrassed by my own lack of progress, ashamed. I kept thinking, This should have been easier. It should have progressed more quickly. Or, sometimes: I should have planned better. I should have moved more slowly, getting better foundations under me. In other words, as a friend of mine likes to say, I’ve been shoulding all over myself.

So, here’s the thing. Financial setbacks are real. Weather delays are real. Health issues are real. Grief is real. Fear, hesitation, lack of confidence, analysis paralysis, loneliness, indecision, expectation, disappointment, procrastination, frustration, anger, wrong turns, spiritual and mental and physical exhaustion — all real. And no matter how polished and pretty and positive the story, they all live right under the surface, as testament to something worth doing.

I’m (still) not sure what the purpose of this blog is, or if it even needs one for now. I don’t know if there’s anything here of use to readers, or if there needs to be for now. And I don’t know if I’ll pull this all off — the yurt, the homestead, the guest accommodations — but, as with all my adventures (and misadventures), I’ll have a heckuva story when I’m done doing whatever I’m doing.

And the struggle, my friends, is part of the story.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lowell Rinker says:

    First of all, know that we love you….and that in spite of all the things weighing on you, you will come out the other end of all this stronger and healthier regardless of which fork(s) you follow. Know too that we live vicariously through your brave journey. It is somewhat comforting to know that you don’t leap tall buildings with a single bound. Your vulnerabilities will become your strengths….I have faith in you. And yes, I was sitting at my computer waiting for another blog update….how else would have responded so quickly? Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise says:

      Thank you, Lowell. This means more than you know. Now, turn off your computer and go outside and play!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lowell Rinker says:

    Yes, dear 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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