When I moved here two and a half years ago, I had big plans about where I would be - really where ‘the business’ would be in one year, two years, three years… and then literally right away, the universe told me things were going to be much, much different. The first two months or so after closing, we would literally sit on the front porch looking out at the view, listening to the birds during the day, the crickets at night, waving to the neighbors, and sitting in silence enjoying the miracles of nature. And every once in a while, we'd look at each other and say 'wow, we have a LOT to do,' 'The house needs so much work.' 'Yea, so much.' And then continue with our porch sitting. Fighting back the guilt of not getting to work immediately.
Sitting and waiting was the right thing to do - I was still working full time at my corporate job, adjusting to doing that remotely, adjusting to leaving my beloved city, adjusting to having a partner again, there was a lot of change. And a lot to celebrate! To take a breath and pause and enjoy how far I had come, what a shift I was making in the right direction. I needed to recalibrate before introducing even more change. I know this and I knew it at the time, but it didn’t stop the guilt from nagging me somewhere in the back of my mind, and sometimes front and center in my mind.
Even after my full-time gig ended in December 2018 and I was fully immersed in country living in the middle of winter, I felt some internal pressure to go, go, go, to get started on the plans, to talk with the Town, to talk with the septic engineer, the contractor, the surveyor, the neighbors, more more more. And again the universe said to take things easy, to move more slowly, to release those expectations and allow things to flow. I needed to take time to heal myself. After almost 20 years working in a fast-paced, high-pressure, toxic work environment, I needed to let my body and my mind just be, to sink into the rhythms of nature - far, far away from life in a cubicle.
I’ve learned my lessons and nature has taught me so much and we have accomplished so much in the past two+ years. The farmhouse has been infused with love, fresh paint, insulation, a new roof, and so many improvements. She is alive again and full of beautiful energy that welcomes all who enter her doors. We grew our own food, hosted friends and family, launched an herbal business, cleaned out the pond, built fences, restored the stone patio, excavated and fixed water drainage systems, surveyed the land for future projects, and so many other countless projects. And now we are finally at a place where instead of investing time, resources and money, we are able to receive time, resources and money. It feels so good to share the home as a vacation rental for those who need a break in nature AND it feels good to get paid for that.
But it’s not where I expected to be right now. So I was ready to go, go, go again this year. OK, we got the farmhouse done, let’s re-visit the retreat plans, let’s re-start our conversations with the Town and the neighbors, let’s build the dome, some tent platforms, outdoor shower, a bigger garden, host more volunteers, maybe a hot tub, get to work on that stone wall - believe me, the list goes on and on. And then Ariel tentatively suggested - maybe, Jenny, we can just rent the house this year and pay ourselves back for a while. Maybe we don’t need to invest more time and money at this moment. Maybe we can just do projects again the yard, really tend to the garden and take a bit of a break. At first I was insulted! What?!?! How could we stop?! We have these plans! We told people we would have retreats by now!! We have to keep going!
And then I opened myself to this idea. I sat with it. I released these stories I’d told myself, these timelines I arbitrarily created. What if we could actually save some money instead of expending money? What if we didn’t have to schedule contractors, follow up with them when they didn’t get back to us, negotiate with the neighbors and deal with the bureaucracy and politics of the Town Planning Board? It would be like a vacation! And a wave of relief came over me. A wave of excitement for time to really focus on the garden, to bring more life into Jenifer Juniper, working with the plants. And of course, we still have to run the vacation rental!
So I haven’t fully learned my lessons yet, but I’m growing. I’m looking at what it is that is so reluctant to shift focus, to go with the flow, to make things easier. It’s so ingrained in me to work hard, no harder!, to do more, to meet deadlines, to follow the plan, to force things through. Why not surrender to the universe, to the divine timing? I’m walking my path and aligning with my soul’s purpose and I have to trust that things are exactly on schedule, exactly on time and exactly where they need to be in every moment.