Why I’m Not Seeking Traditional Employment

How much time does going off-grid really take?

Often I feel like a Hogwarts student, learning about all these subjects not taught during my school days: earthbag construction, how to build your own solar panels, tarantulas, window gardening, water catchment, bears, cat architecture, cheap bulk cooking, rope-and-rack laundry methods, snakes, composting, rock walls, etc.  It’s like I’m jumping from Defense Against the Dark Arts (like venomous spiders) to Herbology (growing my own healing tea).

Plant your own Harry Potter herb garden!

Yep, it takes a long, long time to learn all this.  Imagine how much longer it would take if I could learn it only on some evenings and weekends! Then add up all that rent it would cost – at $495 / month – woa!

How I Spend My Days

Self-Employed Homesteader-to-be!

Last week a friend said “I guess I can’t really ask what you’re up to because it’s right there on your blog!”  I had to smile, since each daily blog entry only comprises like 10% of what I do, and often talks about things that went on in the past in order to catch everyone up to where we’re at now in our journey.  Here’s what I’m really up to:

  • Cookies: marketing, packaging, delivering, creating labels, and planning promotions / fundraisers
  • Ripples: promotions, posts, edits, social media, and more
    • (Ripples) International Networking: prepping a Capacity Building course with Youth Action for Change, helping start up an Earth Charter International blog, Communications Coordinator for the Youth Task Force, learning a lot from international friends & colleagues that’s helping us live sustainably and stay connected
  • Home: chores, recycling, cleaning, dishes, cat and garden care, super glueing broken stuff, repair, getting rid of and selling stuff, grocery shopping, meal planning for cheap, sewing
  • Homestead Research: preparing to go off-grid, planning home tours, interviews, research at library, networking, choosing products, appliances, reducing expenses creatively (re-use, inventions, crafts, etc) and the seemingly infinite subjects in these areas (from root cellars to rabbit lawn mowers)

I had considered going back to traditional employment once our AmeriCorps*VISTA service terms ended, but I doubt that I could run a home business / social profit, blog, teach a class, take care of chores and prepare everything for our transition to a new home while working 40+ hours a week.

The New Standard of Employment

My new measurement for work is whether or not my actions are crafting the life I want to be living, which means for example getting enough food, while also not soley focusing on the quantity but also quality of these things (going the extra mile to be able to afford organic, for instance).  This new standard states that I am lazy if my day does not contribute to my well-being and the greater good; I am not lazy if I choose not to work a traditional job.

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Jessica Steed

I’m right there with you. Since losing my job at Passages, I have been trying to start up a ‘business’ selling/trading things I make like good luck charms, body scrubs, pumpkin bread, herbal cough syrup(which I’m sure isn’t ‘legal’ so usually falls under a trade), and anything else I can think of!

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