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Thread: Hello from an Oldie-Newbie?!?

  1. #1
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    Hello from an Oldie-Newbie?!?

    Greetings all!

    I am writing you from the Boston, Massachusetts area. The reason I called myself an Oldie/newbie is because I was very active on these forums—back in 1999! I am absolutely thrilled to see that they are still here and functioning. Wonderful!

    Back then, as I said, I was an avid poster. The idea of living simply was so appealing. I was working for a corporation in Boston, as the receptionist, and even as a receptionist, I was getting paid a pretty penny. The corporate lifestyle, however, was absolutely ANTI-life to me. I contemplated climbing the corporate ladder and being engaged in jobs such as this for the next 40 years. I can be honest and say I was absolutely suicidal. It simply was not “IT” for me, but aside from not being “IT”, it drained the life out of me. I speak for me and me alone, I do not judge how anyone else lives, but for me, this was not what I was supposed to do. Having never obtained any financial education, I was completely unsure of how I could ever exit the rat race. “Your money or your life” gave me a blueprint. It was hope.

    Beyond disliking corporate life, I had a feeling in my gut that life was going to change. I had no reason for this feeling, having only lived one way since I was born. I remember asking the simple living forums, “should I go to college and get this education, should I be paying for this, will it be relevant?“ The kind souls on the forum gave their best advice, saying that education was something that could never be taken away from me and I should probably invest. I did, but always in a lackluster way. 10 years later, I had almost graduated, and had barely any loans having paid my way through it (10 years for goodness’s sake!). My mother got cancer and I was her caretaker. That was the end of education for me. That’s OK, seems I didn’t need it anyway.

    This is already too long! Let me to do my best to summarize. Fast forward quite a bit of time, here I am in my early 40s, living in an apartment, with a decent income. BUT! That intuitional feeling I had always had in my gut proved to be correct. When the corona thing happened, I couldn’t believe it. I said to myself, this is IT! This is what I was anticipating. Two years have passed since the corona roll out, and I have been educating myself to the hilt. Seems there is a solar minimum approaching, a cycle that happens goodness, I’m not sure, every 1400 years? Crops will be reduced as the planet cools.

    Always I have wanted to buy land, build my own cordwood house, and live an off the grid/aggregation lifestyle. Believe me, I was interested in this way before it was trendy! In any case, every day that passes, I see that while that’s a beautiful dream of mine, I’m not going to be able to do anything alone. Community is what is essential to face the changes that are coming. I don’t need to live specifically on a commune, but I would love to be in good touch with my neighbors and to feel I had a true community supporting me. Is anyone else feeling this way? Is this life anyone else is seeking? I guess I came back to my roots to take the temperature of this populace. Very much looking forward to hearing back from anyone that might have an opinion on this. I would also appreciate so dearly being pointed in the direction of any websites where they might be discussing issues of this nature. Thank you so much for reading such a long tale, and all my love, Kate

  2. #2
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I wasn’t around in the early years of this forum. I am retired and living a simple life in my condo with my 2 little dogs. I hope you find what you are looking for.

  3. #3
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    As a reality check, too many people plan for the future and build their houses based on their current finances, physical abilities and wishes.

    Too many find out that while a cordwood house off-grid might be fun and doable for the next decade or two depending on excellent health and resources, when anything changes in health and resources, you need to change as well. That can be difficult.

    Ask yourself, what do I want to be doing when I am 70 years of age? What do I want to do until then?
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I had a good friend living in the country who went off grid and built a strawbale house several years ago. I'm not sure why they don't seem to attract much attention these days because it was inexpensive and energy efficient. He was multi skilled and basically your jack of all trades, so contruction and maintenance were not an issue. Beyond basics the house probably didn't require too much more maintenance that a stick home in the burbs. It worked out well for several years until he was forced to sell as part of a divorce.

    If it comes to realizing a dream I think it is possible but not an easy task. It was among my ambitions at a time, but looking back I think my choices of living frugally and more traditionally has been a better choice. My work was never nightmarish but could get stressfull. I saved and and retired early. I like some of the city benefits for shopping, medical, and live in a bike friendly place with good outdoor recreation close by and decent neighbors. I've looked into sustainable type communities that are not really communes and it seems like there are a variety out there.

    You might be familiar with the books of Scott and Helen Nearing. They make it work and lived on their land I think until their nineties. I think it requires a lot of dedication.

  5. #5
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    Welcome back! I think I vaguely remember those posts about education - although I think there have been several, so...

    It sounds like you have done well over the years and having a plan, any plan, for the future is nice. As others have pointed out, though, just be flexible!

    Look forward to hearing more from you on this journey, and wish you good luck.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  6. #6
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Oh, wow, do you mind sharing your previous username? Is it the same? I've been around since 1999, too, but my memory is not 100% so take no offense if I don't remember you!

    I love your post. The questions we ask ourselves about the "two paths diverging in a yellow wood" are sometimes lifelong questions. My timeline:
    1999: was about the time I went from typist in the word processing pool to the lowest rung on the corporate ladder @ 46 years old
    2007: had advanced to VP of research, living that corporate life to the hilt.
    2008: decided to take the best parts of my job and go solo. I've been operating as a freelance market researcher ever since.
    2012: got my Permaculture Design Certificate, which "pushed" my worldview and my values in that direction.
    2018: moved with DH from central NJ to a small house in VT

    My point is, with one foot in each "world" I have been trying to slowly edge more towards what's important to me. You are right in that community is key. What opportunities do you have to hook up with like-minded people?

    Anyway, so glad you're back, and tell us more about your journey.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  7. #7
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    I hazily recall your name from long ago. Life and aging definitely can throw a curveball in best-laid plans. I think there are folks actively doing that lifestyle but they seem to be scattered here and there and under the radar. So many practical matters to figure out too - things like water and where to get supplies if you're way out there. I do agree that we (Americans) are very naive about where and how our food and energy are going to come from. Even still, one can do many things to be resourceful in that way on a quarter acre in a little house in the city.

  8. #8
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    Makes me think of all the information lost, when the old posts went away from the original forum. Sad, I still think that searchable reference material, could have been such a draw and this forum, might be more lively.

  9. #9
    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToomuchStuff View Post
    Makes me think of all the information lost, when the old posts went away from the original forum. Sad, I still think that searchable reference material, could have been such a draw and this forum, might be more lively.
    I've been in email contact with the original founder, asking about archives and the possibility of assuming the original site name. He declined to reply.
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan View Post
    I've been in email contact with the original founder, asking about archives and the possibility of assuming the original site name. He declined to reply.

    So attempted contact, as compared to actual. LOL
    He might look at your attempts the same way you look at the "contact" made to you by Packy.

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