I don’t make new year’s eve resolutions . . . ever. They don’t work. I think we do these things to make ourselves feel better, but then we end up feeling worse. What I do practice, however, is the New Year’s “word”. For years now, I’ve chosen a word that I wanted to focus on or that I felt would be a resemblance of the new year to come. And every year it has played out exactly as it should.
So it’s no different for the coming 2019 year. Except, it is.
This year I’m not choosing a word. Instead, I’m choosing a phrase. And what is that phrase, you ask?
Just wing it.
I know, I know, it’s so random. I also didn’t put a lot of effort into it, let’s be honest here. Ain’t no shame in my game. Hence, the phrase, “just wing it”. Because honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing right now, or three months from now. And I know that 2019 will be a season of “just winging it”, simply because life is so full and crazy chaotic. But before I start talking about 2019, let’s go through the chaos of 2018, shall we?
What Happened in 2018?
Yeah, what did happen in 2018? Could someone tell me, please? Kidding . . . kind of.
In 2018, not only did I publish my very first book, The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion, in April, but I also completed a second book. My next book, The Homesteader’s Natural Chicken Keeping Handbook is due out in May of 2019. Craziness, right? Yes, right. In less than a year, I wrote over 120,000 words between two books.
Not only did I write my first book, but it was successful. From January through June of 2018, over 10,000 copies have been sold. That’s not even counting the rest of 2018. I received my first commission check, which was incredibly rewarding. And I realized that people might actually enjoy what I’m putting out into the world. Thank you so much for your love and support, and for your eagerness to learn and grow with me!
In 2018 . . . it rained. It rained a lot. I grew the lousiest garden I’ve ever grown in my entire life. I bought more produce from the orchards to can than I ever have before. I fought mud and muck for months and months . . . and then finally, I gave up. That’s right, I gave up on garden 2018. I tried. I was in the trenches. Felt like I’d just fought a war every day. But nothing helped. I finally sat back in August and watched my garden wither away to nothing but a yellow mess of overly watered mush. It was sad. But it’s life.
In 2018 . . . I planned the second annual Homesteaders of America conference, and it was glorious. It was better than I thought it would be. Everything fell into place. The new venue was perfect. And I get to do it all over again in 2019. What a journey it as been . . . but an amazing one. While the book writing and conference planning took up most of my year, it was so worth it.
In 2018 . . . we ripped out our garden beds and decided we would start planning to put our house on the market in the spring of 2019. It was exciting to think we could be purchasing a new homestead in the new year. But we knew the work ahead of us.
In 2018 . . . life finally caught up with me. I was tired. Very tired. I said “yes” to a lot of things I shouldn’t have said yes to. And so I started learning how to say “no”. No, I can’t help you every week to try and figure out your life for you. No, I can’t help you do your website. No, I can’t make that logo for you. No, I can’t do your family photos this year. No, I can’t write a biography for you (what even is that?). No, I can’t . . .
And they were the most liberating words I ever learned to say. And a lot of people didn’t like it. And I’m ok with that. Because the end of 2018 made me realize that eventually, I have to start living life for me, too.
After the 2018 conference in October, and after over 7 years of trying (or, not preventing), we unexpectedly discovered that we were pregnant. What a shock to this tired 2018 soul that had gone on and planned a new life without any new babies. A career was budding and I now had an independent 9 year old who allowed me to focus on a career. Things were moving in the direction I wanted—good work, put the house on the market, get it done.
And then, God laughed and said, “nope, not done yet.”
And this is where I get to my plans for 2019 . . .
I have no plans for 2019.
I’m not planting a garden.
I’m not planning on canning a pantry full of food.
I’m not writing another book.
I’ve hired people to help me run this conference. And amazing business partners that know what they’re doing.
My one and only goal in 2019 is to have this beautiful baby that’s growing inside of me, to love it well, to nourish it greatly, and to be the best mom I can be a decade after having my first child.
This pregnancy has been miserable . . . I won’t even sugar coat it for you. I have been miserable. I have felt the most useless I have ever felt in my entire life. And trust me, it’s not because I want to be useless. I have been so sick, so tired, and just exhausted from the growth of this baby. But I am so grateful for the amazing gift of life inside of me. And I know that this exhaustion is teaching me something in life—patience and rest, more than likely.
Whatever comes our way in 2019, we’ll wing it. There are plenty of possibilities. There’s the possibility that we still may put the house on the market in 2019 and rent from a family member until we find land. There’s the possibility that I start working on a new book proposal, but not a homesteading book. There’s the possibility that things could grow huge for HOA and time become demanding . . .
We’ll wing it.
And at the end of the day, and at the end of the year, everything will all come together and still work out. Because we know…
…that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. [Romans 8:28]
So in 2019, I’m not fretting. I’m not saying “yes” . . . in fact, I’ll be saying “no” a lot. A lot a lot. I’m not sorry in advance. And If you see me out somewhere . . . frazzled hair and a smile . . . just know I’m still happy . . . I’m just wingin’ it.
Here’s to 2019. May it be the best year yet.
Natasha Snodgrass says
Just beautiful. I love it! And especially the saying no bit. It’s hard at first, liberating slowly, and then the peace comes with being ok with others not happy you say no. That’s freeing. This season of our lives we are focusing on what needs to be done, and everything else will have to wait. The fun and helping others can come later once our own house is in order. I do not feel bad about it. My kids and husband deserve my time more than society does. You go girl! I hope the pregnancy will ease, and that this year the winging it will bless you! ?
Blessings to you this year!
Amy, thank you for this. We attended HOA this year and want to return in 2019. But our 2018 brought elder care issues and stage 4 chronic kidney disease which could compound into housing and job and financial concerns. So I think I am right with you…I will wing it, knowing Who it is that walks beside and carries and sustains me, because even if I dont know what is coming, He does and He is already there. Thanks for words I needed to hear.
Praying for you, barb!
I love this post Amy! In an internet full of ‘look at my perfect life’ blogs I appreciate your authenticity so much. You have so much wisdom to share. Praying for your family and your precious miracle! Last year I had chosen the word Simplify… and we were given a free high energy vizsla puppy and blessed with a baby ? Sooooo I’m trying again with Simplify this year… enjoying the chaos and trusting the Lord to do big things! ?? We absolutely loved the inaugural Homesteaders Conference but missed the HOA this year cause baby was only 2 weeks old… really excited to come back this year! ???
Aww can’t wait to see you at HOA this year!