On social media and blog posts we often see just the good stuff. The fun, the happy, the success! Of course this is not reality, and we all know this. But so often we can’t help but compare our own lives to those we admire and are left with the feelings of not measuring up or feeling bad about our own life. So today in this short post we thought we would share a snippet of our “other stuff”.
We have just spent the better part of the last 5 months writing a book on a topic we are quite passionate about…compost toilets. Interestingly, we had said no to the publisher the first time we were asked to write this book…but eventually our resolve weakened and we agreed to write the book when the time lines were extended another year. The book is pretty much done now, and we are very pleased with the result. We have dreams that it will truly be a book to take the topic of compost toilets “From Waste Stream to Mainstream” and help countless people and communities locally and globally find ways to safely deal with human “resources” in an era of rapidly declining water resources. Our first book will be published early this fall and the sales and big bucks should start rolling in. Ha. In the meantime, our cash flow has plummeted. Our combined total Eco-Sense net income for the past five months has been less than $3,000. (Nursery sales, consulting, tours, workshops, presentations, etc).
Cash flow being very poor is only one piece… we have been so busy and focussed on the book, that a few other things didn’t happen that should have happened. Don’t you hate that word “should”. But in our case, we should have got more wood in the wood shed…it was a VERY cold winter…rationing wood. At lease our CO2 emissions have been even lower than normal. Thank goodness the temperatures are rising and the solar is heating the home and providing much of our heat. The solar thermal evacuated tubes are making LOTS of hot water to pump through the floors keeping our home at a lovely 17 deg C. Interesting experiment for sure, and we kind of like the indoor toque look. Still rather cold for sitting on ones butt at a desk. Ann has taken the heating pad used for the baby chicks and is splurging on electricity to pre heat the bed. (Note that we could have found and purchased more wood, but with the bank account now empty, we decided to just make due).
Gord also “should” have got busy hunting for venison…or even some front yard rabbits, but was too busy and focused last fall. Even our dog Nina has found the time in her busy nap schedule to hunt some food. sheesh…
So, we have been scrambling to get the spring nursery season going and start our workshop series in the MUD room @ Eco-Sense. (details of workshops here) Last year our spring nursery season got off to a fantastic start with LOTS of people and good sales. We were actually TOO busy to properly serve all our customers. We did everything the same this year…except hardly anyone came…and last week NO ONE came. Sad day! We have no idea what happened. We have more stock, healthy plants, bigger plants and lower prices for many items given their larger sizes. So, we’ve been brainstorming what happened and why?
Anyways, we’ve been finding that the nursery is A LOT of work and isn’t particularly profitable when all the costs are factored in. We may downsize and just specialize with a few plants…like nut trees and a few others that we can propagate easily here. This would likely mean not have the regular nursery hours. We are finding that most of our sales happen by private appointment now anyways. BUT, in the meantime, we are still moving forward with the spring season. Here’s our list of plants and we will continue with the Saturday 10am-2pm open house for sales of perennial edible plants for the next little while.
Now the reality check on the reality check…
WE ARE SO LUCKY and GRATEFUL for our lives. We are healthy and happy, have great friends and a wonderful community, kids are doing great, our parents and siblings are doing great, and we have very rewarding day to day lives living in a beautiful place with meaningful work in alignment with our values. We have excellent and abundant food, clean water, and don’t live in fear of violence or rape. We have so much more security and happiness than most people on this earth. We continue with our passion to live in a way to reduce our impact to people and the planet and we do this from a place of LOVE and not GUILT.
Life isn’t perfect, we have our challenges, and we are grateful for our incredible life with all it’s ups and downs.
So despite our bank account being empty, life is pretty full. Note: we still have some emergency savings and are doing just fine…despite the indoor toques.
Ann and Gord