Friday, November 1, 2013

A New November

This is probably really corny, and most likely pretty cliche, but for the month of November I am going to (attempt to) post once every day and talk about something I am thankful for.  I confess, I got the idea off an internet forum that I am hopelessly addicted to and that has fueled my homesteading ambitions for more than a decade.

So, this November, I will not talk about deer hunting in the last half of the month unless it is also in conjunction with my daily thankfulness post.  A few posts being thankful for successful hunting would be really awesome!  We shall have to see how the season plays out for me.

I, of course, am thankful for all the usual things: faithful patient husband, children, grandchild (and grandchild-in-the-works!), my health, yadda yadda yadda.  But I am also thankful for some things that I'm pretty sure will be rather off the wall for most people.

So, here goes.

#1. I am thankful for hearing my own drummer.  It seems like all my life, I've been a bit, well, different.  Even as a child I remember questioning the status quo and thinking "But why?  Why is it done that way?  Is that the best way?  Are the people doing it that way really happy?  What if I did it this way instead?  Would that be terrible?  Would it harm anyone?  If it doesn't harm anyone, why can't I do it that way?"

I heard my own drummer.  And, very often, I've danced to the beat of that drum.  I say danced, rather than marched, because really, when I am doing my own thing, and not having to justify it to anyone, I am happy.  I do dance.  I sing, I skip, I even climb trees from time to time.  Yeah, I do.  41 and climbing trees.  Because I can.  My body is still able, and my personal drummer tells me to every once in a while.

What I wanted from my life was not what my high school guidance counselor, or anyone else in the 1980s was telling a female honor student she should do with her talents. Even the aptitude tests I took in high school, the ones where you entered your three areas of interest for a career told me I should do something different.  Apparently at 16 I was "overqualified" to be a farmer.  No lie, that is actually what one of my test results had on it.  I was very good at numbers, and organizing, and other related skills and was encouraged toward Accounting instead.  Which I did study, and was very quick at, I even enjoyed it.  But I realized at 17 that I didn't want to be an Accountant.  Accountants worked indoors.  With other people.  And, at that time, female accountants were still expected to wear skirts, pantyhose, and heels to work.  That was not me.

My drummer said farm work, not office work.  Jeans and boots, not pantyhose and heels.  People tried to steer me in the proper direction.  The college degree.  The prestigious career.  The big salary.  They tried hard.  But I knew, deep down, that that wasn't me.

Oh heck no. So I followed my drummer, and tried not to let too much doubt enter my brain and my heart.  Doubt planted by the words of disappointment from those trying to guide me in the conventional and proper direction.

I turned toward my drummer, listened to the beat, and did it. I did it with all that I had, and it has worked for me.  Will it work for everyone?  No.  In no uncertain terms, my personal path (of no college, of marrying young, of having many children, of homesteading) definitely will not work for everyone.  Everyone has their own drummer, and that is what they must follow.  Some drummers say college and degrees and careers and big salaries.  Some say work hard at more manual things.  The things that most of today's society considers to be menial.  But if that is what makes you happy, is it really menial?  I don't believe so.

To be happy, we all have to hear, and follow our own drummer.

I am thankful for my drummer.

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