I have a long lists of things I have quit over the years. Sticker collecting, crocheting, knitting, piano lessons, ballet lessons, oboe lessons (no one was sad about that), diets, running (thanks again, knees)…In fact, the things I haven’t quit is significantly shorter: being married, being a mom, cooking….that’s really about it. Quitting is just something that just comes naturally to me…which is really, really depressing to say aloud…
As I was saying, it should come as no surprise that I have thought long and hard about quitting this whole no running water or electricity thing. See, it was fun at first. But after about four days (yes, I know, my perseverance is utterly inspiring), I was on the brink of throwing in the towel. What broke this camel’s back? Who knows? It could be my inability to cook out here. Or having to take a shotgun with me to take the girls potty lest a coyote show up again. Or having to take little girls outside to go potty in sub-freezing temperatures at 1:23 am, and 1:30 am…and again at 2:20am…in the same night. It could be the cold. It could be trying to make sandwiches (again) by lantern for dinner with a baby on my hip because it’s the only place she’s happy in the near-dark. It could be having to drive an hour to my sweet mother-in-laws to take a shower. The list is long, and some of the reasons are much more valid than many of my past excuses for quitting various things.
The thing is I can’t quit. Not that I won’t let myself, because I’m sure it’s quite apparent that I would. I can’t quit because it’s already done. We’re here. And that’s actually a good thing. I can’t count the number of times I have regretted quitting something. And I know that, while this is admittedly very challenging, it is the right path for our family. It is the path that leads to a change in our lifestyle, to a permanent home, to a deeper sense of gratitude. I am glad we’re doing this. That doesn’t mean I don’t hate it at certain points or that I don’t casually look into hotel prices from time to time.
But if you think about it, if you don’t want to quit at some point, you probably aren’t being challenged. At least that’s how it is for me. So I’m glad I have felt like giving up at some points. It means I have neared the end of my strength. And not quitting must mean I have pushed through and discovered that I am stronger than I had believed.
The past week has been full of trials. There have been long, grueling days and sleepless nights. And we haven’t accomplished half of what I had hoped we would. But there have been moments of sunshine, too. And if I’m honest, the good moments have definitely outweighed the…not-so-great ones.
There is always a mountain of work to do, but the lack of light during the evenings really forces you to slow down. And with only so much light to go around, the family always ends up in the same spot, doing things together. We’ve enjoyed hot cocoa around the fire, played riddle games, done puzzles, read stories, and gazed at the beautiful night sky that is often hidden in town, together as a family. The kids have spent so much time playing outside, digging tunnels, collecting acorns, and polishing their campfire building skills.
No one is fighting over who gets to pick which tv show we watch. No one is bored. No one “needs” new toys. I have even learned how to consistently cook without a stove, which makes me deliriously happy. (More on that soon.)
It kind of makes me wonder if we really need electricity. But don’t tell the boys I said that – they are definitely ready to play Minecraft again.