This isn’t actually a How-To so that title’s probably misleading… Hey, I’m teaching you how to revise your expectations already! But seriously revising expectations, especially those you have for yourself, is important. For me this usually amounts to accepting that I’m a failure and moving on with my life secure in that knowledge, but that probably doesn’t sound very positive. I’ve gotten around to revising what was my 30before30 to a 30for30 (or whatever I end up calling it) that I didn’t even finish half of. Chunks of that I’m giving myself a pass on, because I’ve not been in a good financial situation and there’s just not a lot I can do about that.
I’ve decided that I really want to try and be as realistic about my goals as possible and acknowledge that while I have these goals, some may be out of my reach financially. As is I think two of the most important financial goals I have are to pay down as much debt as I can and to save enough to move to a better location. Obviously they are not unrelated.
While I can honestly say that I’ve always known my neighborhood wasn’t fantastic, I still liked it well enough. Since I’ve moved in a year and some ago there have been some changes with management and things have seriously gone down hill. The leasing office used to be fairly reliable, they are in no way reliable now. They offered me very little to no help with my roach issues, they don’t complete repair requests unless I make sure to submit it in writing, but they don’t make that easy. The leasing office has no fax machine and they don’t use email. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
So, obviously saving enough to move and pay down my debt are the two biggies. But I do intend to work on the others as well, but I’m reserving the right to amend them if something’s out of my reach. I’m still trying to figure out how I want to do the “butcher an animal” one. To clarify when I say butcher I don’t necessarily mean slaughter. Butchering can mean slaughtering the animal too, but it can also just mean to dress the animal or break it down into usable cuts in the case of larger animals like cows and pigs. I’d originally hoped to raise coturnix quail as a kind of meat and egg experiment, they’re small and easy to keep in cages which is a necessity because I only have a balcony to keep them on. If I do have the opportunity to raise quail I’ll probably end up raising at least a few to market weight and butchering them, hopefully any extra roosters I end up with and I can keep the females around for eggs. Every book on the subject I’ve read stated that quails lay pretty much daily for the first year and if you keep them laying through winter the egg production starts to drop off sharply, which is good if you’re interested in quail meat because the birds will still be young and relatively tender.
I’ll admit that I’d also hoped to grow some edibles on my balcony, but I just don’t know if it’s possible because I’m under a HUGE tree that keeps my balcony really well shaded. Good for my power bill, bad if I want to try growing something. Ah well, I’ll figure something out. In the meantime I’ve jumped back into reading memoirs about farming and an especially interesting one I found is “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer” by Novella Carpenter. I’ve read books by Jenna Woginrich and Catherine Friend and while I enjoyed them they still weren’t completely accessible to me because at the end of the day I just don’t have access to that much land. While I don’t have an abandoned lot to squat in, Farm City definitely acknowledges the challenges of raising food in the limited space of an urban environment and finds creative solutions to that problem. It’s and entertaining read and while I wouldn’t say I’ve learned a lot about things that are directly applicable to me, it at least gave me the confidence to maybe start thinking outside of the planting container when it comes to agriculture in the city.
Apologies for rambling, I suppose I lost my original point a few paragraphs ago so I’ll swing back around to it. Expectations and goals are good things to have, but I’m learning that sometimes things don’t work out and it’s not always my fault. When that happens, when goals are delayed or have to change it’s all right to adapt because I can try again and I will keep trying. If I miss a week on my blog that’s ok, I’ll just get back on the horse and maybe even work up to double posting at some point! And hey, maybe I’ve already hit on my next topic: my weird addiction to farming memoirs.