I’m not a fan of the “if you can dream it you can do it” school of personal development. It’s always seemed simplistic, not to mention it completely ignores the role of privilege in identifying our dreams.
However, occasoinally I am forced to admit there is something to it. Perhaps most obviously, dreaming about something puts it on your radar, and once something is on your radar you notice it, pay attention to it, and possibly quite unconsciously take steps to put more of whatever it is into your life. So it’s not that mystical, and quantum physics needed get involved: it’s just basic psychology. Thinking about buying a Honda? Suddenly you see Hondas everywhere. And it’s not because the universe has organised itself to show you more Hondas.
This week, I’ve been talking to real estate agents and lawyers about buying a block of land – 23ha (about 55 acres) of grazing farmland to be specific. This has come about because of a conversation I had with my nephew about his butchery business and the cost per head of transporting cattle to the butchery. In short, having land nearby to hold the cattle until ready for butchering would be a Good Idea. So now I find myself on the brink (I hope) of purchasing said land.
This has triggered a whole bunch of flow-on ideas – building a house, building a cottage to rent out for weekend stays, having beehives, growing avocados, going off grid, renting out my city home, and yes, retiring sooner because of all this.
In between getting ahead of myself with the plans, I looked back through an old notebook and found that in 2015 I had written down a Life Goal that I wanted to retire on a block of land where I could build an off-grid house and have a cottage to rent out. I had completely forgotten I’d spelled this out back then. It had seemed like a highly improbable goal (or as Martha Beck calls them, a “Wildly Improbable Goal” or WIG) because I didn’t think I could afford to retire any time soon, and I couldn’t figure out how to get the isolation I wanted without having a whole bunch of land to manage. I have very little idea about how to manage a large chunk of productive land. Turns out I don’t need to: that’s what leasing is for.
In rather short order all these ideas seem to have come into focus and coalesced in a rather unexpected way. I am excited, to be sure, but I also have this strange-but-good feeling of being a bit removed from it. I’m doing my work to make it happen – lawyer, accountant, real estate agent etc – but I’m not pursuing it aggressively and feeling that sense of desperation to have it all work out. In other words, I’m going with the flow. The last time I did that was when I was buying my current house, and it’s been my happiest home.
The only fly in this ointment is my body. Last night I had the worst night to date with rheumatoid arthritis pain. I was sobbing from the pain in my hips and unable to find any way to relieve it .(Eventually I got some relief from medications but it took a long time to kick in). This worried me because I thought, how am I going to cope living on farmland and being relatively isolated if my body does this? It is a concern, to be sure. But it’s not enough to stop me from keeping going with this land purchase and maybe, just maybe, having my Wildly Improbable Goal come to fruition.