Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Farm Shmarm

Well, I survived Pesach prep and the seders.  Whew! I’m not sure my husband made it through my stress, freak-outs and bad moods without a little scarring.  But we’re still here.  And closer than ever to making our dreams reality!

All of our stuff is currently on our farm.  That’s right people.  We’re really doing it.  We’re building a Torah centered, eco-friendly, holistic, sustainable, organic farming community.  Did I miss any adjectives? Am I frightened? Hell yes.  Of failure? Hell no.  I will never look back on my life and regret trying and failing.  I’m worried of quitting when it gets hard.  I’m afraid of isolation.  I’m afraid of losing my connection with Torah.  I’m afraid I’ll kill my kids.  (Social workers, that last bit was meant metaphorically.  I’m very poetic, you know.)

But, life was not created fear free.  I recognize my fear.  And I move forward.  And if you see me freak out, it’s because I’m freaking out with excitement and enthusiasm for my new life.  Really.  I mean it.  Seriously.

I’ve been noticing how much other people’s reactions have influenced my feelings of being on the farm.  A friend came up to visit and immediately told me she loved all the open space.  And suddenly I do too.  Suddenly I am so excited to be living somewhere with so much open space.  Another said that he imagines that at night it must be so amazing to see the stars.  And now I am imagining all my nights of laying on the grass, kids in bed, hubby beside me, gazing at the millions of stars twinkling above us.

Then someone mentions that since there are no trees around, it will get very hot in our new house.  Someone else mentions how hard it will be to heat in the winter with all the big windows that I was loving until then.  None of these are criticisms.  But now I am hesitant, nervous.  Worse, I am doubtful.  “People aren’t going to want to visit if you only have composting toilets.”  “Your kids will miss out on important socialization skills.”  “People aren’t going to join your community if you hold so strongly to your ideals.  You need to relax your guidelines and be more open.  You can’t expect people to want what you want.” “I hope it works out and you don’t starve.”

Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I want to tell all these people to SHUT UP! But really, they’re not saying anything wrong.  It’s just that I have so much doubt that I keep locked inside.  When I hear these things, the doubt starts to seep out, and get everything soggy.  My starry nights are now rainy.  My sheep are sick.  My kids are cold and social nightmares.  We are alone.  Totally alone.  My walls of optimism are as thin as the crappy fake drywall in our new house and doubt is leaking out of every pipe.  Really.  My husband spent all day there today, trying to fix the leaky plumbing.  

I feel so fragile. 

And yet.

On I go.

I guess if I could ask people one thing, it would be to support me.  Emotionally hold me.  Trust me when I say that I am not naïve to any of the concerns or criticisms brought up.  I am not putting my fingers in my ears and humming when people are expressing their doubt.  I have that doubt too.  I am seeped, leaking all over with doubt.  So right now I just want to be encouraged.  Because it is okay to fail.  But it’s not okay to give up before I try. 

All that said, you are all invited to my farm! (I know that there are only 13 followers of this blog, so that’s not such a huge statement.  But someday, when our farm is awesome and famous and the coolest thing around, people will google me and find my blog, read this one, and know that they are invited.)

But what I need from you all is suggestions.  What do we name the place?  So far we call it The Farm.  But I think we’ll need something better than that.  I want to call it Farm Shmarm.  Yep, you heard me.  Farm Shmarm.  We’re Jewish, we have a sense of humor and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.  Farm Shmarm.  Most people I tell that to thinks it’s a horrible idea to name the farm that.  Whatever.  They obviously take themselves too seriously.
So I’m opening it up.  What do you think we should call it? 

The much needed GoodList is back!

1.   I made it through Pesach cleaning!!!
2.   I’m going to visit my sis soon
3.   I got all three kiddos to bed
4.   Farm Shmarm
5.   My daughter’s spiky hair in the bath
6.   Eating at my aunt’s when I just can’t fathom making dinner
7.   My hard working hubby


  1. heheeee tell everyone to kiss your hippie tail yo and if there is something you can fix, fix it... plant trees where you need to, install solar panels for electricity when you get money... figure it out, but don't get nervous just get ready to fight more.

  2. Tova, you are so amazing and inspiring. I find that when people give their 'advice' when it wasnt asked for, they are jealous. It is their way of trying to make it bad for you, because they want it bad! I wish you much success and your life on your new farm will be what you make of it, not w hat other people say it will be like!
    we look forward to visiting you soon!

  3. yeh hippie grow me some lamb chops!

  4. Where's your farm?! Amazing! Let the land tell you it's name. Just listen. הצלחה וברכה!

  5. Tova you are THE all inspiring awesome incredibly brave women!!! I am soooo proud of you for following your dreams-ppl should learn from you! As far as farm shwarm goes I think its terrific...ah but who am i?!?! seriously I hope I didnt cause any of your doubt...I think your place is so supercalifragilisticexpealodotious....and much more! My kids asked me on my way back to the pitts...when are we going back to the farm?!?! I told them soon! And I mean it! I love that I have a kick ass friend with a kick ass farm!!! Seriously! As far as isolation...1. your only 1hr 45 min from pitts!!! AND I was watching 'born to be wild' at the science center yesterday and thinking of you and your kids the whole time...If you havnt seen it yet its the amazing Imax about 2 amazing women who rescue animals (one rescues baby elephants the other baby orangutangs) and the elephant one raised her family right along with the animals and I kept thinking how amazing her children must be, how kind and open to the world and its differences they must be! Ok I gotta get back to studying...but seriously Tova you are an inspiration!!! Super hugs!! And we sooo look foward to cont with you on your journey!

  6. Even though I am listed as anonymous, this is Miriam . . .
    After meeting you on Pesach I was both caught up in your excitement and yet had many doubts. I kept the doubts to myself, but the concern lingered. After reading this blog, the doubts have quieted down.
    You are aware of the pitfalls of this move. And there are ones you don't know to be concerned about. Every place has challenges. We're lucky if we get a choice in some of the deal. But I think in your "daft and dewy-eyed dope" approach (from the TV play Cinderella when I was a kid) you have the most important thing right: Fear of failure should have no part. Regret is a heavy burden. Do it. Just chase the dream and make it work the best way you can. Learn. Grow. And share that with all, especially your children.
    Think of the life lessons that will be the foundation of their home schooling!
    1. Believe in yourself. 2. Chase your dream. 3. Banish fear of failure. 4. Be open to discovery.

    I'm so glad you're realistic and optimistic and so out of the box. And most of all, Tovah, that you are your own person, not someone's definition of who you should be, especially one formed by doubts!
    The rest of that Cinderella play quote is:
    "Because the daft and dewy-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes . . . impossible things are happening every day!!"
    My glass is raised to you. And my heart, I might add.
    You have my support.

  7. I like Shir Yaakov's idea of listening to the land. As you spend more time on it your relationship to it will change. The name might be one thing now and it might change later. As with everything else on this journey, be open to the possibilities. :) Love Rachelli.