Country Lifestyle: Lambs Symbolize New Life in More Ways Than One


A photo of Colleen NewquistWhen I started this blog, I talked about living “as if” – the notion that if you want your life to be a certain way, start living as if it is. So I’ve been trying to live as if we have the country lifestyle I want. In just two months, it's remarkable how much closer I feel to that life.

What has made the difference? My husband, Michael, says it’s mostly a state of mind. That’s true. Being at the wheel of an SUV has helped, too. As silly as it sounds, swapping my two-door BMW for a Jeep Cherokee might not be best for gas mileage or the environment, but it has done wonders for my psyche.

 Leicester Longwool lamb

Driving a Jeep has its practical side, too. When we visited Eau Claire recently and checked out an abandoned house for sale on 37-acre scenic tract of land, I had no problem navigating the uphill, deeply rutted dirt driveway. Back home, it was much to fun to take advantage of a sale at Menards and load 30 bags of mulch into the back. And crazy as it sounds, it was just as fun to unload it all and schlep it around the yard. It was great to be outside and moving.

That’s part of my “country” mindset – a determination to be more physical and do as much as I can for myself. I spend so much of my day on my butt, in front of a computer, or in the car, commuting back and forth to the city, it’s wonderful when I have the opportunity to get my hands dirty.

I’ve noticed a shift in my willingness to exercise more independence, too. Not that I’m anything but independent – I mean, really, I’ve hardly been the type to depend on my husband for anything but partnership, love, and laughter – but I’ve always been content to let him do a lot of “guy” things. Whether it’s true or not, I imagine I’ll get the most out of rural living if I just do what needs to be done when it needs to be done and not wait for someone else to do it for me. Plus Michael has made it abundantly clear that if I want to be a farmer of any type, that’s fine, but he wants no part of it. His passion is for making art; when it comes to tilling a field or shearing sheep, I’ll be on my own.

Mountain Woman
5/7/2010 10:34:13 AM

Colleen, Thank you so much for your very kind words.

Almost Country_1
5/1/2010 9:14:31 PM

I think what I love most about writing this blog are the words of encouragement I receive, most especially from the three of you! And while you thank me for sharing my story, you inevitably share more of yours, for which I'm grateful. I'd like to be sitting around a fire sipping beer with all of you right about now. And Mountain Woman, my bravery is nothing compared with yours--to have lost your love and to love again takes tremendous courage. I'm glad you found Mountain Man.

Nebraska Dave
4/29/2010 10:56:37 PM

Colleen, we all go through a time when we reflect on where we are and where we want to go. Sometimes it takes a crisis like your situation to jump into a new life style. Some would say that is the mid life crisis time. It’s a scary thing to step through that door into a totally new say of thinking. Some friends will think it’s great and other will think you’ve lost your mind. I do admire you for pressing into the new life style with passion and no regrets. It seems to be the season for new farm life to begin. Many Grit blogs have been about new baby goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens. I’ll have to be satisfied to see the new goslings on the golf course lake and the new baby squirrels frolic through the tree limbs in my neighbor’s yard. My tiny speck of real estate would hardly support any animal life. Learning new skills can be a great way to move forward in your new direction. It’s amazing to me that your determination has overcome fears you’ve had. I thought it humorous that your SUV have you attitude to go places where no BMW has gone before. It sounds like you have the determination and willpower to make your dream come true. Thanks for sharing your story.

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