I've read a lot of "back to the land" type books. The kind where an unsuspecting couple chucks everything, buys a parcel of (generally inappropriate) land and has a series of hilarious adventures on the way to settling into their new, rural, simple life.
The truth is, it isn't that easy and it isn't that hilarious, either. We're not exactly back-to-earthers, ourselves, but even the journey here, from Santa Cruz, California, to rural northwestern BC, has had some difficult moments.
It helps to have a very clear vision of what you are aiming to achieve when you set out on this kind of adventure. My vision was as clear as mud. It went something like: I don't want to have to work fifty to sixty hours per week anymore and I want to homeschool my kids. Everything else was open to interpretation.
I have fumbled my way toward a clearer vision: I want a healthy, active, intellectually interesting lifestyle that includes an eclectic schedule, homeschooling, gardening, healthy eating habits (local food, homemade food, etc.), writing and travel.
Still, it's easy for me to get derailed. When someone makes a derogatory comment - "If your kids aren't in school, won't they be weird?", "I couldn't stay at home all day.", "I couldn't handle my husband working from home.", "We take the family on vacation every year, whether we can afford to or not - you only live once, you know.", "What do you mean you're not sending the kids to a private University for all four years?" - it can send me into a tizzy for days.
I think the reality is that life is life. There is no perfect way to do it. There are going to be crappy times where nothing goes right. Heading off into the country to look for the simple life doesn't guarantee happiness. Nor does staying in the city.
I'm beginning to think that I think too much; and so does everyone else. Who are we fooling? We're all just winging our way through our lives. We're all just doing the best we can. Let's cut each other some slack.