Friday, April 25, 2008

A day in the real world

Living in the middle of nowhere and being able to earn a living working from home, I don’t get out into the real world very often, and that is by choice. I leave my ranch, at most, once a week – to pick up the mail if nothing else, then to venture on to the grocery store, the feed store, the hardware store, the library, the trash dump, or the obligatory monthly work meeting. My trips away from the ranch usually last the length of the commute, plus one hour. Any longer and I start to twitch.

Today, I was gone the entire day. I survived ­– barely – and realized I don’t know how to behave around people anymore, let alone drive when there’s another car in the vicinity, which is all pretty bizarre considering I used to be a social butterfly and had a personal shopper at Nordstrom’s and was on a first-name basis with the United Airlines’ pilots who flew the routes to LAX and Heathrow.  Go figure! I’m reflecting on all this because last Saturday marked the fifteenth anniversary of the single most happiest day of my life - the day I walked into my boss’ office and said “I quit.” It was, and will always be, the defining moment of my life.

I kept a journal at the time, primarily to make lists of all the things I had to do before and after I said “I quit.” It turned into a diary of all the things that happened. Had the internet existed at the time, I’m sure I would have blogged about it. Every April 19th, I blow the dust off the journal and read it, just for hoots, and to celebrate. With the perspective of 15 years, I think it will be fun to share the story. So you might see chapter one pretty soon...but not tonight. I’m still twitching from today’s social interaction.


  1. I love my job but would quit it in a heartbeat and move to a ranch in the middle of nowhere...if I knew I could have a steady income doing something else to afford my habit!! :) That is my only fear. What a great change you made in your life! Life is too short to not do what you really want....maybe I'll have that ranch someday yet!

  2. Linda, I'm looking forward to reading that story - I have wondered about such a big (and wonderful) change. I get a similar twitch feeling when I leave here.

  3. Quitting a good job and moving to the middle of nowhere takes a lot of gumption(to use an outdated word), and I applaud you for saying 'enough'. Doing what makes you happy has to be the best feeling in the world. Isn't it funny that most of us with farms seem to be solitary people, but will blog about anything and everything to do with the animals we love. Probably a psychiatrists dream come true if we ever made it to the couch.

  4. You've come a long way, baby! I'm looking forward to reading more of your story.

    Janet Roper

  5. I certainly know where you've come from and I totally agree with what you say about "the real world". There's no place like home, especially if it's on the range. So, let's hear the story - inquiring minds want to know!

  6. I often feel similar twitches when I'm out in 'civilization' such as the big city of Albuquerque. Something about all that concrete and alck of the natural world growing and living around you when you're there. It's unnerving.

    I even feel that we're too civilized here in the East Mountains and often dream of moving further out. Maybe one day when our kids are grown.

    Do you ever miss anything at all about your old life. And if so what?

    Oh! And by the way:
    "Happy Belated Anniversary of Happiness"!!