Why Am I Doing This?

Why Am I Doing This?
The Blog

Adulthood gets difficult – and I find writing my thoughts on the journey helps. The support, advice, and constructive criticisms are helpful. So thank you – keep them coming.


Why Am I Doing This?
The House

There are so many reasons why I want to tackle this building project. I listed three below (I could have listed ten, but that felt verbose).

Financial Freedom:
Dave and I are lucky to be in a position today where we can invest a bit in our home for tomorrow. However, as we age – we want to be able to work for fulfillment, not for the check. Therefore, we want to invest now into the right home, but build it so that the maintenance is cheap. The insulation thick (heating bill low), the water reused (water bill low), trash minimized, and energy created (energy bill low). I’d love to say we are doing this 100% for the environment, but that’s simply not true. Doing this right provides some financial freedom later in life, too.

The Challenge & Rewards of Simplified Living:
Humans built an age of consumerism. The rise of convenience products still adds terribly to our landfills. We created a culture where when it leaves our eyesight, it’s no longer our problem. Buy it, use it, throw it away. But now – everything is reconnecting. It is our problem. Science is showing us the impacts of our lifestyle. Plus – even the smartest scientists don’t understand all of the impacts yet.Scary.

Human tendency is to build onto what we have instead of fixing the initial issue at the source. Let’s follow an example scenario:

We make a pesticide to increase crop yields. Great, there are a ton of people to feed and we need to get more food/acre to feed everyone. However, that pesticide is contaminating our water supply. We then build a purification system to clean the pesticide out of the water (We build on top, we don’t fix the initial problem. As in, we don’t make a pesticide that doesn’t contaminate the water). The tendency to build on top creates compounding impacts. Continuing with the same example, what if the water purification system we built inadvertently takes out a key nutrient in our water supply as it’s cleaning the pesticide? Instead of fixing the purification system… or fixing the original pesticide… we add a nutrient supplement to be taken with water – etc., etc., etc. Build on top, on top, on top, on top – for decades we’ve been doing this.

I feel like the greatest impact we can have is going back to a simplified life.  I can control the impacts of my mini-ecosystem more easily than I can fix the impacts of the larger ecosystem (problems that are now layers and layers deep to untangle). Instead of wasting energy on trying to fix the way we do it today, I think we should paradigm shift and do it differently by building these small ecosystems within our control. I can do some of it myself (creating energy, heat, food). The stuff I can’t do, I’ll source locally where I know what went into the product.

Also. I’m guessing at the answer to a complicated world problem here. I know we need to do things differently, and I’m willing to invest my life into testing a way that may work better. Or it may not – we’ll see.

It’s My Hobby, Darn It:
Everyone has the subject that jazzes them. This is mine. For years I’ve talked about this. I read books and articles on the subject. But I’ve never acted. Frankly, I’ve been waiting for Dave to be ready to make decisions with me… to come 100% on the journey with me.

About a month ago – he said the magic words that freed me from waiting for him. He beautifully articulated the thing that has always been true. He said “Kari – this is your hobby. I bowl, you do this.” So simple. And he’s right. I shouldn’t expect him to get knee deep into this. He probably won’t even help in the garden when we move into our home. This is my hobby. And with that – I’m freed to actually work on it. I’ll pull him into the big decisions, and he knows to insert himself in the little decisions that interest him. It’s a beautiful thing…


A quick update on the architect: The research continues. I think I know, or my friends know, just about every single architect in MSP. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find the right architect for my LONG list of requirements – but now I have some hope.  A few more information gathering sessions with friends (in exchange of beer, naturally), and then we pull the trigger. We do it guys. It’s time. The Picking An Architect post will come (eventually, I’m not rushing it).

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2 thoughts on “Why Am I Doing This?

  1. Good luck and keep a school in mind because no one is able to predic the future and no one is promised a tomorrow. What you can do is find a future for your child that no matter what happens you can live the life you want.

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    1. Absolutely, Rick! The great thing is that with Saint Paul’s magnet schools (STEM, Spanish immersion, etc.) I think there is some flexibility on where Viv goes to school vs. where we live. It’s part of our planning to research the options!

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