Yesterday morning, while removing staples, I had an epiphany. We are breaking down some old rabbit pens to repurpose into a new chicken coop. I suddenly began thinking about how our current life can be explained, loosely, by the process.
First, we have an old rabbit hutch. It consists of a wood frame with a metal roof. In the middle of the wood frame is a welded wire base with pre-made cages on top. The whole welded wire contraption is secured to the frame with what seems like a million staples. This cage is like us, M&I, before we found the homestead. It has a design and a purpose. There is a reason it existed but the reason is changing. It’s been sitting and waiting for it’s next phase.
When we found our homestead property we had been living in the city. We’d been in the city for years. I grew up there and M had been there for work but we both were wanting change. We wanted more out of life then a 9-5 (or 4am-4pm, etc). We needed something that felt more fulfilling and less programmed. We were running out of patience in waiting for our next phase.
Before the cage can be repurposed, we had to remove all of the no longer useful parts. We started by removing staples. There were lots! Reallly, whoever had built it wanted to make sure that it stayed in form. They over-did the staples in an effort to keep the structure in it’s pre-defined shape. As we started removing the staples, I began thinking how those staples were like our old habits, Our city habits. The city itself had kept us in form. It required waking up at a certain time in order to beat the traffic to our jobs. It required long car rides home where we spent time stuck in traffic. It required us to be a certain way in order to “fit-in” with those surrounding us. We had formed habits of things like eating out because we were too tired to cook. We’d stop at the movie store (or later turn on Netflix) every Friday night. We’d sleep in on Saturday and Sunday and lazily work around the house. Saturdays were often spent running around doing errands like banking and shopping. Or, we’d spend part of our weekend running around looking for something a bit exciting because we couldn’t stand to look at the walls any longer. We’d eat too much and sit too much and spend too much.
Upon arriving in our new world on the homestead, we knew that there would be many personal changes. Many staples would have to be removed. We had to pluck out the staples that held us in to our old habits such as being lazy on Saturday or watching too much TV. We would have to pull the staples that kept us searching for entertainment during our free time because of boredom. Finally, we would have to cut the particularly tough staples that kept us in a “city” state of mind where everything comes from the store and is pre-packaged ready to “heat n eat”.
Eventually we were able to completely remove the old cages from the rabbit pen. We have been able to remove from ourselves many of the old thought/activity patterns that “city society” caused in us such as “follow the crowd”, “spend spend spend”, “PARTAY Hardy”, and “fast and now”. We have been slowly stripping away the unnecessary parts of us and becoming basic. Just now we are starting to notice in ourselves a kind of peace and calm that we could never find in the city of staples however, everyday I still seem to stumble on a previously hidden staple that holds some portion of me back.
Today we’ll start the process of building the new structure. We will have to dig down deep to set a good foundation. We will have to remove old rotted portions and replace them with new pieces. We will also have to add new staples and nails and screws which will hold the new structure together in it’s newly repurposed state.
In ourselves we also still have much work to do. While we’ve removed most of the old staples and old structures there are still a few broken parts that need to be replaced. After replacing those broken parts then we will be able to move forward in the rebuilding process. Soon enough you will see our new selves beginning to take shape. We’ve already made leaps and bounds. I can already look in the mirror and see many differences in the person I was 18 months ago. I’m already 50 lbs lighter since beginning to remove the staples but, there is so much more to go.
Don’t loose faith dear reader. You too can remove the staples.