Friday, February 7, 2014

Dreams Not Working Out? Just Give Up!

I want chickens. I want chickens real bad. They're fluffy. They're productive. They can teach things to my kids. They make cute noises. They come in a variety of colors and shapes and temperaments. I just love 'em. I gotta have 'em.

I've got my coop style all picked out and pinned. I've read a couple dozen books and am hooked on a number of backyard chicken websites. I'm obsessed. Books. Magazines. Articles. I'm a chicken book worm.

Missed one thing, though. One thing I didn't read...

I didn't read the laws in my area. I thought I read them. I thought I read them real well. I didn't see anything pop out at me, but then again, my eyes were crossing and my mind tripping over the legalese. I scanned websites, looked at online versions of local laws and regulations. Nope! Nothing about not having chickens! I thought I was golden.

But then I checked out a few of the backyard chicken website forums and learned the cold, hard truth. I just found out this week....can barely even type the words..........

I can't have chickens.

I'm zoned residential. I mistakenly assumed this was not the case. I've got a farmer's field behind me and a number of people down the road with their own flocks. No worries, I thought. I'm as right as rain.

Yea. It was raining alright. Raining tears of bitterness all over the broken, shattered pieces of my crumpled dreams.

But nevermind, I told myself, I can work on my other dream! You know, the writing one! I will someday write a novel or some incredible post that fetches the hearts and minds of all the readers, ever! Yea! That dream!

Except my big girl needs to get her Girl Scout stuff ready for this weekend. Aaron is smack-dab in the middle of his quest to find a well-paying job and could really use a second pair of eyes. A coworker is getting married and asked me to draw up a proposal for some planning and assisting work. Spring is right around the corner and I want to get a jump start on some indoor seedlings. My little girl is ready for potty-training. Did I mention the big girl came home from school and told us she was getting a referral for punching someone? It's my father in-law's birthday and my brother in-law is in town. I need to run out to the co-op tomorrow and pick up our grass-fed meat from Wallace.

Hmm. I didn't even touch on the normal household tasks and errands.

What? Oh, yes,  writing! The writing dream! I'm sure I'll find time to work on that at some point this weekend.....right? I'll get settled, pull up my nonexistent laptop, and buckle down, right away! Just as soon as I finish a few things.....

But first....I'll just checkout my Facebook feed. Oh look! Ree Drummond just posted another beautiful post about her beautiful life in the country, with horses, and cows, and land, and cooking shows, book deals, blog followers galore! Did I mention my Life Dream, the big one, the EVER AFTER dream, is to someday live on a ranch with horses? My preferred location has always been Montana, but heck, I'll take anywhere. I'll take anywhere.

I'm not jealous. Nope, not me. I'm positively, absolutely, unequivocally not jealou............

....yea no. I'm jealous. Ragingly, crazily jealous. How does this success happen for people? I read about it all the time.....every single issue of Country Living will showcase some crazy couple named like Parrot and Francois, who left their "crazy life in the city" and quit their "stressful corporate job" to live their lives in the peaceful solitude of the country, with their artisan button-making, or unique antique store, or homemade goat cheese. This really happens. Ask Parrot, she'll tell you.

But so far, it hasn't happened for me. I've got a lot of beautiful things in my life, but those dreams? Those things independent of my daughters, marriage, home, and job? Those things that are just for me, not mom, not assistant, just Jen? They're not working out.

So I've got the perfect solution.

Just give up!

Writing. Chickens. Montana. ------- ain't gonna happen, right? Give up! Move along! Settle.

That is what the world expects you to do, right? After all, what would we do with a world full of dreamers? We need somebody to dedicate her life to making the dreamers' dreams come true, right? Didn't some guy named Tony say something like that?

And really, when we stop to think about it, where have dreamers really gotten us? Dreamers don't actually create anything worthwhile in their selfish pursuits of insane, unrealistic goals. Electricity? Pheh - light a candle. Books? More like doorstops. Ain't nobody got time for happy-joy-joy people and imagination and architecture and music. We've gotta push papers and listen to someone else dictate what we should do, how we should look, what we should think and feel.

So that's a great idea! I'll just give up! No point in fighting for something that will never happen, right?!

Walt Disney was wrong. 


What did he ever do, anyways? Make a creepy mouse come to life? Create magic and popularize storytelling through motion pictures for children around the world? I bet that just happened, though. I bet he just woke up one day and that fell into his lap. He prolly never had a single setback. pssh. Disney.

Oh and Eleanor Roosevelt?


What does she know. So she lost both her parents at a young age and married into a complicated family. So she dealt with infidelity and argued with her disabled husband about immensely important things like race and human rights. That couldn't of been too hard. What would she know about turning dreams into reality? She was only the voice for American minority groups during one of the most discriminatory periods in American history. I betcha she was just born into that kinda thing.

And then this guy.


*snort* Victor Hugo. Prolly had an uncle or something in the publishing biz. What would he know about hard work. Who cares it took 17 years for Les Mis to be published. Not me. Not this girl. I'm giving up.

I'm giving up because it's too hard. It's not working fast enough. It's scary. It's impossible. I'm not doing it.

Wait......I'm not doing it?

I'm not doing it. My dream isn't working out because I'm not doing it.

Hmmm. So.....I'm giving up on my dreams because I'm not making them happen. That's like standing in front of an open refrigerator full of food and choosing to go hungry because I don't want to make a sammich. Anyone who knows me knows I'd do just about anything to eat, even if that means cooking the food myself.

Guess it seems kinda silly I'm so willing to fill my stomach but so quick to starve my soul.

Perhaps I should reconsider this plan...this giving up plan. Perhaps if you're reading this and feel exhausted and ready to quit, you should reconsider, too. Sure, it's going to take a whole lot more than two slices of bread and some lunchmeat, but then again, we're not talking sammiches here.

We're talking chickens.

We're talking writing.

We're talking Montana.

Sweet dreams to the dreamers.....especially those who have given up. Thanks for reading.




Jen
jen@jenniferludwigsen.com


40 comments:

  1. Your dreams will happen. You are just at a transitional point in your life. Transitional points suck but the beauty comes after the transitional point. I see chicken novels published in Montana in your future. If Disney can make mice sing and dance you can do what you dream.

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    1. HAHA I love that! Didn't even think about novels written ABOUT chickens.....what an awesome idea! :) Thanks for reading Sarah :)

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  2. I ... ALSO... WANT... CHICKENS! But I am in such a different boat! Where I live chickens are allowed in the suburbs, cities - you name it! Roosters are banned for the more rural areas, but no matter where you live within a 25 mile radius of my home you can legally have at least 2 chickens - unless your landlord says otherwise and guess what? I live in a chicken unfriendly apartment building. I suppose they are right about chickens not being the right pet for apartment life. Don't give up on your chicken dreams. Maybe start a group of over zealous hippies to chant about the goodness of chickens outside of city hall. I am pretty sure that's what happened here.

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    1. HAHAHA yes! I love that idea :) Totally stinks you can't have them, either....!! Some apartment rooftops are considered primo locations for a coop ~ Kinda like the pigeons in Assassin's Creed, if you've ever played that game. As for me, I know a couple of hippies I'd be happy to fight the man with. They've already stomped the gate and begun working their magic....if their new law passes through another round of lawmaker reviews, we'll be legally able to have chickens by the fall!!!

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  3. I just want the eggs...not the coop and the mess. But I'm with you. I was just saying to my husband though that dreams can change, and morph just like our lives. Maybe you just have to wait til you move to Montana to get the chickens? At any rate...don't stop writing. I have a million things to do tonight...and instead I'm reading your blog! Following you now...thanks for stopping over from SITS!

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    1. You seriously made my day. I read this comment on my phone early Sunday morning and you made me smile all day long! Thank you so much for the compliment and I am so, so happy to hear you've enjoyed reading some of my posts. Although your to-do list may not appreciate it, I certainly do!! :) Thanks again :)

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  4. Chickens would be fun. But we aren't allowed to have them either. Boo.

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    1. I'm considering just getting ninja chickens and activating their stealth mode.....nobody would see them slink around! ;)

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  5. I'm sorry that your dream of having chickens didn't seem to work out. Have you considered applying as a farm property, instead of a residential one? I know how you feel; we wanted a firepit in our backyard, but it's illegal where I live--even a small, portable hearth.

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    1. GRA! Isn't it terrible?? Sometimes I wonder who these laws benefit more......because it doesn't make sense for most taxpayers. I did look into changing my zoning, but I don't want to decrease the property vallue :( I DID, however, find this awesome underground clan looking to change the laws in my area....so I'm putting all my eggs in that basket....haha get it?

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  6. Love your blog and enjoyed reading a few posts!

    Sharing some SITS Girls comment love!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Kat!! Love me some SITS lovin! :)

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  7. Guess it seems kinda silly I'm so willing to fill my stomach but so quick to starve my soul.
    ~ What an inspiring thought... I love it! Makes one think about priorities! I have to say, I am daring to dream... and sorry about the chickens :)

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    1. Thanks Jasey :) I love that you're diggin the perspective and I love that you're daring to dream, as well! Don't let them go - dreams, just the ideas behind them, are gifts in themselves. I've gotten so much happiness out of just researching chickens. IT'S GONNA HAPPEN SOMEDAY! I just know it! :) Thanks for stopping by :)

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  8. LOVE your writing style - you might not be writing your book yet, but you are definitely writing and being read!

    Keep dreaming ..... and hi from SITS and N Ireland

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    1. Janmary! What an awesome compliment :) Thank you so much for stopping by!!! And Northern Ireland at that! I am honored :) :) :) I think you are my very first European visitor and I couldn't be more happy to have you.

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  9. I've always wanted to have a farm land, horses, cows and yes chickens too. But right now we live right in the middle of a congested city and there's a rooster right outside our house owned by our neighbor. It drives me crazy every morning. What more if I have hundreds of them LOL

    Dropping by from SITS, have a great day!

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    1. HAHA that's nuts! How do you have a rooster right outside your house??!?? I've heard of some cities allowing small flocks, but I thought roosters were totally off-limits! That's crazy - I feel so sorry for you!! I don't want the roosters. They are mean ol things! Thanks so much for stopping by :) Loving all the comment love!

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  10. I like the way you tell a story! Very witty and intriguing.

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    1. Awww Jenna thank you!! I am blushing - love having you here! Thanks for reading and giving me such a wonderful compliment :)

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  11. Sorry to hear about the chickens. It seems this has become a very popular thing of people wanting to have chickens in their backyards. Good luck with our dreams, I am sure if you keep at it and stay focused, you'll get there!

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    1. Thanks Jessica :) Yep, when I bought this house I looked outside and thought, "I GOTTA GET GOATS!".....figured starting with some chickens might be a bit more practical! haha! Thanks for reading! :)

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  12. We had baby ducks one year. We went to the local feed store and picked them out. They were so cute! When they got to big for us we found a farm to take them. I think I'd like to have chickens one day. We will see :)

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    1. Hi Jen K :) Love me all this JEN love!!! Aren't the babies so so cute!??!? I was peeking at a few chick brooding websites and was just sitting here cracking up at how cute they all were....my husband was like WTF??? SO adorable. And yes! Chickens are said to be the bomb! Gotta get some!

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  13. GREAT post! Loved it. You have a great voice, glad SITS led me to your blog.

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    1. Thank you Janice!!! Makes my heart swell to hear things like that, you have no idea!! Thank you so much for reading and commenting - I love me some SITS love!!!

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  14. Sorry you can't get your chickens but when you do, you will love them! Not only are they entertaining and easy to take care off, fresh eggs are soooooo much better!

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    1. That is what I hear!! Everyone who gets hens ends up LOVING them.....really loving them, like lil family members. I think they are so cute and fluffy! I love how resourceful they are. It's gotta happen! I GOTTA HAVE 'EM! Thank you for reading :)

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  15. Aww, so sorry you can't have your chickens right now. It is always tough when you have to put your dream on hold. I hope it works out soon!

    Stopping in from SITS!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer! I am so glad you stopped by :) I heard recently my hood has an underground chicken movement trying to change the laws....we shall see! !!! !!! Fingers crossed!! :)

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  16. This is so beautifully written! You have a true talent and WHEN you write your book, I want a copy and will promo on my blog! You go girl! #SITSblogging P.S. I have always dreamed of having chickens, but can't in my neighborhood so I feel your pain girl... maybe one day right?!

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    1. Jennie!!! Thank you so much!!!!!! GAH - your comment is the best motivation - - - I'm going to come back and re-read it every time I feel like saying f-it!!! Thank you for reading ~ I am so grateful for SITS and for fellow writers like YOU! :)

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  17. I am so a city kind of gal so I can't relate to your desire to have chickens. It does stinks that you can't have them. I can relate to dreaming and giving up and dreaming again. This weekend I heard a speaker basically say, "If you want to be an author write the damn book!" Okay so I paraphrased because the talk was given at church but that is the message I took away. So simple, so profound! Good luck on NOT giving up on your dream,.

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    1. I love that summary and thank you so much for the encouragement! I am always telling myself to just DO it already....but something always holds me back. I just gotta go for it!! Thanks for reading!! :)

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  18. Oh my goodness this cracked me up! Parrot?! YES!!! And I'm way too lazy to even make myself a sammich. My big dream? To have people make sammiches for me. Goat cheese sammiches. Preferably made with Parrot's goat cheese.

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    1. Hey Jenn :) Isn't that always the way, tho? The dumb names I see in these magazines....like Root and Ferrari....I mean WTH? How does this even happen? And I LOVE your sammich dream. Don't give up!! HAHA and maybe if you're nice and promise to name your next child Aster or Gravy or something, Parrot will give you some of her goat cheese. Thanks so much for reading :)

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  19. I love this...I felt like I was actually in your head, the way you wrote this! When we have those setbacks, and it seems like others have their dreams come true easily...it's tough sometimes to put things in perspective. If it's worth it, you gotta go after it and work for it. I'm all about the journey to your dreams coming true!

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    1. Thank you Janelle!! I am so glad you came by and you are absolutely spot-on....sometimes I see all these writers with their NYT Best-Sellers and chickens galore and I start to think there's no way I can have it because they already got it - almost as if the magic was already used up by the person who was quicker or faster or better than me. I need to focus on my own path instead of the paths of others. Thank you for reading, it means so much to me!

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  20. Don't give up on those dreams! Thanks for sharing your feelings with us - I think most of us can relate in some way, shape or form.

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    1. Thank YOU for reading! I am gonna keep on, keepin on - someday those lil cluckers will be MINE! Muahahahaha

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