1. any heavenly body.
2. a person's destiny, temperament, etc.

Whether you’re reading this because you’re gluten intolerant, suffer from PVFS or CFS, are starting to grow your own veggies, embracing natural and/or alternative remedies, or just want to enjoy the journey with us, please remember I’m not a medical expert, nor am I here to debate global warming. Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness, looking for answers or changing the way one lives can all be overwhelming events, so I hope that by sharing the triumphs and tragedies, you too will benefit in some way from our journey.

I hope you enjoy the journey and if you leave this blog having learnt only one new recipe or started to think about finding your star, then this blog’s purpose has been served.

My two favourite sayings:
Pondering the choices we make at the crossroads is like revision in the school of life. Regretting the mistakes or taking for granted the successes means we have learnt nought.
An attentive student will gain wisdom from the mistakes and joy from the successes. Cartillyer – 2008

'Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.' Mohandas Gandhi

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

From Grief to Dream

When I first discovered that I couldn’t eat gluten, I was devastated; even more so when I realised how many products contain gluten. You can read about my coming to terms with gluten grief in an older post – The 7 Stages of My Gluten Grief. 

Many people tell me how terrible they feel for me, but I’ve realised that I’m the lucky one. Not only am I healthier, but it helped us realise what we wanted in our lives. For us, it was a natural progression from frustrating illness to pursuing our dream.

I couldn’t eat wheat or gluten.  
= I started reading the labels of all we ate. 
= I realised just how much crap is in our food.
= I changed our diet to whole foods as much as possible.
= Further research revealed store bought fruit and vegetables absorb toxic pesticides. 
= I switched to organic as much as financially possible. 
= I felt good about feeding my family better. 
= Started growing our own organic fruit and vegetables to save money. 
= Despite not being much of a gardener, I found gardening therapeutic. 
= Our limited growing space created much frustration (we want an orchard, multiple veggie plots for crop rotation, we want chickens for eggs, bees for honey and a cow for our own milk.) 
= Holidays at a farm stay improved my health and the rural townspeople were so welcoming that we felt more at home there. 
= Our dream was shaped – we want to be as self-sufficient as possible in a rural location.

It didn’t all happen as simply and as quickly as that and there were a few others factors that played a part, for example, I’ve lived in rural areas in the past and loved it, and reading books like The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma made me realise what’s important in life. 

As I researched about whole foods, I learned about other factors that reduce our quality of life – stress, isolation, losing touch with the earth, having/owning/wanting too much and absorbing too much information. Life for most people seems to be about doing as little as possible to earn as much as possible, so they can own as much as they can, which, in most cases, results in being fat, lazy and selfish. At some point, I started to realise I wanted a simpler, healthier and happier life for my family – One  that didn't include being fat, lazy and selfish!

Although we haven’t yet achieved our dream, it continues to grow. Once our rural lifestyle has been established, we want to provide accommodation for others to enjoy a farm stay on our property.

It’s a huge dream made even bigger by the lack of funds, but we don’t let that deter us. I continue to read about beekeeping, chickens and house cows. I persevere with growing our own organic produce, practise preserving the harvest when fruit and vegetables are in season, and save heirloom seeds.  We put lotto on every week, approach prospective employers in the rural areas we want to move to and Mr T has met with a careers adviser to help us find ways to get his foot in the door.

We’ve also enrolled in a B&B course. We decided a $900 investment learning what’s involved in running accommodation was worth it. The last thing we wanted to do was spend thousands of dollars setting up accommodation and then realise it wasn’t for us.

One of the biggest hurdles is fear, especially the ‘what ifs’. What if the kids don’t settle well into their new school? What if Mr T finds work and it doesn’t last? What if Mother Nature wipes us out season after season? What if my health continues to get worse instead of better? What if we fail? There are so many what ifs, but these can be overcome. Fear soon started to dissipate as we answered the ‘what ifs’.

I researched home schooling and realised we could do it if it came to that. If things got so bad that we effectively failed at our dream, we could always move back to Melbourne and start again. It’s better to say we tried our hardest rather than never tried at all.

We get one go at life and I don’t want to finish it regretting that we didn’t do all we could to reach for our dreams.

I believe that we have to keep looking for the good that we can get out of the bad. Things happen for a reason and I am so glad that I can’t eat gluten or wheat anymore!

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