As most fathers who have gone through divorce or separation in this country can attest, using a lawyer (just about mandatory) is the most debilitating financial action one can go through. I’ll say it again – spending copious amounts of money on legal action that I really dont want and having flipping nothing to show for it at the end of it all. And despite me begging to stay out, I found myself in court on 4 or 5 occasions. The most expensive single day? $4K. So that I could win one more hour with my children a week.
My costs to the lawyer could have bought several second hand vehicles. Not the 1999 kind either. Could have paid the farm mortgage for a couple years. Could have leased a brand new large 4WD tractor for around 6 years. Could have…. you get the picture.
In arriving here on the Wet Coast I havent seen my children much. It bothers me a great, flipping great deal. My whole life was geared towards one point, and thats family. Not having them around is the single most painful event possible, outside of a child’s death.
I might have found a place now. Serendipitously, its on the edge of a farm which I have always admired since first laying eyes on it about 7 years ago. I aim to make friends with the farm boss (I think its owned by a large corp now), and bring my daughters to scope out the cows and the like. Smelling their big old poop and pee smell was surprisingly a welcome event and I felt all kinds of nostalgic.
The driving will suck and of course, I have to have a vehicle. Jury is out whether this will be more cost effective than staying in Victoria itself, but hopefully the venue and immediate access to nature will be worth the cost of time and money.
I’ve also dipped my toes into work again. This feels so good, as I’ve had early success. Careful to not go crazy, while frankly I’m dealing with baby tiny new potatoe sized funds to get it going.
Whats that done for me is learning for the first time in my life how to budget. I’ve come across some spiffy information from people who I feel a very weird connection with. This is not perhaps thinking I’ve found my (financial) tribe, it IS finding my tribe. They’re the kind of people who scavenge despite being financially independant, who insist of driving ten year old cars (at the newest) whose MPG are on the leanest end of commercial offerings.
They’re the kind of people who espouse stoicism and good choices and how putting every dollar I have to work for me is one of the most freeing choices I could ever make. In this process of feeling abundance (try negative visualisation for an immediate joy boost) I’ve been able to escape into nature (my go to for healing and comfort when I’m beat up by the world) and find my true desires and BOYO are they minimal.
Jill always dreamed of a simple life and the funny thing is that I couldnt accurately describe that for myself in the way she possibly could. I visualised it quite differently in a way in practice. Not only did we buy a large farm, with more land than I have ever had before (as in. WAY MORE.), but larger outbuildings and barns than I could ever had dreamed of. And then, taken on more tasks and more jobs than it was smart to do, or even reasonable. Trying to get it all done in one calendar year meant a stress load that was inhuman.
The reason I mention this is because being forcibly removed from my farm and all the hard work I did everywhere wasn’t my choice in the slightest. I had offered to pay for it all and make it work and do the maintenance etc etc. It was the life we had dreamed of right?
Well, not really. Too much work, too much stress and I became a focused tunnel vision dude to the likes of which reminded me of how I did things to win in the army stuff. Its a strength of mine to go way beyond the physical and mental capabilities of the vast majority of people, but it can also blow the people I love and care about off quite easily. Kind of a like a personal sword of Damacles.
Being forced away has forced me over the many months of heartache, tears and isolation from the people I love most to really reconsider what I had been doing. And that is the gift.
This gift has allowed me to see that at the deepest core of me, I do actually value simplicity and people be damned (voices in my head of people I have to impress for example). Having lost it all, its helped me realise that I dont want it all. A simple roof, with long lasting construction in a small easy liveable place that I dont have to worry about is the ticket. I’ll write more about that next. I expect it will be short and simple. Much like the vision.