It happened. Less than one month after going on the market – our current house is now under contract, and with that, the move to the farm and the building of the simple house is full steam ahead!

chaos to calm
We are so excited to now start work on the Simple House at the farm

We have affectionately dubbed 2016 as the “Year of Chaos.” On a mission to downsize and simplify our life – we knew that there would certainly be an adjustment period where things might get a little hectic, busy, and crazy.  (See: The Simple House Project)

Well, the aforementioned “adjustment period” is now well underway! The last 30 days have been filled with showings, inspections, paperwork and more on the current house, all the while taking on a whole new set of challenges with plan adjustments, permits and selections for the new house to be built at the farm. Throw in a senior graduating high school this year, the release of our book Growing Simple in May, and of course our full-time jobs – and I think that the “Year of Chaos” was the perfect name for 2016!

Choosing to Embrace the Challenge

So yes, all of that may seem ridiculous, and we certainly have had some crazy days lately – but we decided long ago that instead of allowing this year to cause stress and tension, we would embrace it and have fun with it. We both know that this is all just part of the process that will eventually lead us to the calm of a much more simple life at the farm – and that makes it all worth it!

Chaos to Calm
It will be mornings like this at the farm that make it all worth it

Mary and I have always been huge believers that you have a choice every single day to either let a situation control you, or to stay in control of the situation. No matter if something goes right or wrong, you really do control how you react to it.  

We know that there are going to be things out of our control, so why worry about them? Instead, we simply do what we can, and when something goes awry – spend our time fixing it instead of worrying about it.

Yes, things go wrong – in fact – a perfect example of that happened just last night. Some of you may have even received a blank email from us with the today’s post title as evidence.

chaos to calm
The Final Cover of our upcoming Growing Simple Book.

While writing this week’s Sunday Farm Update – I made a huge mistake! I can honestly say this is what happens at midnight when one falls asleep while typing on the couch and accidentally hits the “send” instead of “save” button! Mary looked at me and laughed and said, “oh well, you just proved the point we make mistakes. Nothing you can do about it – so why worry.” And with that, I went back to writing the real post.

There are moments that we need to stop, take a deep breath, and realize that everything will be okay. Part of that is simply accepting that we are going to make mistakes like last night, laugh about it – and move on!

From Chaos to Calm

A few weeks back, when we were finalizing the Growing Simple book cover for printing – we had the opportunity to add one simple subtitle to the front cover – and we chose the four words “From Chaos to Calm.”  That really does say it all for the farm, the book, the website, the house project, and most of all for us.

And speaking of the book, one final note – for next Sunday’s update, we have selected one chapter to share with all of you as a bit of preview for the upcoming release in May. With the book’s completion, we are so excited to finally have one more bit of the chaos turn to calm.

Here is to the Year of Chaos!  – Jim and Mary




8 thoughts on “Staying Calm Through Chaos – One House Sells, And A New Life Begins

  • May 16, 2016 at 11:53 am
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    We are also in the midst of downsizing from our too large home in town to our new life on our farm. The farm was established in 1915 and the old abandoned house and barn still stand ready to be renewed. We plan to put our house on the market by the end of summer and begin living full-time at the farm.

    You continue to inspire us with your accomplishments in reshaping your lives and life-style. Today I purchased your book and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I intend to purchase the hard copy also since I don’t always have my laptop with me.

    We also have several of your plans for the pergola, the outdoor kitchen, etc which will use at the farm.

    The barn on our farm is more than 100 years old and still in excellent condition, however it is too far from the house, so we have decided to relocate it and are thinking about rebuilding it smaller, and using the siding boards for the new floors in the old house.

    Could you please put an outline of the floor-plan for your new home? It would make it much easier for us to understand it’s lay-out and provide us with ideas for our own new small homes, and be much appreciated by us all.
    Thank you.

    Best of luck with all your endeavors.

  • April 27, 2016 at 5:39 pm
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    I just love your website. My Husband and I have built two homes now and I must say, your in for a real treat. Remember to communicate with each other at all times. You will do fine.
    We are also (again) living simple. We moved from Wyoming to Ca. and I have perfected a garden in Wyoming so Ca. should be easy, Right? Right.

    God Bless you and your family for sharing with us all!

    Marette Nagel

    • April 28, 2016 at 7:47 am
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      Thank you so much Marette! That always means so much when we hear it from our followers that they enjoy the site. And yes, CA should be a breeze to garden in after Wyoming!

  • April 25, 2016 at 7:33 am
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    Your post was so timely for us. We are in the midst of selling our house and beginning our new life on our farm – only we don’t even have electricity on the land yet. We began receiving offers and viewings on our current home, but haven’t put the house on the market yet. We are laughing our way through it all with our focus on our new calm life surrounded by nature and less stressful jobs. I can’t find anything – some stuff is in storage, some has been given to our children, and some sold. Like you, we are determined to enjoy every moment of it! Our thoughts are with you!

  • April 25, 2016 at 3:09 am
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    We used to say don’t sweat the small stuff and it is all small stuff. Life is just a little easier some times when don’t worry about the stuff you can’t fix. In this busy, busy world sometimes you really do need to stop and just breathe. Can’t wait to read your book.

  • April 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm
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    Thank you so much for sharing all of your tips! I have a history of a black, rather than green, thumb, but I was encouraged by your challenge to grow something this year. I often joke that I am the personification of Murphy’s Law, but accepting the things that go wrong and finding the humor in them makes life so much more enjoyable and entertaining. You guys seem to have a great attitude going into this season of chaos. I look forward to reading what’s in store!

  • April 24, 2016 at 12:16 pm
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    Knowing that the LORD on high is still in control of our lives makes it so much better. Bless you

  • April 24, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    I need your attitude and your new way of life. I think that is why I enjoy reading you so much. So far I am still like the church goer who gets fired up on sunday and slacks off the rest of the week but I am working on it. Less stress, less clutter. Here is to 2016.

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