My Dream Day
Originally written in October of 2017.
I wake up in my warm bed, buried under several heavy quilts. I’m in my bedroom, laying next to my husband, in our modest cabin in the mountains of western Montana. I’m surrounded by several windows with lots of early morning sunlight pouring through, and I can smell coffee coming from the kitchen. Our house has three bedrooms, and two bathrooms, the house itself is about 1500 square feet or so, and one story.
Update as of June 2023: We have a 1,600-square-foot house with four bedrooms, a home office, two indoor bathrooms, and a snazzy little outhouse. We’re in the far northwestern corner of Montana, about 4,200 feet up in the Salish Mountains. It’s 2.5 stories instead of one; sometimes I wish it were one floor so it could be more accessible for guests, but I genuinely love our home. We have two southern-exposure windows and a skylight in our bedroom. There are big windows and three more skylights throughout the rest of our house. I never smell coffee in the mornings when I wake up because I now grind my own beans and use a French press. 2017-Sarah was sorely missing out by using pre-ground coffee and a drip machine.
I climb out of bed and leave my husband to wake up at his own leisure. I pull on my clothes and boots and head to the barn to feed, coffee mug in hand, my dog, Blair, by my side.
2023: My husband leaves for work before sunrise; I get up just after. Blair is still with us, and he is still right by my side when I feed and water the critters. I also have two sweet little shadows, my son and my daughter, to go with me.
Our barn is on the smaller side. It has two stalls for horses on one side, and on the other it has a mini tack/feed room, and a long ‘stall’ suitable for sick or pregnant goats and cattle. Both sides of the barn have a lean-to attached, for shade and shelter for animals on one end, and to store round bales and machinery on the other. The barn has two main groups of pastures extending from it, though the entire property is fenced in, complete with a gate and cattle guard at the driveway entrance. To the side of the barn, sits a hen house and its corresponding run. Just down from that sits a wood house, and sets of solar panels.
2023: We don’t have a barn built yet but we have decided on a build site and we’ll be using lumber from our own property to make it. We have a henhouse with a run. A goat barn with a small paddock. One large rabbit hutch. We have an A-frame woodshed. An in-progress 500-square-foot greenhouse. Our property doesn’t have a perimeter fence yet, but we have cleared the treeline so we can do that later.
After feeding our pair of horses, two cattle, a flock of friendly hens, and a small herd of goats, I come back inside to start breakfast. Maybe it’s eggs and sausage, biscuits and gravy, or a simple waffle. By now, Devin is waking up, and we have breakfast together in front of our big picture window, overlooking our wraparound veranda, the nearby mountains, and the ponderosa pines.
2023: We have fifteen extremely friendly hens, fifteen guineas, five dairy goats, and a dozen rabbits. Every morning I eat breakfast in front of a big picture window at a table I made with my own two hands. I have two toddlers, a boy who looks like his daddy and a girl who looks just like me. They eat with us at that table every day. We don’t have a wrap-around veranda, but our little porch is perfect. We have an incredible view of the Whitefish Range and the Canadian Rockies to our north. Almost all the other trees are cedar, larch, and fir. We have one lone ponderosa pine in our flower field; our horse barn will be carefully built right behind it.
After breakfast, I go to the porch, or the overstuffed recliner- depending on the season, and I write. I don’t care if it’s a freelance project, my blog, or even another book, but I write for an hour at least.
Now I can do my work. I may go off to a part-time seasonal job I love. Or I may have work that needs done with rental properties or the guest cabins on our property. Or I may do some more freelance jobs online. Maybe I’ve got a project going on that involves a camper renovation. Or, I could spend some time with the animals- fencing, deworming, desensitizing, and pasture cycling are all never ending jobs. I could also do any work around the house, or outside, such as firewood work or gardening.
2023: I write at least 1,000 words a day every single day, up to 12,000 words on really busy days. Writing is my full-time job, and I don’t need to do any other work to pay the bills. I was totally right about the never-ending jobs. Right now, my to-do list consists of finishing the greenhouse, putting up a perimeter jackleg fence, relocating our garden fence, thinning trees for wildfire prevention, splitting firewood for our woodstove, and picking out trees for the barn.
Once I finish my work, I want to use what’s left of the day for Devin and I. We can go out on the horses, do some trails with dirt bikes, kayak or float one of the nearby rivers, shoot, hunt, hike, or go for a jog.
2023: We have a dirtbike, an ATV, kayaks, and all the gear we need to hunt or fish. We spend a lot of time on the trails and water during the summer. I quit running a few years ago due to a dog bite injury, but I love to walk. I can cover 15-20 miles pretty easily in a day.
To finish up my dream day, I’d like to feed our animals together, and then fix dinner as a team. Devin and I are very accustomed to spending almost every waking moment together, and we like it that way.
2023: We get to eat dinner as a family every single night. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. Most evenings, he helps me finish up dinner and wash the dishes when he gets home.
A few times a year, I’d like to fly our closest friends and families to us, and I’d also like the freedom of visiting them ourselves if we want.
In later years, I may foster or even adopt a multi sibling group. Losing my dad at a young age gave me the incessant fear that my mother would become sick or die and that my sisters and I would be split up. I think that would be a worthwhile and purposeful thing to do with my life. I may also decide to have children of my own at some point or another.
2023: Devin’s family visits us three or four times a year, and we visit them, plus my grandparents and aunts, about once a year. I wouldn’t admit it in 2017, but the reason why I grew up afraid of my siblings and me being split up was because I thought someone would see my bruises and CPS would take us away. My mom told us that siblings are always separated and that is why I didn’t try to get help. I haven’t fostered or adopted yet but that is only because my children are young (two and four years old). For safety reasons, I want my biological children to be the oldest in our household. As they get older, I will start the process of becoming a foster parent. I even had a tubal ligation so I can ensure that I have all the time, energy, and space I need to be a good mother to foster kids. Reunification is the goal of foster care, and I wholly support that, but I am open to later adopting if that is what the kids want or need.
So what’s the purpose of my Dream Day?
I have a dream, which has helped me to actualize, plan, and now start working on my goals. By planning out my dream day, I can decipher what’s actually important to me. For instance, just look at this list that can be gathered just from my dream day:
What I DO want:
- a remote piece of property
- a modest and cozy cabin with lots of windows
- a few animals
- time with Devin
- time for writing
- time to have animals
- time for hobbies (horses, a hobby farm, kayaking, river tubing, trail riding, hunting, fishing, hiking, and jogging)
- to be active, healthy, strong, and capable
- financial freedom that allows me to choose my own work or jobs as well as a few sources of passive income like rental properties or an on-site guest cabin
- the ability to retire my husband from his job so he can focus on his hobbies and be an all-around mountain man
- the ability to provide for my friends and family to come to us or us to go to them
- to give back to the community, most likely by adopting or fostering children
- to blog, write, connect with other people, and be part of a helpful and supportive online community
- peace, privacy, and a routine
- coffee, obviously
What I DON’T want:
- time spent on my phone, social media, or unnecessary internet time, which means I don’t need a smartphone
- time spent in front of the TV- I definitely don’t need cable, and may not even want hulu
- frivolous items, like new vehicles, clothes, expensive makeup, etc
- time away from Devin
- fast food, housekeepers, or other unnecessary conveniences where I delegate tasks that I should be doing because they are good for me and bring me peace and routine.
Knowing exactly what I want makes it easy for me to plan my next moves and what needs to be done to make my dreams a reality. This makes it easier to break down my finances and the next steps to make this happen.
What does your dream day look like?
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