Lifestyle Choices – Need To Be Decided Carefully

Reader Contribution by Bruce Mcelmurray
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 How many times have you heard that life is full of choices, some good and some bad?   Those choices when you decide to live remote like we do can be very important choices.  Perhaps that phrase is used as often as it is because it is true and applies in a big way to your future life and whether it is easier or more difficult.  This blog is part mountain man philosopher and part experience. Experience counts for most if not all  of the philosophy.   

When we decided we were going to live full time in the mountains we discussed the problems we thought we would encounter and probably talked it to death. All those what if’s were discussed in detail. We knew we would heat with a wood stove, that our property was a jumble of trees both living and dead, that there was a ton of hard work to make it suitable for living.   We also knew that moving to the side of a mountain that averages 264″ of snow a winter had challenges we probably could not anticipate. (see photo of snow on roof) We knew that lifestyle choice would dictate our future happiness.  

The first choice that should be made is that both partners understand the commitment involved and are prepared to both work equally toward that goal.  We have seen others take the same challenge as we did and not make it through the first winter.  We entered this challenge together and in agreement that we  were both willing to work to achieve the lifestyle we both wanted.  That was a good decision as we have witnessed other couples who attempted the same goal and after one or two years abandoned their dream in the face of reality.  One or the other was not fully committed and that left the other person to make adjustments and carry the major burden of living remote.  If not approached with the proper attitude it can be hard for two but if everything falls on one person it can be very daunting.

So a good choice is to make sure one party of the relationship is not just going along for the ride and is willing to contribute to the effort.  It probably sounds difficult to those who are used to city living with all the amenities available but in fact our lives are so balanced by sharing the tasks at hand that life on the side of a mountain is actually quite pleasant.  Instead of one person pulling at each end of the rope we both pull on the same end with neither of us having to drag the other along.  Had we not discussed tasks ahead of time and both committed to them, life as we know it would be difficult.  After 15 winters we still pull together to handle tasks like sharing the removal of snow and getting in firewood. There have been adjustments along the way, however, having made the major decisions those small adjustments come easier.  

So as I commence listing some of our good decisions and comparatively some of our bad decisions in future blogs, it is with the intent to help others use our experience and life choices to  make better decisions for themselves.  The first good decision we made was to fully discuss a totally different lifestyle neither of us had experienced before and come to agreement  it was what we both wanted.  Also that we were willing to work together to achieve that goal.  Any doubts or problems need to be worked out before you take that step, otherwise it will create a huge stumbling block somewhere down the road.  

As I post decisions we have made in upcoming blogs they will include such topics as buying raw land, wood stoves, tractors, downsizing, adding improvements and a few other topics.  Our nearest medical facility is 42 miles away, and our nearest movie theater is 50 miles away.  Our dogs vet is almost 70 miles away.  These all need to be discussed and decided before the need arises. Having a fixed plan removes a lot of the surprise element of living in the mountains.  So in upcoming blogs those are some of the choices that can be very important and potentially life changing that can have a serious impact on your life.  Step one is making sure you are both on the same page and talking with each other until you are hoarse plus making sure any  problems are resolved before you make the big move.

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