If you were born a city slicker like me, you would probably understand my dilemma. Three years ago, my family and I pulled up roots from New York City and moved to a 15-acre farm in upstate New York. The moving company came on a Saturday morning, just as the sun arched over our Upper East Side building. By that afternoon, every last possession was loaded onto the Imperial Moving (www.imperialmovers.com) truck, and we were en route to our new home in the middle of nowhere. Moving from bustling Manhattan to a quiet estate in the countryside was quite a culture shock, to say the least.
During the three years on the farm, I have learned many things. My family’s lives have been enriched in ways that I never thought was possible. Here are seven great lessons this city mouse learned by moving to the farm:
1. Mother Nature Has Her Time Schedule
When I worked in a fast-paced office in Manhattan, I was used to instant service. I pressed one button and got the photocopies I needed. With a few clicks of a mouse, my report was sent to the boss via email. My skim-milk latte was ready within minutes of Skyping my intern. However, farm life doesn’t run on the same instant schedule. Gardening and animal care take time.
My stress level has gone down a lot since I learned to take the time to enjoy life. Stress can be the culprit of many diseases. I have learned a lesson from our cows–never be in a hurry and do not worry.
2. Animals Are A Perfect Example
No wonder so many people love farm animals. Have you ever heard the contented clucking of a chicken scratching in the garden? I never had pets in the city. I learned that animals love us unconditionally, and ask very little from us. Wouldn’t life be better if we loved others like that?
3. Country Folks Are A Breed Of Their Own
If you live in a big city crowded with millions of people, you can still feel lonely. The wonderful thing my family learned about our new country neighbors was how hospitable they are. They were eager to help us poor city folk learn the tricks of the farming trade, patiently teaching us how to garden, care for livestock, and churn out dairy products. Their families are their most cherished thing in their lives. I am proud to say that we now share this appreciation for one another.
4. Home Cooking Is Best
Statistics say that 20% of Americans eat at restaurants at least once a week. Our obsession with fast-food may be the cause for the alarming statistics of obesity in our country. Since our family started growing and preparing our food, I wonder how we were ever satisfied with the unhealthy stuff prepared at most fast-food places. Now, we know exactly what goes into our meals. When you cook at home, you get the vitamins and minerals you need, without all the artificial ingredients.
5. The Outdoors Provides Excellent Exercise
You can cancel your expensive gym membership when you move to the country. My family and I get plenty of exercise by doing work around the farm. We also enjoy long walks through the woods, which is another great form of exercise.
6. We Can Live With Less Technology
When we lived in New York, we were drowning in technology with cell phones, computers, television, and other technical equipment always at our fingertips. The farm completely liberated us. You still need technology for work and occasional fun; however, you will be surprised at how much quality family time you gain when you limit device usage. Our family now has meaningful conversations around the dinner table and enjoys playing board games.
7. The Air Is Cleaner In The Country
My son no longer needs a prescription inhaler since we moved to the farm. Fumes from factories and vehicles make city air much harder to breathe but the abundance of plants in the country provides fresh oxygen.
If you are considering a move to the country, you will be glad that you did. It will take time to get used to, but you will. The slower- paced life and all the wonderful country neighbors will make you feel right at home. We would not have it any other way!