I have had several “let’s be real” conversations

about how much debt we’re going to try to pay back this year, how much production we’re realistically able to pull off, and how much we have detested the slow-but-steady increase in the pace of things around here every year. Our 2012 was beyond ridiculously busy. “All work and no play makes Kathryn go non-linear.” We had to dial back our plans and expectations, or at least work smarter rather than harder. So this weekend we started to recrunch numbers to see what we could do with a more sane pace of production. We also decided to do a few things really well, rather than branch out into new areas of production and maybe waste a lot of time, money and effort in those learning curves. While our total earnings will be less over 2013, I think we have a much better chance now of arriving at our next New Year’s with some shreds of sanity still intact.
Interestingly, we’re still discussing whether to get the combine so that we can start raising/harvesting our own feeds, and we’re now talking again about doing some tree harvesting even with the development moratorium I talked about last week. The numbers for the combine are just TOO good – we’d spend around $3000 getting that monster home, and we could plant and harvest our first grain crops this year. Given that we currently spend $300/week on grains for feed, we’d have a rapid ROI. So we might go forward with that. The jury is still out on how best to tap the income potential of the trees, but that’s one of today’s projects.
So, to all you Type A folks out there, yes we can push too hard to pay off debt, particularly when we a) get angry about how much we owe and b) can adjust our hours worked up/down according to our own goals. The migraine on Wednesday was proof positive that I was pushing those goals too hard. The Millie moment was that DH and I actually decided not only how much we want to earn this year, and how fast to pay off debt, but also what kind of quality of life we wanted in the mix. It’s one thing to scrimp and save but it’s another to try to push so hard that we make ourselves sick. No point in that at all. So we’re marching a little more slowly and carefully into 2013 this week, looking for ways to work smart, rather than hard.