Lack of Motivation in the ‘Burbs

monster turnip

I’ve put a picture of my monster Snowball turnip up, despite the fact that it has nothing to do with this post. A more relevant picture would be my miserable mug staring back at you, but I took the executive decision to spare any Smallest Smallholding blog readers the horror of enduring that kind of imagery. Prepare yourself, this post is not going to be light relief.

Ugh. I’m basically in a pretty pissed off kind of mood. Again. And yes, it’s money again – bloody money! I’m the weakest link in the microcosm of Lucy and Rich. If it wasn’t for me being useless, we’d be comfortably afloat every month instead of having to bale ourselves out some way or another. I have work, but it’s not enough. I think I may have just lost a client because I wasn’t comfortable with what the work entailed and passed on it. I have no idea when my next writing job will be and it’s starting to keep me awake at night. Or when I finally get to sleep I’m having anxiety nightmares where I’m back working for my boss from hell and feeling extremely stressed. The result is I wake up feeling tired and stressed, spend the day looking for work and getting nowhere, feel very unproductive and a complete waste of space and go to bed, feeling tired and stressed still. My face has broken out so I look like a join-the-dots game, I’m pale and washed out, and I generally don’t look like someone you’d want to be associated with. Poor Rich.

I don’t know. I just feel like such a loser. I was destined for great things. Teachers at school and even at my crappy local uni told me I had so many avenues open to me, that I had lots of talent blah blah blah. And yet, here I am, not making anything of my life apart from keeping hens and growng vegetables, wasting every day that passes trying to find work that’ll fit in with the life I want to build. I’d love to be the Anita Roddick of the Good Life movement, spreading the message to the world. Or do what Jimmy Doherty does – enlightening people, inspiring them and getting people in the groove of the way I aspire to live. I just don’t know where to begin or how to do it outside of this blog. It’s been a bit of an enlightening journey for me, but sometimes it all seems so far out of reach.

I could jack it all in and just start commuting to London (if they’d have me, getting on for 26 I think I am past doing internships and couldn’t afford to do them now anyway, so would have to start all over again and climb the greasy, slippery bitchy career ladder), or get a job in one of my local towns and at least have money rolling in regularly. Thing is, I’d feel even worse I think. Like I was giving up on my dream and just joining the rat race and getting sucked in.

But I’m just SO pissed off with earning pittance and feeling like I’m furiously pedalling forwards but not going anywhere. I wake up every day thinking “right, this is it, this is the day I turn it all around”, and then just end up wasting my time browsing the web, posting on forums, trying to come up with ideas but getting stuck and getting very very downbeat about everything. I get fed up with living in a craphole too. The house is very slowly but steadily falling into disrepair and it’s amazing how much of an effect it has on my mood. Sometimes I just sit here and feel like crying because I just can’t see a way out. I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to contribute towards a mortgage.

I’ve tried getting part-time work, but I don’t want to have to spend mountains of money on petrol to get into town, only to be paid what equates to a crap wage when I could potentially be doing something here off my own back and keeping all the money for myself (minus, of course, Income Tax and N.I. – no escaping them!). I also have the big problem that my back problems mean that I can’t spend a whole day sitting at a computer. Nor can I do heavy lifting, or stand on my feet all day. You’d be amazed at how many jobs that rules out. I need a sort of happy medium, which is why freelancing has helped me so much in that regard. Employers in the past have said my back won’t be a problem, but quickly get shitty when you have to take a break to stand up and move around because your back muscles are threatening to go into spasm (it’s more painful than it sounds). Or you can’t lift something and aren’t seen to be doing everything your job entails, despite telling them before you took the job.

I don’t know. It all sounds so pitiful and I probably come across as if I’m feeling very sorry for myself. I’m not – I’ve only got myself to blame and finding the energy, the determination and the inspiration to work really hard on my projects is extremely difficult. Once you’re in this sort of loop and perpetually knackered and down in the mouth it’s hard to find a means to claw your way out. I guess it’s the difference between having strength of character to work under your own steam and not. The more you feel like a failure, the worse you get.

I’m just not in a good place at the moment and I’m struggling to push myself to achieve something that I’m proud of, and make a decent living for once in my life. I have no structure and no definitive goals, just these projects I want to get going but need a little capital to start up. Finding the capital – or even just staying afloat and not being charged £25 everytime I go overdrawn – seems like a mammoth task at the moment. I just feel like I’m in a total mess.


  1. No doubt you’ll get a lot of sympathy through the comments on here and of course you have mine but I think you’re missing a trick here. I’m not sure how big your readership is on this blog but you may well find yourself connected to quite a few people who might be able to put work your way. I work in a university in Birmingham and the West Midlands with very strong connections to the creative industries, to the kind of companies who might need your skills and who often work with home workers like yourself. Actually I’m not sure if I’m of any use at all to you as I can’t find something here that is specific about what you do (other than a reference to copywriting) or links to examples of your work. Where will I find your CV? Do you have a website related to your work? Where’s the Lucy blog for work? I’d love to tweet a link out on your behalf (

    If there’s one thing social media has going for it, it’s the power of the network. Use us, we might surprise you. I’d love to see what you do professionally and see if there isn’t a way to recommend you. If I can’t then you may find others can.


  2. Amanda Tomsett says

    Hi there
    I was in that place recently. last year i finally took the plunge to leave full time employment as a Financial Manager, after 20 years working in an accounts and finance area i now run a small village shop. The work is hard, long and like you struggling with the finance side, so much in fact that i decided to do another part time job in the city 8 miles away. in the past this would have been a dream job and the reason that i am writing to you is to say never, never give up on yourself or your dream. my dream is to eventually become self sufficient, but the only way that i can do that is to keep my eye on what i want and not be diverted by other things. This dream job lasted 3 days! the reasons why i left last year in the first place came flooding back, now i know the lack of money will be tight for a while yet, but after going back into the rutt, suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad and i know somehow we’ll make it.
    The previous letter from Dave made me smile,isn’t it nice to know that there are people out there that want to help us all.
    keep the faith.
    regards Amanda

  3. I don’t have any practical advice like Dave, but do have a hug for you as it sounds like you really need it at the moment.


  4. Lucy,

    Sorry to hear you are so down at the moment – you have a great blog site going and lots of people empathising with you.

    Probably won’t help to cheer you up, but we have recently taken on some rescue hybrid warren type hens – not battery, but ex-free-range & organic (their only crime was to reach the ripe old age of 2 years old so they are no longer “economically viable”). We have far more than we need, so if you and Rich would like one or two as a replacement for Pattie, you are more than welcome. They are lovely girls, small, brown, healthy and friendly and still laying well. We are just the Buckingham side of Milton Keynes, so probably not too far away.

    We can fully sympathise with you over the loss of Pattie, as in the past we’ve spent a small fortune on vets bills for hens, ducks and ferrets, (usually to no avail!).

    Your core values are what really matter in this world; keep them in focus and however hard it gets, things will come right for you in the end.

    Tim & Eve

  5. Big HUGS from me ..and I applaud you for rejecting work which does not live up to your ethics…its hard but you WILL get through this and find other work! Someone with your obvious skills and talents will find a way 🙂

  6. Hi Lucy
    I have just found your blog today and have been spent some time looking through it. I just wanted to say that what you are doing is truly amazing and inspiraional. I have had a dream for the last 20+ years for this kind of lifestyle. Instead I followed the work, career and rat race route. This year I started to grow vegetables, planning to keep chickens and I am retraing so that I can work at and near home. Hopefully this is the first step to fulfilling my dream. I will keep a close eye on your blog now for tips and inspiration.
    I think I saw somewhere that you are in Bedfordshire – so I am
    Good luck with everything

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