About

Since you’ve found your way here, you’re probably already questioning the story you’ve been told about what a normal life is supposed to look like. Bet you’re not buying it any more, either.

This site is about questioning the little boxes of education, home ownership, working for the man until 65, healthcare, and consumerism when you find you just don’t fit in them.

I find inspiration in a community of creative, fulfillment-seeking, spiritual non-conformists who challenge the status quo. I like to write about financial independence, education independence, and location independence, sharing my own imperfect exploration along the way.

I occasionally sprinkle in some non-sequitur poetry and stories about my kids, who are too awesome not to write about.

Who I Am

I’m a single mom of three kids. I’ve earned a great living working as a freelance copywriter for over 10 years. I worked in advertising for over 20 years, so I had a front-row view of how we are researched and micro-targeted to buy. I recently got my teaching certificate and took on a side hustle as an Education Specialist with a charter school, so I can get paid to independently educate my kids.

Speaking of my kids, they’re gifted autodidacts who learn through a recipe-free soup of eclectic homeschooling, travelschooling, and unschooling, taking advantage of the cool educational opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area, an epicenter of education innovation. I hope to raise entrepreneuers, not employees.

I plan to travel around the world with my kids before they have other things to do than hang out with their mom.

 

The Back Story

In 2013, my husband, three kids, and I decided to throw off our million-plus dollar albatross, I mean home, in the San Francisco Bay Area and trade in a mainstream life of stuff and overwhelm for nine acres of off-grid heaven, complete with a pond, oak trees, and a clear shot to a wifi tower. Our goal was a more conscious life of financial independence, personal freedom, and purposeful use of our time and resources with our kids. We were on track for financial independence and traveling the world for a year.

I started this site to document our journey for our forehead-smacking family and friends, and picked up some lovely, encouraging readers along the way. I loved interacting with folks who were living or craving a creative life different from consuming what we are spoon-fed.

Dropping off the blogging grid.

Then, at the end of 2015, I dropped off the blogging grid to deal with a marital crisis I never saw coming. That’s another story for another blog. Under a pseudonym.

Suffice it to say that living off-grid was untenable while I tried to pick the pieces of myself off the ground. So, I rented a 900-square foot home back near my community in mainstream civilization, furnished it with $640 of free and cheap stuff from Freecycle and Craigslist, moved in with my three kids, slept on the used sofabed in the living room, and filed for a divorce. Ironically, or perhaps serendipitously, I moved back the same month my car with over 300,000 miles on it died, my 18-year-old cat died, and we had paid off our last dollar of debt.

Living a post-consumer life in a consumer world.

For a year and a half, I made my way back into what, on the outside, looked like a fairly mainstream life while trying to stabilize. I put my homeschooled kids back in school for a year-long experiment. I sold the pick-up truck and drove my parent’s old Honda Accord back from Chicago. I both cried and sighed with relief when the RV was sold, then the land. I gave in to the ease of using paper towels and producing greater than zero waste. I got two new cats.

But on the inside, I am a different person. One who rejoices in the miracle of a dishwasher, flush toilets, a wash machine, compounding interest, and my greatest teachers—my children.

Now, with the earth stabilized under my feet, I realize that this has all been a part of my story. The resourcefulness. The resilience. The rising to challenge. And yes, even the beauty. A classic heroine’s journey into the dark forest and back home again, transformed. Still transforming.

This is where I pick up where I left off on my journey of a more conscious, creative life of financial independence, personal freedom, and not buying into what is normal. I’m still a non-conformist who eschews the idea of outsourcing my children’s education to a previous century’s system, working in a cubicle for a salary, home ownership, accepting debt as a necessary evil, and so much more. Only now, I’m doing it as a single mom.

In a way, this story is just getting really good. I get to apply what I’ve learned, am still learning, and share it with anyone who has a non-conformist curiosity about how someone else might be doing it. Postconsumer Life: The Sequel.

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