Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | January 1, 2014

The New Year: Acceptance and Moving Inward

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions but in having few wants.”  Esther De Waal, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict


Many of my friends and followers know that I am an active yoga and Reiki practitioner.

For those of you not familiar with yoga it is a sequence of movements that calms the mind, strengthens the body and inspires the soul. For those of you not familiar with Reiki energy healing; Reiki is hands on energy healing through the universal life force.


When the chakras are balanced and the blockages are cleared, both practices enhance my overall health and attitude. These metal and physical practices also help to calm my mind and keep me in balance. Even though I work at these practices everyday, sometimes it is still not easy for me. Staying in the present moment (and setting worries aside and “trusting” that all will be okay) is a practice I continue to work on every single day.


On the spiritual level, most of my personal work now is about the practice of acceptance – acceptance of my life as it is today. Accepting that I live in a rural area that is extremely poor and disadvantaged and that I think, believe and live differently than many others here.  This is just the way it is and although some days are very hard, this was my choice to move here, after all.

We have no senior center or community center in my community so the social life here revolves around the traditional church or the bars, and no disrespect intended, quite frankly I am not very interested in either. What I am interested in is love, family and community.

Some day I do struggle to find acceptance in this life that I am now living. Life on a tight retirees budget can be a struggle. And some days I grapple to accept that my gas budget is modest and that it only allows me to drive just twice a week into town for yoga and errands which in turn causes me to live a rather isolated life especially during the winter months.

Yet, I know that quality of life is not in driving around, shopping and spending and aging is learning to live gracefully with these limitations and this isolation as a result.


And now I am trying to accept a new reality that my hand-painted furniture is not selling here. Its more money is going out than is coming in and it’s time to let that go as well. I am closing my painting business. “Better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing flawlessly.” ~Robert H. Schuller

I’ve tried every options I could think of; consignment in five different shops in five different towns, Craig’s List, Art Hops and Art Walks, open houses, Facebook and more. But painted furniture us not selling in my area of Michigan. This is grief that is not going to be easy for me to accept.


I am also working to accept I am aging, graying, losing my muscle tone and no longer have the energy, or legs to power-walk five miles a day.  I am also working to accept that nobody told me that aging was going to be like this…I was told that there would be “golden retirement years” but my retirement will not be like that.

I’ve decided that my spiritual work now is on this path to acceptance.

This means many things; Letting go of control and acceptance of what is and what will be. Acceptance that my body is growing older and grayer and that life here is different than life in the city but that being self-sufficient and able to live a more simpler life are a good skills for whatever is coming; be it global warming, hydrolic fracking, flooding, drought etc.

We are now in our winter transition period which means snow and ice on the ground and I can no longer spend most of my day outside. Snow is on the ground, ice is on the roadways and more physical hours of the day are dark, dreary and depressing.

In the old days I sought out activities outside of my home to keep myself active. Activities like group exercising, individual walking, photography classes, girl friend gatherings but now at age 63.  Now I live an hour from any major city. the closest senior citizens center is 20 miles away each way.

I have come to the realization that I have no choice but to move inward. And I hope that by moving inward I find the peace and acceptance I need to live gracefully and long.


I will continue my blog but its focus will change from furniture to gardening, healthy cooking and living a simpler and sustainable life and other facets of my life. Wish me well!

I choose to live and love with my whole heart.

Just for today I will not angry.
Just for today I will not worry.
Just for to today I will be grateful.
Just for today I will do my work honestly.
Just for today I will be kind to every living thing.

Small House /Big Sky Donna



  1. Hi Donna! I found your blog through Miss Mustard Seed, don’t you just love her blog? Anyway, I’m just going through your posts and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve just turned 60, I was laid off of my job about three years ago. I’ve had a hard time finding a job that pays anywhere near what I was making before. My husband is self employed and makes just enough to support us. We considered moving to NH or ME (we live in MA) but have decided to stay here. The grandkids are about an hour away and we have another single daughter that just moved home with us. I used to teach decorative painting and love painting with Annie Sloan, haven’t tried MMSMP yet. I have a bag of another milk paint that I might try soon. Funny that painted furniture isn’t selling in your area. My problem is that everyone is painting furniture here in our area – I don’t see that many people buying it though. I have considered taking classes on massage or Reiki, but instead I am trying real estate. I got my license and have signed on with a real estate co in my town. I can’t get over how much it COSTS to become a real estate salesperson! I have always loved houses and going to open houses, I’m hoping I can actually make a small living selling houses, haha. Wish me luck! You have a beautiful home there by the way, love those winter pictures. I haven’t found pictures yet of your art studio, I’m hoping you have some on this blog. I would so love to have a studio! I do rug hooking, make rag rugs, make soap – that’s fun, I someday hope to have a loom, knit and crochet – would be great to have a “place” just for those things. I’m sorry to go on so long, I just felt a connection, I do wish you well in your journey.

    • W-O-W Jan, I LOVE your long note. I think that creative ladies of a certain age (ours!) just have a lot in common. Yes. I do love the MMM blog. She is so talented and always positive. Have you seen the number of followers she has for her blog? Youza! I just can’t believe how much renovation she is able to do on her house. I’m fortunate of I can redo one room a year! Guess this is her job and she kind of has to keep redoing to keep her readers reading and she has her parents help which makes a big difference. I feel for you with the job layoff…this has happened to so many. So sad. I’ve come to the conclusion that the money in the painted furniture arena is in selling the paint. But even that takes courage/risk to take out a loan to buy what is needed to get a shop up and running and of course in a geographic area where people will drive to. I have one friend who sells paint and she had to take out a large loan to make her paint purchases – not a risk I am willing to take at this time of life. I think your real estate choice is probably a sound one as long as you realize the starting a business (any business) takes time. When I owned a PR/MKT/ADV business in Kalamazoo, MI I consulted at the Stryker Small Business Center and work with entrepreneaurs. Some expected to make a bundle immediately, but usually it does not work that way. I know a young girl here in our Lake Michigan lakeshore/South Haven area who sold 31 properties in 2013 but I think that is not typical. This is a VERY UNIQUE resort area just two hours drive from Chicago and that effects its popularity and salability. Anyway, best of luck on your new career!
      At the bottom of my blog is a row of “sub titles”. There is one called “Studio Tour” when not too long ago I wrote a blog post about my studio. Try that.

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