Interview and Book Giveaway: And I Shall Have Some Peace There, Margaret Roach

Update: The winners have been chosen! If you didn’t win, you can purchase a copy of And I Shall Have Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road on Amazon.

I recently received a copy of Margaret Roach’sbook And I Shall Have Some Peace There.

I was not previously familiar with Margaret’s wildly popular garden blog, A Way to Garden, but I was fascinated to learn about her transition from editorial director of Martha Stewart Omnimedia to full-time gardener at her country house in upstate New York.

I know a lot of people who fantasize about giving up monetary success to create success on their own terms, so I was grateful to learn a little from Margaret’s experience.

Though I am only about half-way through Margaret’s book—and really enjoying it!—I decided to ask her a few questions that may be helpful to anyone who is considering a major life change.


1. When you decided to leave your job, did you feel you knew for certain that this was the right choice for you?

Getting to a certain age helps with “certainty,” if there is such a thing in any action we ponder or take. Finally, when I approached my 50s, I knew that I would simply dry up and blow away if I didn’t bolt.

And I knew that I was getting too old to pretend that forever and ever lies ahead; carpe diem.

I don’t think I was certain at all what life here would be like. I don’t think we can really accurately forecast what lies across any threshold. But I knew that life back there—the urban static, the disconnection from outdoors and its creatures, the rhythm dictated by a back-to-back meetings and not my internal pulse—was too brutal.

For all of my adult life, I felt as if I was the spirit of a hippie-chick back-to-the-lander trapped inside the body and skyscraper existence of a corporate executive.

I had effectively squelched that person who wanted to live close to nature—allowing her only weekend passes into the garden, little teases like the garden was her long-distance lover, and then snatching it away every Sunday night.

I finally let the other aspect of Margaret have the car keys, if you know what I mean. And she drove like hell, to the woods.

2. Did you have any nagging fears that may have stopped you from taking action—and if so, how did you get past them?

All of my fears just before and after moving were of the practical sort: How would I support myself, as I wasn’t old enough to retire? (If any of us can ever retire with current economic factors!) How would I find health insurance?

Solutions: I have become a master barterer, taken a chainsaw to my former budget, have several part-time jobs in addition to book-writing, and (hallelujah!) joined the chamber of commerce, which affords me access to insurance.

Once I got here, I realized that the rural environment presented new fears, or maybe it actually repackaged old fears that, when faced full-time, suddenly seemed vastly bigger than they had in my years as a weekender.

There was no escape now; I couldn’t get in the car and drive away from an inconvenient problem, which the country has a way of delivering to your doorstep a lot.

Like lightning. Prolonged power outages. Rattlesnakes (yes, I share the land with them). Winter (particularly on a steep, icy hillside). Ladders. (I know, that sounds stupid; but if you live alone in Nowheresville and climb one and fall off, who will come?)

I had to reckon with all of these—some by just going through them (practice makes perfect!); some by equipping myself better (sharp cleats for my boots in winter, so I can walk on ice); and some by surrendering and accepting my powerlessness (like in power outages).

And of course I quickly ran smack into the scariest one of all once I settled in: Who am I if I am not mroach@marthastewart [dot] com anymore? Where will I gain my identity; how will I feel like “somebody” in this world of credentials? For so long I took esteem from my “success” in career.

What I know so far on that score: Being a writer and a gardener is a good start toward a new bio I can live with.

3. Do you feel like you’ve been happier since you embraced a simpler life?

It would be hard to describe the joy I get out of looking out the window, even in the dead of winter. I feel as if a nonstop play is being performed just for me.

Of course it was all going on all those years I was absent—birds and frogs and other animals and plants and the weather all doing their intimate, interconnected things—but I missed most of it.

Another sign of my greater happiness, I think, is that my level of self-care is so much higher, a priority now, not an afterthought. I cook three meals a day. A friend used to say I was one frozen organic entrée away from a nervous breakdown—never time for cooking (which I love, especially with things from the garden).

I work a lot, but I work when I want and sleep when tired and eat when hungry.  This seems like a very basic formula for how to feel better, but so often we don’t follow any of those cues, do we?

4. What are the three most important things you learned from your experience working for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia?

Martha’s motto, “Learn something new every day,” remains a mantra, indoors and out.

Funny as this might sound, I run my tiny, one-woman-band business, Margaret Roach Inc., and my garden blog according to the same principles we used at MSLO. I stay focused on what my “brand” is (to thine own self be true, right?); I do an email newsletter, using the skills I learned there; I use all available data to analyze how I am doing, as I was taught by my mentors at my old job.

And of course there is this, a lesson first taught to me by my Grandma Marion, who studied domestic arts in college, a lesson reiterated by Martha: Nest. Your home is the center of your life, so make sure it suits you, whatever that means.

5. What are the three most important things you learned since you left?

I left my old life partly to have more solitude, in the hope of rekindling my writing voice. But I never imagined how much solitude I would really crave, and need.

We tell agitated, stressed-out kids to take a “time out,” or go to their rooms and read a book on their own. We never give ourselves time-outs.

I learned that I am a cat person, or at least a Jack person, since giving in to Jack the Demon Cat, the semi-wild big tuxedo type who adopted me here. I never really had my own pet before.

And I learned that “dropping out” as I did, leaving the fast lane or whatever, is really more of a dropping in, and has proven very meditative and contemplative in a way I hadn’t experienced.

6. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

Don’t stay too long at the fair (to use an expression from a vintage Bonnie Raitt song), that says:

Won’t you come and take me home

I’ve been too long at the fair

And Lord, I can’t stand it anymore.

That if you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have time for _____” a lot, and it’s the same thing over and again, something you actually long for, it’s time to make time.

As a culture we watch TV and use the internet many hours a week—we “found” time for that. Not every heart’s desire requires a drastic geographic shift like mine did; sometimes it’s just making time for a little more of something beloved.

Very simply: If the joy has gone out of an aspect of living, find a way to put the joy back in. Don’t defer!

7. What advice would you offer to anyone who is ready to take a major leap of faith?

Do the obvious and old-fashioned thing of making a list, a pro and con chart, and then make it over and over again, till you’re really honest—or better yet, pin it up where you have to look at it every single day for a long time.

My list was called “Tolerances,” as in what can I tolerate how much of for how long. In hindsight, I think making a list called “Attachments” would be smart, to try to look at what hooks us in to where we feel stuck.

If/when you feel “sure,” as much as that is ever possible, then sit down and try to make a budget or timeline or business plan (depends what you are cooking up) for your dream.

Apply practical techniques and see if it still flies. This is especially important if you are going to be risking things not easily replaced.

Don’t expect to feel safe and sound the minute you start your new thing. Don’t even expect to know what you will do when you step across the threshold to the other side. Be kind to your disoriented self.

The new place, as much as we have dreamed about it, is somewhere we have never been before. It takes getting used to.

Even if it’s the “right” new place, experience, relationship, job, or whatever, there may be some thunderstorms or slips and falls in the script.

Giveaway Details

To enter to win one of three free copies of And I Shall Find Some Peace There: Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road:

1. Leave a comment on this post. Be sure to comment as “guest” or using Disqus so that I will have your email address to contact you.

2. Tweet the following:

RT @tinybuddha  Book Giveaway: And I Shall Find Some Peace There, Margaret Roach

Please note that you must do both to win. You can enter until Sunday, April 24th at midnight EST.

Photos by Erica Berger and Margaret Roach

FTC Disclosure: I receive complimentary books for reviews and interviews on, but I am not compensated for writing or obligated to write anything specific. I am an Amazon affiliate, meaning I earn a percentage of all books purchased through the links I provide on this site.

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha's Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

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  • Ashley

    It is a beautiful sentiment, one that is entirely inspirational <3 I have been ready for my leap of faith. And just knowing that has already opened so many eyes for me. For the first time , in a long time I can tell people I am happy and completely mean it. <3 It is beautiful to see that there are people going out there, truly living their lives. 😀

  • Wow! I wish my mum could read this book. She is in her 50’s and just wants to be happy and do the things she loves but has held back all these years due to family and other commitments. I shall show her this interview for sure. Thanks Ms Roach for such a lovely message and Lori for posting this today. A lot of people either reach a certain age and say “it’s too late now” or else feel even more ‘certain’ of what they want and just go for it.

  • jr cline

    This interview encourages me to continue on the path I’ve chosen: leaving my job and beginning again.

  • CC

    I am on a fence as well…choosing between a career with monetary rewards and living/loving my life.

  • Barbara

    Lovely interview – I would like to read this book

  • Great interview, I’ll love to read the book

  • Barbara D.

    I have been enjoying Tiny Buddha for a couple of months now. Thanks for your hard work. Happened upon Margaret Roach’s book on another blog last week and have been considering purchasing it. Must get to work now…will look forward to reading your interview this evening.

  • “We tell agitated, stressed-out kids to take a “time out,” or go to their rooms and read a book on their own. We never give ourselves time-outs.”
    This is so true! This phrase truly took me back to my care-free childhood. I’d love to be able to go there in my head every once in a while.

  • Patti N

    So much of the interview rang true to me. My husband and I picked up and moved literally across the country, 10 months ago. Neither on e of us had spent much time in the Pacific Northwest, but the signs for us to go seemed to be everywhere. We wanted something smaller, slower, more simple. The move was scary and living more simply does not equal easier. But we are both less stressed out by the world around us. I know I am better able to handle unexpected happenings, then I was before. Thank you for sharing your experience of “Trading in the Fast Lane for My Own Dirt Road.”

  • Can’t wait to read it. I just ordered it yesterday!

  • Betty

    I’d love to read this book…

  • Susan Campbell

    I stepped out of that ‘stream of life’ about twenty years ago and moved to some family land in rural NC. I haven’t had a name for what I’m doing…’living on the planet’ is my answer to most folks who ask what I’m up to. It has not been easy. Thank you for giving me some language.

  • Marlene

    Sometimes you read something and you feel something shift deep within you. That just happened when I read Margaret’s comment about her list of Tolerances. For it is my Tolerance that’s running out, and I need to leave the fair soon, while there’s still something left of me. I’d love to have Margaret’s book to bring me home from the fair. And thanks to Margaret for pointing me to Tiny Buddha as well!

  • Anonymous

    Everyone has a dream, some get to live their dream and others continue to dream about their dream. There is something that stops the dream from happening, it could be fear, money, health issues, family issues etc. If your dream cannot happen now, you must continue to dream your dream.

  • Stephanie Doty

    WHAT an amazing find. Each and every day as I read so many of the postings on our Facebook walls (and I do include myself as said poster), the news is horrifying in sharing some of the atrocities committed against humanity. I so deeply believe that the essence of each and every human being is love in its purest form. If all of us could embrace this fundamentally simple axiom, can you imagine how much better off we would all be. It’s so simple really — love, pure, sheer, unadulterated love in its purest form — that is who and what we are.

  • Sally Porter

    Hi Margaret, I’m at that crossroads right now when I’m saying I can’t do this anymore and trying to weigh the pros and cons. Thanks for the words of wisdom. I’d love to read your book.

  • Elizabeth McDonald

    I am really enjoying your blogs on Facebook . Thanks for sharing.

  • Soonerlady414

    Thoroughly enjoyed it! I have found that living a simple life is the key to happiness. and could be the key to longevity. It allows one to explore nature and themselves as a part of it, therefore letting us clearly see the importance of its preservation.

  • Deb Stenberg

    Margaret Roach rocks!

  • This sounds right up my alley–I’m planning a major life change as well.

  • Chel Micheline (guest)

    I can’t wait to read this book- it’s been on my “to read” list for months. I’d LOVE to win a copy!

  • Sara

    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference. ”

    Thanks, Margaret, for sharing with us your story! It’s truly an inspiration!

  • Wolfson110

    I’d like to give Margaret’s book to a good friend… but I don’t want to part with my own copy.

  • Rickie Newell

    My husband and I left the fair recently. It’s a great life out here. Margaret is a great inspiration as we attempt to tame our piece of the wilderness.

  • Chrissy

    As I sit here in the Good Friday morning sun, pulling out my laptop to start studying yet again for a crazy exam I have looming, I am so happy that I have Tiny Buddah bookmarked as the first thing I see. What an inspiring and wonderful story. Margaret is a hero to me and I don’t even know her… thank you Margaret and Lori for inspiring me today : )

    Happy Easter!

  • Trying to simplify my life one step at a time. Love tinybuddha on twitter. You make me happy. 🙂

  • Kulkarnirahulprakash

    Peace of mind is what every one is looking for anyway and hence i feel this book is a must read.

  • Robert Reed

    Sometimes reading something inspirational reminds me to slow down and breath and peace is obtainable.

  • Kristen M

    Lovely post, and would like to learn more by reading the book

  • I personally think too much, and it affects my happiness and inner peace. I’m currently reading “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” but this book also looks very interesting. 🙂 I love TinyBuddha.

  • Graham Morrison

    I love tiny buddha on twitter. Tiny like the steps I take to happiness every day

  • Sara Campbell

    waters are still flowing
    regardless of what mood I’m in

  • Sara Campbell

    waters are still flowing
    regardless of what mood I’m in

  • Amandag543

    I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the book. Thank you for reminding all of us to stay tuned in to ourselves and get back to what truly calls you.

  • EFDanks

    This was just what I needed this morning. Another beautiful soul who gas paved the way for those who are just taking that first precious step.

  • Shannon

    Sounds like a fabulous read!

  • Shel

    So many wonderful mantras here and a great life lesson to learn from.

  • Shel

    It’s the simple things in life and taking it one thing at a time. Lists are such a wonderful idea. I would to read Maragret’s book.

  • Jason Keane

    That’s a lovely post! Thanks!

  • Jessica V.

    I have always admired those that leave their mundane lives behind in order to embrace their dreams and their true happiness. This sounds like an excellent read and an inspiration.

  • Kswaggg

    Good words on the stress filled day. Thank you for sharing.

  • guest

    i’m in the throes of this same journey. still have moments of “good god what have i done”. but am trusting things will fall in place as they should. it seems i am a recovering control freak!

  • Ashley

    I love books like this! Sounds wonderful and even life-changing.

  • Love this interview…I often feel too busy, but I try peridiocally to give myself a time out.

  • Guest

    I think Lori has learned and is sharing a lot of many universal truths!!! We all have fears to overcome, we all have dreams that we wish to make a reality. Our spiritual path are our own. I try to learn new things everyday, I try to be a better person everyday. I love my personal journey!!! Thank you Lori for all you have done and will do!!!

  • Tweeted @thaunak

  • Local_eye

    What a wonderful human being; – too believe in the power of simplicity and silence.

  • I, too, have stayed too long at the fair. But my yoga and meditation practices are leading me home.

  • Josh

    I just took the largest leap of faith in my life. And I couldn’t be more excited about the possibilities! Come August, I’ll be living in Montana! I know now, beyond a doubt, that this is the right decision for me.

    P.S. I have never re-tweeted anything more than I do Tiny Buddha.

  • Ladyeumbrous

    simplicity seems like such peace! I hope to acheive that for myself as well! Thanks!

  • Sewinsteph

    i love how as we approach our 50’s ( i have the privledge of joining the club in 11 days ) many things in our lives become clearer

  • ckp

    Just recently I found the Tiny Buddha site and I look forward to looking at the site everyday. I look forward to receiving emails with a daily quote. Most of all I look forward to indulging myself in the stories…I am working on my own story and that is partly because of Tiny Buddha. Thank you !! Namaste

  • Butterfleye73

    Keep positive and one day it will all fall into place.

  • Anonymous

    This reinforces my belief in “no good or bad”…it just IS, honor it as such!

  • Debbie

    I would love to get this book! I so agree with all she says and did. I am following my dreams now too.

  • saintbernardpup

    This sounds like an inspiring book with great suggestions for living a more simple and fulfilling life. Thanks for sharing this information

  • Jtreadwa

    Loved this. I feel so lucky to have access to such wisdom and truth. I am blessed to be able to say that 2 months into my own leap of faith I sit joyfully and divinely amidst more love, passion, creativity, balance and peace than I ever could have dreamed of. CARPE DIEM! Xo

  • I. too, have stayed too long at the fair but my yoga and meditation practices are leading me home.

  • Sarah, as a Guest :)

    I will continue to dream … I have been contemplating quitting my job for some time now and am still unable due to monetary constraints. I WILL find a way around this to follow my bliss, which is not as a telemarketer 🙂 Onward and upward and with all good thoughts and plans …

  • mbtrue

    Like many other posters…I am on the edge of many new changes and challenges and it was reassuring to read Margaret’s encouraging words about the rewards waiting on the other side of the leap. This book sounds like a great guide for travel along new paths.

  • Monjgamil

    Very inspiring! All of us have that longing deep within us – if only… Decisions, decisions, decisions.

  • Hearing such brave souls as Margaret’s help reassure me that all the risks I have been taking, despite what some folks have advised, are more than worth it. I know when I hit shortfalls, or make mistakes I perceive as major blunders, these words of Margarets’ can sustain me further than any critic be it in my environment or in my head…can take a long walk off a short pier…

  • Aravinda P

    ohhhh now I want to read the book!

  • thena

    I read Tiny Buddha every day. This was a wonderful writting today by Margaret. I am in the process of making my dreams come true which involves much change, fear, relocating, and stepping into an entire new element. I follow the 12 steps and principals in every day life and this reading I could relate to that as well. It inspires me to keep doing the next right thing and walk through fear. If I don’t, I will never see what is out there for me. Thank you

  • guest

    This book sounds lovely! I would love to read it!

  • Katie

    Unbelievably inspiring, apt prose. Such a life as I long for…so telling for me, so true, so perfect for this day. Turned 50 this year and have been on the corporate habitrail all my life…five years ago got off to get an MFA in creative nonfiction, then got back on. Can’t figure out financially how to leave…the debt I’ve accumulated is compensation for the lack of center I accepted. But I have bloomed where I am planted, and now it’s time to move to the next chapter.

    Such a great way to start this Good Friday. Thank you so much for this post!


  • BlueTurtle

    What a beautiful and inspiring post! Thanks Lori! I have been following the progression of your site for a few years now and I’m so inspired by what you are doing. Thank you for always sharing in such an honest way. It is very humbling and it has allowed me to bring down many walls that have kept me isolated for many years. I’m so happy for you and for everything you have accomplished so far (personally and professionally) and I wish you much love and light always. Margaret’s interview struck a cord. I haven’t been happy in my current life for many years and I just recently gave myself permission to admit to myself that I haven’t always honored my spirit and my truth. This post has given me new inspiration to tackle the changes I need to make to, but it has mainly sparked my desire to dream a new life with the hope that I too can find my own “dirt road”. Thanks again for sharing you light with all of us. Namaste.

  • MyNewRoad

    I, too, have stayed too long at the fair but my yoga and meditation practices are leading me home.

  • Zelmania

    So many quotable quotes. I can’t wait to read this book.

  • Awildx

    Great post! I’m in the middle of this right now, ready to take the leap…and this was very inspirational and helped affirm my thoughts.

  • yogagirl1968

    Margaret is a wise woman. It’s easy to be seduced by the romantic notions of a “simple life in the woods” or living on far less than your current income. It’s easy to take for granted those things that are, as Margaret said, “not easily replaced.” Live with and settle into the unique and perfectly envisioned future you create for yourself and then bask in your creation! I’m still working on mine.

  • Goodall_jeff

    I’m just a “guest” on this little blue ball…I’m just a grain of sand at the beach!

    all_good_jeff on Twitter

  • Anonymous

    Not only have I been too long at the fair, it packed up and left me standing alone! I so understand Margaret’s “flight”. I am working on my own “flight plan” now. I would love to have a copy of her book. Her thoughts and the pictures you’ve shown are beauty!

  • A great post and what seems to be a fantastic book; it reflects my own situation amazingly well; I have stepped back and downsized and don’t regret a single moment of it. Look forward to reading the book – one way or another 🙂

  • Phoenix_chyk

    “I can hear it in the deep heart’s core.”

  • Stephanie

    What a beautiful interview! I’l looking forward to picking up this book!

  • Kevin

    Simplify, simplify, simplify! It is never as simple as it sounds, but it can have a profound impact on our well being. That and the student mentality of seeking to continually learn are very important to growth as a person.

  • Kimberlly Walters

    This is amazing. I have also made huge career changes about a year ago and I continue to make them; but as I’ve returned to university to complete a teaching degree, it can sometimes be discouraging because I can’t see the end of the tunnel yet – it’s expensive, difficult, and time-consuming. This interview shows me some light and provides me hope that my decision will be worth it in the long run. Thank you 🙂

    PS: If I win this book, I will give it to my mother who has an extreme passion for gardening. <3

  • Irisanya

    This post is perfectly timed for me. Thank you.

  • Cindy

    I would love to win a copy of this book! 🙂

  • Trioworks

    Great contest, thanks. Also tweeted

  • Phdatc

    Great contest. I would enjoy reading this book.

  • Anonymous

    Instead of asking “why are people miserable” your blog has got me starting to ask “what makes people happy?” I have even altered what I want to study in school due to this question. This book looks amazing and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  • K8e

    Inspiring! & food for thought…

  • Ang

    great inspiration to anyone who will listen and especially to those of us who are starting down our own less traveled road…

  • Shawn

    calm inside, calm outside; busy inside, busy outside.

  • Dryalantha

    Very inspiring, sure some stuff to think about!
    – Dryalantha

  • Lisa

    I would love to receive a book!

  • Swrunneraz

    So many great comments about this article. I would love to be entered as well. Thanks! 😉

  • guest

    always looking for new and interesting things to read:)

  • Susan

    Many of us feel carried along by the current of modern life. It’s like learning to swim and yet not getting the hang of breathing. We need reminders that this pace, this stress, this busyness is not what is meant by living a life full of gratitude and meaning.

  • Hutchjulie

    Would love to check this book out.

  • Life is not have you have planned it… it has always been planned out for you. It is a matter of tursting your own intuition. This is a valuable lession I have learned within my own personal journey.
    — Debra Roinestad

  • Kelli

    This reminds me of Thomas Moore’s “Care of the Soul.” We must learn to cultivate the sacred in everyday life, or lose the very essence of who we are. Not everyone needs to switch career paths like Margaret, but we do need to pursue our own happiness and contentment, whatever that may be. When we care for ourselves, we care for the world.

  • Cyndi

    This is a great post and I’d love to win a copy of the book. Thank you!

  • Margaret’s proclamation “If the joy has gone out of an aspect of living, find a way to put the joy back in. Don’t defer!” resonates so much for me now; I’d love to read her book for both information and inspiration! Thanks for the opportunity.

  • kath12

    I enjoyed the post … looking forward to reading the book!

  • Truly inspirational. It takes a brave soul to do this, and we hope to learn more from you!

  • Bestes55

    My dirt road leads to my “Shabin” it’s better than a shack but not quiet a cabin. My time there saves me!

  • Sara Hubert

    Can’t wait to read the book. This interview was just what I needed as today’s inspiration!

  • Pamellafortune

    How serendipitous to find this contest after just giving notice to retire.

  • Judithellenkennedy

    Oh Tiny Buddha…you always know what I need. I’m right behind Margaret….put my peas in today!

  • Creativemynd

    My first initial reaction to the title of the book was that someone had found the courage to be free to follow their bliss. Once I read further and investigated Margaret’s website I was saddened to find that this choice was made after garnering much financial freedom in order to afford her to make the choice to leave a well-paid career to be free and follow her bliss. You can simply state, “Follow your dream,” but unless you have the smallest means of doing so i.e. modest shelter, a patch of dirt to grow food or a forest to forage you cannot do as Margaret has done. Her shiny orange tractor was purchased for no small amount of cash. Yes she has found a peace of her making and I congratulate her on her choice but to assume that it is easy and accessible for others with limited funds to do so is unfair and incorrect. It put me in mind of Eat, Pray, Love and while a good tale, it is also about a rich women’s self-indulgence. This path is not open to all and I fear that it make once again make other women feel like cowards or less than who they are and can become because they cannot “afford” to leave the lives they currently lead to follow their path to peace. This is only my humble opinion but and to add:

    You can find peace in the middle of New York City. Look inside…
    You can simplify daily, easily and readily without changing your zip code.
    You can love your life, here, in this moment or make adjustments to make it a loving life.

    Lori, in all the time I have been reading and appreciating your wonderful blog, this is my first negative reaction. I have sat back, reread, contemplated and still could not alter my intuitive response to this book.

  • Jonnie Rock

    Enjoyed the post. Would love to read the book. Please enter me!

  • Conniekayash

    Thank you for posting today. Seems like I read or hear the words that I am looking for when I need them.

  • Kaski

    My favorite Buddha quote: “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

  • Cricketshell

    As so often happens, I experience synchronicity when digging in to my daily Tiny Buddha emails! Margaret’s courage, wisdom and honesty are just the inspiration I need to begin giving more love and attention to my inner voice and the knowing that I, too, must escape the flourescent jungle and follow my heart and soul’s desire. I look forward to reading the book. Thank you, Lori!

  • Mary

    I dropped “in” at age 45, nine years ago. I began thinking about doing it after the events of 911, but it took me awhile to jump in. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you for the great interview, reading it made me feel a kinship with Margaret.

  • Pixielam

    Thank you for the chance to win such an inspiring book.

  • Rastalove59

    I left the fast lane for my own small piece of dirt road 6 years ago. It was the best gift I ever gave myself and my children.
    peace and love,

  • Hi there,

    I completely understand your reaction. In fact, I felt exactly the same about Eat, Pray, Love–that lots of people would want to do something very similar if they had a book advance to finance it.

    I ultimately decided to post this Q&A because I admire and respect Margaret, and I want to support her. While it’s true that leaving a high-powered position with a big company puts her at a greater advantage than someone who did not hold such a position, it still takes immense strength to leave behind a high-paying job, many years before retirement, to choose a simple life. (She has insinuated that she actually has to earn a living still and economize, so I am assuming she doesn’t have a massive nest egg from her Martha Stewart days).

    I think a lot of people are scared to give up success–whatever that means to them–in favor of something simpler that might make them happy. Not everyone can afford for that simple thing to be a country house in upstate New York, but I think everyone has another less glamorous but perhaps more satisfying option available to them.

    Of course I can’t ignore the elephant in the room: Major sacrifices are a little easier to make when there is a book involved, both because a book earns money (though usually less than most people think) and because a book endows a simple experience with a whole different level of meaning. But I think there’s still a valuable message in there, even for people who didn’t devote decades to a leadership position in major corporation.

    All that being said, please know I am not trying to talk you out of your intuitive response! I know that not all books will resonate with everyone. (In fact, there are some highly successful books I’ve read recently that completely missed the mark for me). I just wanted to share my thoughts on the ideas you mentioned.

    Thank you for being part of Tiny Buddha =)

  • Jeff Pishkur


  • Maybe today will be the first time I ever win something. This will be inspiring indeed. Thanks for the opportunity

  • Maybe today will be the first time I ever win something. This will be inspiring indeed. Thanks for the opportunity

  • Carol

    “find a way to put the joy back in.’ This is in our control!
    Can’t wait to read the book.

  • Melanie

    Sounds like an inspiring book!

  • looking forward to the read

  • Gwenny18

    I would love to learn more…going through MANY changes right now.

  • Pattyjacobus

    I feel that living in our modern society has taken us too far from nature, and the rhythms of the seasons, and that we are all feeling disconnected because of it. We feel that something is missing, but we don’t know what it is, so we go to shopping malls or vacations to try to buy it. We need the quiet to hear our own thoughts without electrical devices, and the sounds of nature, and the soil in our hands to come back to the real.

  • MJ

    I’d love a copy of the book – I’m working on changing to a new and very different career at almost-midlife (mid40s) and I’m sure I’d find inspiration from Ms. Roach.

  • Rosemary

    Today I am observing when each opportunity becomes available to me so that I may experience “sheer joy”♥

  • Dear Margaret,
    While reading this post, I felt like I could relate to every single thing you talked about. I’m 24 years old and ever since my university years I’ve been wanting to what you are doing right now. I studied Finance at university and hated every bit of it – I did it only because of parental pressures and the fact that I was good at it also kept me at it. However, I have adopted the habit of spending time by nature, usually alone, at least once a week. Currently, work consumes most of my time, however, I still make sure I give time to just myself, from going swimming, to photography (my passion) to doing yoga and meditating.

    Last year, I had spent 2 weeks in Thailand, by myself, and I could swear I had not been happier. I spent a week in an Island where very few tourists go and hardly any of the locals spoke English – basically it was a week of solitude and reflection. I felt like I belonged there – I felt at home. I vowed that in due time, I will make the move that you did. I have a very strong feeling that it is exactly what I will end up doing.

    While this drastic change may not be in the cards for me in the near future, I am learning to be content wherever I am and to carry peace within me. Rather than putting my happiness in a distance future or different place to where I currently am, I carry it within me. As for my career change, I am working on establishing myself as a photographer slowly. I do not regret having studied Finance, because I believe that everything happens for a reason and everything is happening/has happened to get me to where I am suppose to be. Till then, I will enjoy the ride.

    Much love,


  • Neil

    Lori, You continue to inspire and add joy to our lives by offering positive ideas, wisdom, and advice. I think we can all find something in this interview to improve our lives, whether we have money or not. It’s not necessary to quit our jobs and devote all of our time to another activity which brings us happiness to benefit from Margaret’s book and interview. Planting some herbs in a pot, or simply enjoying the flowers in a park can provide a wonderful enrichment to our lives and a break in our routine. Thank you for all the work you put into Tiny Buddha. You are an inspiration to all of us!

  • I loved this article… and am keen to read the book now. The best was about “certainty” – my experience to date is that some of us get this sooner than others…. some never at all.

    Kudos to sharing with us, I love it.

  • Linda

    I am in a transition period in my life, and at times I am unsure of which way to turn or which path to follow. The information and inspiration that I believe is in your book is a timely event in my continued search for myself. Thank you for a light in the book you have written

  • Your article about leaving the big city for the country way of life was very interesting for me.
    Unlike you, I have been a homemaker with various jobs but no career, per say.
    Now, at a ripe old age, I feel that I have missed out on parts of my life that I could have succeeded in. The outside world does not want to hire me, so I am giving the internet a whirl. To leave my present partner will leave me with no income. So I feel your fear in the security part.

    Your courage is admirable and I am at a point of reaching that moment of change. You have helped me realize that an unhappy relationship just causes pain and being stagnant. I want to be me, have my freedom and your article has pushed me, even more, into making that decision.

    Your writing is so vivid that I can hear the frogs and birds, see you wearing cleats (as I have them also) looking out your window and seeing nature instead of buildings and feeling a sense of peace. Power outages, however, do not make me feel peaceful.

    I look forward to your book. It will, I feel, give me more confidence in reinventing me, and your courage will make me want to take my own journey.

    Thank you.

  • jenny

    She sounds so real and refreshing. I would love to win the book.

  • Cari Hahn

    I would love to win a copy of your book!
    I will be Tweeting using @FamilyArchivist.

    Your book sounds wonderful.
    Best of luck on your new journey!

  • Tigerbellz-free

    I’m at a crossroads… this might just help me choose my way. Thanks for posting about it!

  • Nadine

    I’m at a crossroads… this might just help me choose my way. Thanks for posting about it!

  • i’m new here, tripped in from a twitter link. excited to this find a clean, clear, insightful and inspirational voice. i’m anxious to read more. i’m also excited for your journey. life is amazing and full of so many pleasures.

  • Marsha

    This post is aimed right at me, and I too am intrigued with the book’s insights. I recently announced my retirement from work, and am doing part-time for the next few weeks until I can quit entirely. I’ve found some of the same issues, ‘what am I without my work identity’?

  • Tang

    I’m in the process of watching my beloved mother slip away due to dementia. Its a journey that I never fathomed I’d be taking. Its hard to stop and care for myself but I realize that there will be little left of me at the end of it if I don’t come to peace with the situation. Thank you again for your continued words of inspiration.

  • Eva

    “Nest. Your home is the center of your life, so make sure it suits you, whatever that means.” Yes! And I would love to read more from Margaret. Thanks for this great giveaway!

  • Mvs027

    I would love to read this

  • Caroleann74

    Beautiful and inspirational story! It gives hope and encouragement to all people living and striving to live their dreams every single day. Thank you so much Margaret Roach for sharing your experience!

  • Nicole J. Butler

    I love this post. As someone who is currently in the middle of “plotting change,” Margaret offers both inspiration and practical advice about how to do so.

    Also, I am a gardener (from a long line of gardeners) who has stopped gardening because I don’t like where I live right now, and don’t linger any more than I have to. Perhaps continuing to garden will make my current situation more palatable until my lease ends and I am able to choose a new home…

    Simple, but it didn’t hit me until just now.

    Thank you.

  • Pfunk

    I am so happy for Margaret Roach that she was able to take the leap! There are so many things I say I don’t have time for and continually strive to make the time. I recently was able to buy an old piano, something I had wanted for a long time. I am now trying to take the time to play daily. It is a joy and stress reliever. My hope is to remember to do other things I enjoy too-just taking and making the time.

  • Sheri W

    I have wanted to do this for so long! I am glad to see more and more people are beginning to actually do it. I have been working on some goals and hope to add that to the list soon. I imagine this is a great book!

  • Kitstern

    This must be a wonderful book. I work on the computer a lot, and I’m always surprised how rejuvenated I feel when I force myself to go outside & work in my garden. The quote really spoke to me, and I’ve re-posted on my fan page (New World Kirtan)

    Thank you for this. It’s a beacon for all of us who have left the fair, and are searching for meaning in our work.

  • Gaiaartinc

    I also left a corporate job at Disney in 2004 and have been working a few part time jobs ever since and happy to be the master of my time. I constantly am simplifying. The first thing I did before making my decision to quit was to compose a list of my ideal life and that is my constant road map.

  • Gram

    No matter the outcome, it took good old-fashioned “guts” to break from one life to another. Congratulations

  • Vanitafl

    Great post! “Follow your bliss.”

  • Very inspirational. Thanks for posting….there is much to think about here.

  • Vanitastar

    Enjoyed your post! Here’s to having the courage to follow your dreams!.

  • Mark f.

    everybody needs a little peace :-}

  • Medinasj

    Enjoyed the interview – it comes just as I am considering some changes in my life.

  • Aaron

    Her story reminds me of one of the leaders of my Sangha, he was a lawyer who became a poet and teacher. He lives peace, and radiates it wherever he goes

  • Bessie

    certainty and risk and fear and being open to what happens. this balancing act seems like one of life’s most insistent lessons.

  • “The new place, as much as we have dreamed about it, is somewhere we have never been before. It takes getting used to.” I love this thought. It’s so very true as change always takes getting used to. But once you settle in, it’s worth it!

  • It’s a bit of a double edge sword for me right now. Having been laid-off a year ago, I know I like the simplified lifestyle, and I’m enjoying designing for my blog. But no matter how I look at it, I still need to find a steady job. One of the reasons I love reading Tiny Buddha is that every day you give me a boost… to love myself, to have confidence, to be grateful every day. I also enjoy the real life stories of others who’ve found their own unique path in life. Whether we started after a big corporate job or started after being a housewife, making a lifestyle change takes courage. Thanks for sharing this… I’d love to read Margaret’s book.

  • Cate

    As someone trying to reinvent themselves at 56, with a love of writing and gardening, it seems as though this book was written for me.

  • Iangeri

    Love it…

  • Susie0214

    I would enjoy reading this!

  • Jajwc

    I love the zen aspect of gardening. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sherry

    I did the same thing as Margaret and have not regretted it for a moment!

  • AJW

    Having made a similar transition from the fast lane to the country, I believe that it’s essential to listen…really listen…to our heart…to that tiny voice inside us that we often drown out with work and too many commitments, with city noise and traffic, mindless Internet surfing and television. My voice told me to move on years before I had the guts to do it, and finally, when my health was suffering, I listened…and I leaped. I moved to my little slice of heaven in the Blue Ridge Mountains and reconnected with my passion for nature and gardening…with animals large and small…and ultimately, with my true self.

  • This sounds like a fantastic book with some good, juicy, food for thought.

  • Jody

    Wow, what a great read! This came to me at just the right time as we are just doing our first pros and cons chart! Thankyou for sharing and I will look forward to reading the book.

  • Gary Williams

    Life can be funny somedays and to find peace in one way or another is a great thing.

  • Lori,
    I love the questions you asked Ms. Roach. They really get to the essence of her life change.
    As a mid-lifer who this year became an empty nester, and who will very soon be retiring from my school job of the last 20 years, I’m excited and a bit anxious about creating my new life. This book greatly appeals to me and is one that will certainly read be on my summer ‘to read’ list. Thanks for this great interview – something different for you. I love it and I’m printing it out to really go over it.

  • Mellij

    Finding me, after leaving the workforce to have children, is my next challenge. Lovely article.

  • Heather

    Very inspiring! thank you for being so brave, and for being so kind as to share 🙂

  • YOpinksushi

    Ahhh yes! So happy to be following this blog now.

  • Stephanie M Johansen

    As someone just entering the workforce, I look forward to reading this book as a chance to see life from a very different point of view that I may not be able to embrace for quite a few years. Best of luck to you in your new journey! 🙂

  • Anonymous

    what a lovely interview and offer. thank you. I find it sad if we are making lists of what we can tolerate. not to say I haven’t done that in my mind…still working on the things that make me joyful…that would be a much better list!

  • Amandakaur

    I could use some peace 🙂

  • MK

    Sounds like a lovely life.

  • Jagjoanie

    This follows I Am which I was just checking out.

  • Clynallan

    I love the I have stayed to lOng at the fair. Why do so many of us feel this way. I am only 30 odd and feel this way. Hopefully I too can find a way home

  • Hacotton_3

    mm sounds perfect to me 🙂

  • Brigid

    I am currently a corporate executive, looking to make a change and this interview really resonated with me so I would love to learn more…..

  • Christine Piedad

    I really love what she said especially the “Your home is the center of your life, so make sure it suits you, whatever that means.” It rings very true for me! Thanks for the wisdom..

  • Noelle

    “It would be hard to describe the joy I get out of looking out the window…”
    For a life with ample time to look out of rush, just peace…

  • Matt

    Sounds like a beautiful book!

  • CR

    Great interview! So many statements struck a chord with my own experience and desire.

  • Bee

    You guys never fail to make a rainy morning that much brighter. Despite the utter windstorm outside, I choose to make this a productive and calm day.

  • Ivan Ewert

    What a wonderful story. Can’t wait to pick up the book.

  • JRC

    This is pretty amazing. I’ll probably read the book either way (if I can track down an inexpensive copy). Winning one would be great! 🙂

  • Guest

    This was so resonant – thanks!!

  • Lisa

    I am looking forward to reading this book! I have been feeling a deep desire to embrace a simpler life and take a step out of the “norm.” What an inspiration!

  • Pachelli_janine

    This is soooo me! I am currently debating leaving my job as a social worker. I have been in this career for 10 years. The first paragraph from the Tiny Buddha on this page had me! “Do you live your life from one crisis to the other! No time to breathe!” I am 42 and know that I love what I do, but I am definitely not taking care of me. It is hard to make that career change! It sounds like you understand! :o)
    I would love to read your book!
    A floundering Social Worker,

  • Lisa

    Well there is nothing more I would like than to give up my day job and be a full time gardener in my own yard. Margaret Roach is living my dream! I find a kind of peace there that I can find in no other place and I know not many people understand besides Margaret and others interested in this lifestyle. I was so attracted to the title of her book for this reason and I think I will find a way to get it no matter what!

  • Michele

    This is a wonderful post… and a book I must read soon.

  • Anonymous

    I have shared this page with my loved ones and unloved ones. This is the best gift I could give. Thank you Margaret

  • Anonymous

    Some of Robert Frost’s best words.

  • Georgina99

    I just quit my job three weeks ago to become a full-time writer. An incredibly supportive friend sent me here. I’d love to win the book! I’ll retweet the contest too. (I’m ginadollface on Twitter). – G

  • Aimee_levesque

    I’d love to read more about Margaret’s experience. Recently, I quit university in a foreign country and came back to my own country because my intuition/soul/body was yelling at me, “This is not you. You’re tired, tired of school. You want to write and publish poetry, after all, so you had better go back home”. I have followed this advice, and I’m way happier, more confident now. This move felt right.
    However, I’m stuck in a transition period, where I have to work too much (a job I love, which is good) to pay my rent, and I can’t carve enough time to write… So I’d like to hear more about Margaret’s transition period between the city and the country!
    Thank you for being yourself!

  • Amelia

    This line really stuck with me: It would be hard to describe the joy I get out of looking out the window, even in the dead of winter. I feel as if a nonstop play is being performed just for me.
    I am moving from upstate New York to Spain this fall, and simply cannot wait! Everyone should feel a bit of joy when they look out of their window.

  • Wow what a lovely book

  • qiwang

    i am a big fan of mindfulness, i collect and read lot’s of this kind of book, it makes me feel peaceful.

  • Jessica

    sounds like a great read!

  • Monette

    So many nuggets of wisdom to take away from this interview — and Margaret’s life choices. Choices being the key world. When I find myself “shoulding” on myself– I really should do this or that (even though my true self has no interest in it)– I know it’s time to step back and re-evaluate. The results are just as startling on a small scale as they are in the big life-changing decisions. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Vica Andriani

    Hello. Whata good interview. I’m not in the US or UK but I wish to win this book. I’m currently located at Singapore actually. Looking forward to be the lucky one. Thank you 🙂

  • Hey there! I really hope i get the book. Thanks for doing this. (:

  • Smithla8

    I’d love to have a copy of this book. (And for the record, Joel Zoss wrote the song “Too Long at the Fair,” which Bonnie Raitt recorded brilliantly for her album Give It Up.)

  • David Filkins

    This sounds like a great book and a phenomenal message.

  • This book sounds like another tool to help in my search for peace.

  • This book sounds like an exceptional tool in my search for peace.

  • When I first read “and I shall have some peace there” my thoughts immediately went to Innisfree and the bee loud glade. A beautiful meditation and wonderful poem.

  • Dea

    Thank you so much for this inspiring interview and for this beautiful chance!
    I`d love so much to read Margaret`s book one day, her gorgeous blog and her story made me realize few months ago how much I missed working in a garden and how much I dream to have my own little house and a garden one day.
    Good luck to ererybody and all my best wishes!

  • Janine

    Margaret I realise why I was so mesmerised by your story, because it is my story too, except that I am still the bird trapped in the cage. My dream has always been to slip the latch and run for the hills but life has swept me along on a successful career that leaves me cold. After just hitting 50 I’m acutely aware of time slipping away. I MUST read your book (did you do this alone or do u have a hubby/partner as a back up?? I am single). Thank you, Janine

  • Such a great article! I hope to pick up a copy of the book soon 🙂

  • Jake Schaefer

    The only way is UP.

  • Swell2205

    I am downsizing many parts of my life right now…..

  • Otter

    My daughter is already dreaming to live like this. She’s 11

  • Adrienne Breaux

    My favorite thing about Tiny Buddha is every single post seems to relate exactly to what I need to hear. I had heard of this book awhile ago…on my busiest days I daydream of running away and doing this very thing. It would either be a very good thing or a very bad thing for me to read this book! Either way I’m sure it’d be enlightening to read.

  • Ggmitch

    I love reading about how people follow their passions. Reminds me of the movie “Baby Boom” with Diane Keaton.

  • harpreet singh

    Keen to read your book.
    Thanks. Harpreet

  • Katherine

    I enjoyed this post. But my favorite post was your post about the 4 things we can do to live a happier life. I saved that post, and I read it often. I love it!

  • DalaLuz

    It sounds just like the kind of inspiration is so desperately need! I am having such a hard time to carve a life out from in between the shatters and shaky grounds my life has become.

    I tweeted:

  • guest

    Excellent and timely post…timely in my case as I am prone to moving in four directions at once and still planning yet one more. Sometimes it seems as though everyone is quitting their successful, lucrative job and moving someplace rural or moving into a backpack…and the rest of us start dreaming all over again…but I believe we have to keep in mind that the grass is not always greener than the concrete, in terms of what is right for each of us as individuals. Everyone is dissatisfied at some point or other, for varying reasons and lengths of time. If everyone that read about a successful business person that quit her job and moved to the sticks did the same, I’d bet 80% of them would start blogs about the need for public transportation or Chinese take-out on their new rural escapes.

  • Jhart67

    Thanks to #7 — a confirmation that my husband & I did the right thing when we decided we had stayed too long at the fair. In two months, with two willing kids in tow, our family will embark on an adventure & begin a new chapter in our lives as we relocate from the west coast to the east.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Returning to ourselves & nature is a gift we all need to give ourselves.

  • Great interview.

    I’m really interested in the thoughts of someone who has left the corporate world for a more natural existence. I’ve often felt like I’m in the same shoes as she was. A hippie stuck in the city.

    It looks like she’s successfully made the transition, and that inspires many of us who have yet to do so. 🙂

  • Jwglasser

    this is a wonderful concept, one i wish to embrace soon as life seems to be too overwhelming anymore.

  • Pgevans

    I feel it………I FEEL IT! I’m so ready to find my own dirt road. I’m 55 years old and have four grown children whom I stayed home with. I’m now on my own for the first time in my life. I have a year old granddaughter that lights up my life. I’m so tired of the whole “go to work, come home” everyday scenario. I feel sometimes as if I’m on the wrong planet and I need to go home. At the same time, I feel stuck because I’m on my own and there’s no way I can just quit work and follow my heart. I would love to read this book.

  • Sholsather

    So incredibly inspiring! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • last year I gave up the rat race, sold my four bedroom detatched house and purchased one bedroom apartment in a beautiful region of Italy. I live high on a mountain, overlooking lake Garda. I am lucky enough to have found some seasonal, part time work, but I am also looking at ways to generate an income through doing things that I enjoy doing, things I never had time for when I was working for the rat race, like writing, blogging and perhaps by setting up a new business to facilitate UK citizens getting married in the region I now call home. I am able to practice Yoga every day, read self help books, and websites like this as I now have the time to begin the journey of spiritual awareness and self discovery, which I have always been drawn to, but never had the time to take the first steps on the path.

    I was not a high flyer like Margaret but by being careful, wasting nothing and most of all, by working hard, I found myself in a position where I owned a nice house with a modest amount of equity, which enabled me to by my apartment and be mortgage free.

    The job I had in my previous life, involved a 3 hour round commute, the 18 years I worked at the company counted for nothing when the going got tough during the recent recession and the directors made the decisons to keep themselves in their undeserved lavish lifestyles, at the expense of the people who did all the hard work.

    For years I lived for the weekend, which came and went with me in a haze, and with the dread of Monday morning 5.30 am alarm clock impacting even my free time. I wished my life away, desperate for my two week holiday to come, then when it did, I’d spend the first week adjusting and getting over the tiredness, then just when I’d start to feel better, I’d begin to get depressed that the second week would go too quickly, which it did, and I would soon be back at work.

    I fell into the trap that makes you think you need to have the bigger house, the new car, the designer clothes, I realise now that they are not important

    I had the stess headaches and the sleepless nights, I am riddled with joint pains and muscle aches, which I am certain are due to years of the stress in my mind finding a path into my body.

    Something had to give and I didn’t want it to be me, so I gave up that life and live a much simpler modest life, I ‘live the dream’, not just my dream, but the dream of many. I don’t have much money, but I don’t need much, I am not poor. I am much less fortunate than some people, but much more fortunate the millions. I do not feel that Margaret or whats her name out of Eat, Sleep, Pray, who are both much wealthier that I, are self indulgent, they are just providing themselves with a better, healthier life, with the means or skills they have been lucky enough to have been able to develope for themselves. If what they have achieved inspires one person to take stock of their lives, re-evaluate, save themselves, then they will have given something back for their own good fortune.

    I believe that positive energy flows from an individual into a universal energy store and so generates positive energy for others to tap into. Which also means negative energy generates negative energy. I hope that the positive energy that I am now beggining to generate, can provide hope and positivity for others, the hundreds of people that I know who are caught in the trap, and hopefully many that I don’t know.

    Yes we are all luckier than the hungry beggar I gave a few euros to in the market the other day, he is not so fortunate as me and he will probably be sad and miserable his whole life, as will millions of unfortunate souls. But does that mean that Margaret and whats her name and even myself, all fortunate at different levels, can’t try to inspire and give hope to whoever we can. Maybe, one day, (maybe it will take a thousand years) there will be so much positive energy flowing into the universal energy store that poverty and sadness will be overcome and every one will be able to follow their dream.



  • Anonymous
  • kavin paker

    You have an entertaining way of writing and yes I love the why, I usually ask ” What are you hear to teach me
    Hotel Munchen