Ground Zero: Everything is Awesome

I was born and raised in a city. I’ve lived in the suburbs half my life and downtown the other half. I have shared countless “tiny-cabin-in-the-woods” memes on facebook, yet never in a million years did I ever expect to move out to the country and live off-grid. But Feb 3 2017, I took my life 2hrs northwest of Toronto and settled at ZSC’s Ground Zero. Even more to my surprise, I never thought it’d be this amazing. Here’s why…

Remember when you were a kid at school and all day you couldn’t stop thinking about how you’re gonna play the hell out of your new action figure, or dress Barbie in her best shopping mall outfit, kick the shit out of your new soccer ball or finally beat that level in that video game? Well my crack was Lego. Sweet, colourful, tiny blocks that fit together perfectly and make all your creative dreams come true. Hours would feel like minutes when I was piecing together the latest spaceship or moon base. I’d stay up late, skip out on outdoor activities with friends, would absolutely lose it if my older brother broke my latest creation. It was a serious addiction. An addiction that I’m sure turned me into the best problem solver I know. This childhood high I’d get is precisely why I’m in love with my new off-grid home.

To Soldier and me, Ground Zero is a business venue first, our home second. And to us, it exists as one long “To-Do” list. So we get home from work, we work outside till it gets dark, then we do all our office admin tasks till bedtime...rinse and repeat. It may sound kinda grueling, but it actually gives us a great sense of purpose. Everything we do is an accomplishment that then unlocks other abilities in our apocalyptic business game. Gamifying everything makes the tasks extra fun.

I make most of the things for our business. I love crafting, making weapons, woodworking, sewing, etc. When I lived in the city, my main work space was my mother’s garage, an hour on public transit to the suburbs. Now imagine lil 10-year-old Butcher having to ride his bike for an hour (one way) after school just to be able play with his Lego. #inconvenience

Now, I plan all my adult-Lego projects at work, and when I get home, I run to my workshop and get to make anything out of everything for as long as I want. And instead of my creative projects just being cool little spaceships and tanks best enjoyed through my imagination, my projects now have purpose and carry both literal and metaphorical weight.

Ground Zero has given new challenges to overcome, direction and purpose, drive and excitement. Retirement has come early. I get to play with power tools, build fun things, live in a fort in a magical forest with my best friends, teaching people how to survive a zombie


Everything is awesome,

Everything is cool when you're part of a team

Everything is awesome when we're living our dream.

- Dominic "The Butcher" Etynkowski

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