This is the first week I’ve ever felt like maybe I can’t do this. Life has been more fickle than I ever remember it being, that is without any major events taking place. Hardly anything noteworthy has happened in the last month or two, and yet…
Here I am. Looking at my garden and its weeds as tall as I am. I need to clarify, since I’m prone to exaggeration, that I literally have sweet clover in between my rows that is five feet tall. If you were having a little garden guilt – gone! The local flower lady from the market has a more unruly garden than you do, so no worries!
What happened? I’m not sure. Lately many people have had opinions on what I do with my time, causing me to reevaluate – rightfully so I think. Some people said I don’t do enough here or there, some said I did to much all over. A few said, “Yup, it’s a lot. Just do you’re best.” But after writing down all of my daily/weekly expectations to get more “organized”, all it left me was exhausted and confused. How do I do all this?
My answer disgusts me. I don’t. I set out to do all of these things, most of which I love. And I end up half-assing everything. I don’t think I’m terribly undisciplined. Easily distracted? Definitely. Lazy? I don’t think so.
I have dreams of Nic and I finishing and filling (with people, not things) our modern Scandi farmhouse, growing mounds of gorgeous flowers, clever fun children who are mindful, creative human beings, beautiful relationship with all kinds of people old and young, and tea. I definitely dream of tea. And wine. (Speaking of which, I read a new term today. Twine. As in, “Join me for twine?’ You start with tea and move on to wine. Just let me know when you’d like to come over! Thank you Susan Branch.)
But after I feed the animals (human and otherwise) my time is scattered, sort of like seed spread too thin. It’s not that it’s not productive, it’s just that it’s not enough to do the job. So then this happened. I got sick. We still don’t know what’s up, although we have some suspicions. It’s nothing major, but it was enough to force me to stop. This week I could do very little. I had no choice but to sit and actually read the book I checked out from the library. You will never guess what happened.
The world. kept. spinning.
The flowers didn’t die (although thank you Jesus for the rain) and my children didn’t fall apart and become idiots and the work still went on without me. Mostly – when I started to feel better I started picking up the load again. But it seriously woke me up. So I’m going to declare my intentions to you all today. From Cambodia to Uganda, and from the Uk to Venezuela I’ve gotta be real with you. It’s my way.
I am slowing down. Seriously, before I end up not being able to breathe at all.
First off, my romantic idea of homeschooling year round is going to be even more casual; Unschooling basically. I mean we’ll never stop reading wonderful books. And we’ll never stop learning in the everyday and drawing in our journals, but other than that – learning games only.
Farm Biz – I would love to be making oodles of dollaz from the farm, and it could be well on it’s way. But I have got to stop chasing that goal while we build a house. I can still sell eggs, flowers and shall we say ‘ketracel white’ (any DS9/Voyager people out there?!) without trying to push for immediate progress. I’m going to have to remind myself that it’s ok. I just want to be able to provide everyone with every egg and stem possible. And the fact is, I don’t have to. I can’t tell you how hard that is for me to write. To admit that slow growth is ok. When one starts a business, it feels like you must be expanding and producing and growing, growing, growing. Lies. $100 enjoyably made is better than a million made in stress and dropping important things. Especially when we don’t really rely on the farm for income yet. So I’m not going to do the market tomorrow; we’ll see about next week.
Often farm blogs tend to get a little sparse when the busy season hits. While I try to blog at least once a week, I’ve already come to terms with the fact that this can’t always happen during the market season…especially while we finish the house. Although I have experimented with monetizing my blogs, I write because I enjoy it. And I want to us connect and learn from each other. There’s no deadline or optimum post schedule for that.
Food wise (because a eating a traditional diet is seriously a part time job), I had already let my sourdough starter die and given up beans for lack of time to soak them. But I’m not going to worry about making cheese and yogurt and ice cream…ok maybe I won’t give up on homemade ice cream. I’m going to go to the store and by a loaf of sourdough bread, which will never live up to homemade but it will do the trick. Whew – huge relief.
I’ve already committed to a couple of other things that I don’t want to flake out on. But really, living a healthy physical and spiritual life, parenting well and being a good steward are plenty right now. I’m even going to let some of the unsold herbs die; that’s how desperate for peace I am.
As I’ve processed this, I know there are people who will frown upon the way my time is spent while I work this out. For better or for worse, those opinions got me into this stress-mess so I think I’ll let those just bounce off for a bit. You know, like rubber and glue. Any ways, why would they want me to do more things poorly when I maybe could actually do a few things well? Now that I think of it, they don’t. They just want me to do everything well. And that’s not currently an option.
I know that much of this post was for me. But you lovely readers are situated literally all over the world. The whole point of this blog is to find beauty in the everyday stuff of life. And I can’t help but think maybe some of you are missing out on it too because you’re spread too thin.
I’ll admit, even after I wrote a list of everything I’m doing, I couldn’t scratch anything off the list. It seriously all seemed necessary until I was physically unable to do them. I honestly refused to feel overwhelmed, even when I probably should have. So besides slowing down to listen and seriously feel, I don’t have a whole lot of practical advice for you. You could take a week off from life. Doing the “survival-only” tasks really has a way of redefining the word necessary. Below is a quote from a post that didn’t make it, so fitting. How can we help each other remember this?!
Reader, friend, are you overwhelmed? Have you been there? I’d love to hear your story; over ‘twine’ would be best. But I’ll settle for over cyberspace if necessary. Drop me an e-mail here or comment below.
Humbled and healing,