Saturday, September 24, 2011

Helpful Advice

I used to read this one blog quite often - from the comfort of my office chair in Oakland at my last job. Before the long span of unemployment, my trip across the country, and my current North Carolina adventure. Before I had my manfriend, the spawn and before chickens, dogs, weather and mud regulated my routine. Back when interior design & decorating coupled with food trends and eco-chic seemed more appropriate to my life and not the drivel I mostly find it to be now. (I can go on about this at length, should you feel the need to snarkily comment on it)

But. I was recently perusing one of  their sites, and I came across a piece of advice that struck a chord with me: "Spend time with others in your home, just enjoying your home as it is right now." (click here for original post)

You see, I have been having a really tough time here lately finding a balance. Juggling an ever-changing job schedule, having a 7 year old to help out with, having my man here, gardening, cooking, blogging, dogs, chickens.... it's just been on the verge of too much for me to handle these past few weeks. And a lot of the added stress I seem to be having is related to the fact that winter is nigh, and the following thoughts keep weighing on me:
  • I really don't feel like we're ready for winter logistically - the chickens need to be winterized, doghouse(s) need to be built, the washing machine needs to be winterized, the camper needs to be winterized, we still don't have a door/insulation/heating source in the new living space...
  • my garden isn't where it needs to be - my chickens finally found it and rooted up most of the brassicas & seedlings for our winter greens, and took dustbaths in the pepper plants that were on their last push of productivity. The herbs haven't been harvested, I still have plants that need to go in the ground so they have time to get established before frost hits, I need to decide whether or not to try to overwinter the Dahlias (probably not), and good golly so much needs to be mulched.
  • next year's garden isn't ready for winter either - as in, I need to break ground out in the meadow and get it composted or else we will only have the beds again next year...
  • and I'm really just not as far along as I would like to be - ('nuff said)
But really what this is amounting to is me looking around the place with someone else's (overly) critical eye, and not my own. I have been looking at what I haven't accomplished and what I don't have more and more and that is just sad. I HAVE gotten a lot done in the year since I've been out here (coming up on my 1 year Stoneyhaw Anniversary!!), and I need to remember that. Because I am proud of what we've got out here ... you may see a ramshackle group of odd structures, chickens everywhere, lumber strewn about, and having to put your shoes on to pee, but to me it's home, and a home I have built myself (although not at all alone. My parents, manfriend, extended family, and friends have all pitched in above and beyond over the last year). And I see a future self-sustained food source, never having a mortgage, and living in and with the fruits of my labor. I see a place to grow as a family (ummm...not in terms of number, thankyouverymuch), and to continue to grow as a person.



George and Kerri said...

I see this picture and I see a petition to get that stupid no-swimming thing changed. :)

Samantha Bangayan said...

What an important thought! I often feel the exact same way. It's like a bad habit or something. You'd think that now that I followed my dreams/passions and found the simpler lifestyle I wanted, that I'd be able to relax enough and appreciate more.

I'm proud of all that you've done there too!! =) And I love how you mention all the help you had along the way and how "self-sustainability" doesn't preclude family and friends. =)

Jennifer Fais said...

Welcome to the ranks of homeowners! We, too, are looking at all the winterizing that needs to be done from the couch at the moment because we have colds/sinus infections, but really appreciate your call to reflect on all that has been accomplished. Thanks!