We are in a period of transition around here these days and to be honest, I am having a bit of a hard time writing about it. We have transitioned from focusing on a healthy, sustainable, independent lifestyle to being in the cattle business. Handy Husband is working his tail off trying to be a businessman by day, and a cowboy by night; and I am burning the candle at both ends here at home keeping the home fires burning. (Yikes, there are a lot of fire idioms happening there! What does that tell you!?) So anyway… What does it mean?
My projects have taken a back burner. (There it is again, up in flames folks!) The last year has included the flourishing of my truly beautiful baby boy. Handy Husband’s cows look great. But me… well, my days are spent frantically keeping food on the table and managing my household. I spend the vast majority of my time momming. I organizing capsule wardrobes and toy rotation systems to keep my older children’s rooms neat and tidy, so they can successfully practice independence and responsibility. I obsess about food day in and day out: meal planning, packing balanced nutritious lunches, hoping they eat! I have implemented a simple chore schedule, and daily routine for myself to try and keep our household running smoothly.
There are so many things I want to be doing that I am not. I am not milking my beautiful milk cow, Mocha right now. I do not have a single chicken (hopefully temporary). I did not even plant a garden this year. I am still getting to know our new home, and the project list is L.O.N.G. Despite my sincere and honest attempts to quit my day job, I am still practicing law. This is not at all what I hoped for. I am not sure what to write about lately because I do not have any answers. Honestly, I feel neither inspired or inspiring these days.
I have been filled with self-doubt and a sense of moving backward. Am I a total failure at this homesteading gig? Were my ideas about how I would raise my children always laughable? There is so much more I could be doing, do I really have anything to share? Does anyone want to read a depressing story of someone who is not meeting her goals? But I am trying to focus on the positive. Keep moving. Keep trying.
I started writing to share our journey to change the path our family was headed down. In the past year, it has seemed like maybe we strayed away from our quest toward the simple life. After all, we are working harder than ever. But at the crux of it, we are still working towards the same goals. We experienced some major and unforeseen changes and challenges, but we are still working toward building a particular life. This is our path. It is not a straight line and it is not without obstacles. In order to seize opportunities, we have made sacrifices. There are so many inspiring resources out there about how to get started, but I think it is actually much more difficult to restart, start again, or keep going in spite of adversity. I committed to myself I would be honest about this adventure.
Some days are hard and I am so, incredibly tired. I have two young children who need me, a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, and a husband I love dearly and never see because he works far too hard.
My ever-wise and inspiring yoga instructor recently described achieving balance in the physical body as a constant series of small adjustments. Balance is not still. This idea stuck with me. Adjusting for life’s circumstances does not alter the path or change the goal.
Sure we can set lofty goals and feel great about a new idea. It is easy to keep moving forward when you have tangible measures of progress, but there are so many times in life (at least in my life!) that I feel like I am starting over. It is so easy to forget that the most important thing is the lessons learned from those experiences and how much wiser one becomes with each additional attempt. Resuming some projects, temporarily put on hold, is still a success.
And so I say to myself, self, put on your boots and get busy! Love your babies. Water the calves. Plan your garden for next year. Finish the chicken coop. Plan your kitchen remodel and start saving. Remember to celebrate the victories. This week I made yogurt, chicken broth, kombucha, and gluten-free bread from scratch. I get to watch the sunrise every morning. Most importantly, I have the privilege of being the mother of three happy, healthy, absolutely incredible people.