|Keep on keeping on.|
May has gotten off to a rough start here at the farm. I suppose it happens everywhere sometimes, but I tend to be the eternal optimist. It's tough to find ways to push me down, but every once in a while the odds just seem too far stacked for me to balance, for me to see the glass as half-full. It's during these times that I need to just hit the hypothetical reset button, to figure out a way to put everything behind me and look to the future. I've always taken solace in the thought the God provides us a new day, a new sunrise every morning so that we have a fresh start. Sometimes it's the only way to move ahead and put one foot in front of the other. Human nature necessitates survival, and sometimes it's times of crisis that birth the best ideas. This month has made me think a little about what it means to be doing what we're doing. How did we end up here, and why?
Well, first off (and I guess I am truly only speaking for myself!), we loved the idea. We loved the ideas of 1) being in community and 2) farming the land. We loved the ideas of 3) living a simpler life and 4) building sustainability off of what we have. We loved the thought of sharing the burdens of life and of home. I guess I've been thinking a lot about this over the last week or two. It all sounds good on paper, no? But what does it mean in practice, this hypothetical "sharing the burden?" I think it's easy to get wrapped up in what it means to "split" everything equally, to make sure that you (and everyone around you) picks up their own part and that no one is unfairly getting left with too much of the work. It's easy to think of yourself as the one who is picking up most of the slack. Unfortunately, I think every single one of us feels like this sometimes. It's easy to either feel guilty because you know that you didn't do your part or to feel shafted because you feel like you are the only one picking up the heavier load. When you are in a marriage, you dialogue with your spouse and you naturally fall into your roles as a family. My husband never got mad that I didn't take out the trash a single time that we were married and living together over the past 10 years. He would pick my clothes up off of the floor without (too much) complaining, and I would always do his dishes. It's interesting to me to see the way that we are all trying to figure out this pecking order of sorts. Factually, we don't have as much house work here as we did when we were living on our own. We split the chores and the deep cleaning of the house. We did also decide to take on a lot more projects and we have a lot more land, so we've created more work with everything else that we have going on here. These projects are hobbies, things that we love and that we want to be doing, so in theory they shouldn't feel like too much of a chore, either. Realistically, I love spending time outside with the hens. Jeremy loves being out gardening and planting and watering. Sarah and BJ love the dogs and canyon walks. I think these are all somewhat interchangeable, too. Why is it human nature, then, to try to always make sure everything is "fair?" I hear the echo of my girls arguing in the background and tattling to me that it just isn't fair. They want everything to be equal, even though maybe if they really thought about it, it wouldn't matter anyhow. Each of them really enjoys certain things and maybe they should just focus on enjoying all of the things that they have and the blessings they've received in life rather than being wrapped up in this battle of "fairness". I think I started thinking about this a while ago, when we were first moving in together. I remember having a little epiphany about it and realizing that I think it's this attitude that could ultimately crush a fantastic relationship. It would crush a marriage, it could crush families. I've seen extended families crumble in the battle of "fairness" when someone passes away. Why do we, as humans, have a hard time getting over ourselves? I think it's a good exercise in life to be able to meditate on this and take a breath, and be joyful that we have the ability to take care of each other and to help each other. We should be more filled with joy when we have the chance to pick up someone else's slack, and we should take peace in the meditations of our day to day life. I am grateful that I have these chickens to feed and that I have water coming out of my tap to give them. I am grateful for the sun on my shoulders as I water the garden beds, and for the new seedlings that are wriggling their way through the soil. I am eternally grateful that I have a bathroom to clean, and a fridge to stock and food to cook. I thank God every day for giving me the time and the ability to do these things. I pray that I will be better at it and remember how to be eternally grateful. My time could not be better spent than by taking care of those around me and the people I love. I hope that I continue to grow and that God reminds me of this as I am asked to continually give in life. What an honor and a joy it is to be able to give to and serve those around me, and to work on the land that He is gracious enough to let me live upon.
Well, I started off this post with the plans of writing something totally different and this is the tangent I ended up on. I guess it does hit some of the notes that I started off wanting to write about. It's funny because contrary to what some of you might think, it's actually all going good here with us. This hasn't been a battle or a fight, just a personal meditation. I sometimes see elements of it in all of us, but I think we have a pretty good balance here. It's something to continually grow with, I think. There are so many more meditations that this blog post has sparked in me, and I will write on each of them this month. It will be a good meditation for me, since I've been all internal and broody lately. Maybe it will be a good way to get May to turn around and end with a glass half full.