Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm Exhausted

I do not like complaining on my blog. I think the act of blogging is like the act of prayer. You have an opportunity to build the life you want in writing and also a chance to inspire (not depress) anyone who happens along to read.

But without pitfalls there is no level ground. Without dark, light doesn’t mean anything. So sometimes, just sometimes (well, often probably) I think it is necessary to draw out the monsters and have a good battle with them.

Here goes.

I have not been this tired in a very long time. My bones and muscles seem to holding on. My brain even seems to hold a thought or two most of the time. But I’ve hit this wall where I need far more sleep than I seem able to get.

The pace at which we have been running around here is not sustainable. This is a particularly crazy time of year and always will be but it never ceases to throw me off my chair. The transplanting, seeding, haying, repairs, fencing etc. etc. Whether we are getting things done or not, it seems the weight of what has to be done is getting to me. My kitchen floor has so much dirt on it I could plant some seeds in there. I have winter coats piled up by my front door waiting to head to their winter hiding place. My counters look like I’ve just cleared out my cupboards and left the contents out for everyone to see. But really, I haven't had time to find a place for any of that stuff. The kids toys, well, let’s just say they’re not that good at picking up after themselves (and teaching them to do so is another thing I’ve been meaning to get to). And I miss my friends. I don’t have time for my friends right now. Ug.

I’m a mess. I feel like a total failure. I know the real farmers out there are shaking their heads and saying: ‘I knew she couldn’t do it, the girl just doesn’t have what it takes’. And my compassionate friends are saying: ‘you do too much, give yourself a break.’ The truth lies somewhere in the middle I think.

I believe so strongly that the world needs small farms and a new model for bringing food to our tables. We need to close in our circles a little and make good with what we have around us. But if I was to try to be an example for that – at least the part of growing and raising your own food – I just don’t seem to be able to do this and keep my sanity all of the time.

The chores get done, the projects move along and even some quality outings with the kids are accomplished. From the outside it would appear I have it all under control, perhaps. But on the inside I feel the heavy weight of ‘I can’t do this anymore’. I look back and see a job that I could no longer balance with farming and parenting. Ahead I see a life of endless work (most of it unfinished), more than any human should have to take on. Rather, more than this human can cope with.

Or is it all just a product of where I came from? My perspectives are set and they can’t change. I want what I want when I want it and no matter how many ideals I hope to attain, I can’t let go of my cushy past? I want to just buy the stupid $3 watermelon from Walmart and forget this growing business. I want to eat the kind of bacon that doesn’t have hair and skin attached to it sometimes.

I have had a lot of privilege bestowed upon me. I have had the opportunity to educate myself. I have been blessed with children. Found a life partner who tolerates this nonsense. I even like my slobbering, misbehaved dogs most of the time. Chris Rock said that one is truly rich when they have options. I have had all of the options a person could ever desire made available to me. What is my problem? What more do I need to be able to rest, look around and be satisfied with what I see without working my fingers to the bone and my heart into a quagmire of doubt and worry?

If I could put some of it down. Not the life, or even the jobs. Just the weight of it. I might sleep better.

Last I checked I wasn’t responsible for changing the world. I’ve always believed that an individual can mark a trail by example though. I don’t need an audience. But I care that I’m doing the best I can and that it might help another chart the same path if that is what they choose.

But I’m so very tired.

Dare I say that I think there is a reason why jobs were segregated 60 years ago? I can’t transplant the plants, do the barn chores, take care of the kids, clean the house, mow the lawn, do the laundry, secure food in our cupboards and deal with the garbage and construction and repair of our home all at once. I don’t particularly like cleaning house to be honest. So admittedly I turn my attention to the outdoors as a way of procrastinating. But I love to cook. I love hanging out with my kids (even though they drive me bananas regularly). I just don't love the never-ending pressure of it all at once. And my husband does his share or more - this is me on me you understand, right?

I have to put some of this down. I have to carry a lighter load somehow. This lady is going to crash.


  1. I by no means have an answer. Or answers.
    But it isn't because of your ( to use your words)" cushy" upbringing. I grew up on a small mixed family -farm in rural Ontario. Mom and Dad, four kids and 150 acres.It was by no means sub-saharan Africa, but the work ethic was tough and you made do or did without.It wasn't cushy. yet I still sometimes wanted to just float downstream instead of swimming against the current. Seems like a whole lot less effort.
    What I did learn from that crazy making time of rush- to- get- the- crops-in-take-off-the-hay-change-the-pasture-field-redo-the-fencing-play-the-midwife-to-the-heifer-etc-etc-ETC days was that you NEVER get it all done.I think once my mom let go of that expectation she kept a small bit of sanity. She plowed fields,herded livestock and rolled out barbed wire just like my dad did and even as a child the tension ran high in summer as they raced to get so much done in such a compressed span of time.
    You aren't going crazy. There is nothing wrong with how you are feeling; what we ask of those who produce our food is nothing short of miracles.Please do believe that many of us do care and want to support you in that monumental undertaking .

  2. how did you know that that was just the right things to say? Really, really. It is hard to know what a 'real farmer' knows. I'll never have that history. It is also hard to know what 'normal' is (although I should have learned by now this does not exist). I feel better now. I need to learn to set priorities and let the rest go - leave things undone (eternally) and appreciate this miracle-making while my bones are still strong. Thank you thank you thank you gracious wise woman.

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