Yeah, yeah, I know I blogged a seriously long one yesterday and if you haven't read it and wanna know about July, go ahead and back track. But today is August and I feel like I need to talk and you guys are so good at listening, lol, I figure you won't mind me coming in here and bugging you for a few minutes or so, right?
I guess it's because it's been almost six months. I keep saying "I've been here four months," but today is the third of August! In less than two weeks, I will have been here for half a year. I don't know if it's because I was so damned focused and driven for those months that I was alone or what but they seem like just a couple of weeks in my memory. I hope that doesn't mean that I didn't experience them to their fullest. Maybe it just means that I slept a lot because I was so freakin' exhausted from working. Who knows?
What I do know is that it feels like an appropriate moment to examine what I've done and what I need to do. I don't mean all that stuff about PTA and stuff. Okay, yeah, that stuff is important. Profoundly important but somehow in a superficial way. What seems even more fundamental to me right now is this: Am I doing what I came here to do? The short answer is, "No."
Oh sure, I've realized some goals. I almost single-handedly and without a combustible engine, designed, cut and built a garden (I say almost because I did have my neighbor friend helping me there a LOT at the end with all of the boxes and with the fence). And I did cut down a shit ton of brush. And I did get the house and yard fairly ready for the kids to be here. And I did plant seeds and I HAVE actually eaten some vegetables from my garden. Not to mention I've blanched and frozen a few and have made a ton of fruit preserves to tide us over until next spring/summer. I've lost 20 pounds. I've made a few friends. I've gotten my kids settled in and have found them a few friends, too. I've built a slight, still somewhat shakey--okay, I'll admit, REALLY shakey--relationship with the library here (and I have to say that some of my reluctance to bond with this library comes from their sucky Summer Reading Program that excludes "read-to-me" participants but includes adults... but I'm seeing that from the point of view of Librarian and parent and should probably not indulge myself in going into all that blah blah blah). I have a relationship with the local YMCA. I've scouted out the cheap restaurants and movie theatres and have pretty intimate working relationships with the local grocery stores (including talking the Rustburg Food Lion deli into putting my freshly-cut meats and cheeses into glass containers for me, even if they DO give me a face and a sigh when they seem me coming).
I've done well so far.
But it's not enough. I feel like I've become distracted. I think I'll blame it on summer, lol. With kids around all the time and other parents who have kids, I'll admit that rather than work on the yard and garden, I'd rather hang out with my friend Al and her kids. Rather than writing and working on getting published, I'd rather laze about and watch DVR-ed shows and lurk on Facebook. Rather than read and research my future hen house, I'd rather go to the dollar movie and see Marmaduke again because my kids REALLY love the fart scenes.
Other than one meal of steamed squash and fresh pesto, I haven't grown anything I've eaten. The DE-FRICKIN'-LICIOUS blackberry jelly I made does NOT count because I didn't grow those. Okay, so, my tomatoes are growing and starting to look pretty good. And my cukes seem to be growing. And there's more squash a-comin'. But it just doesn't feel like I'm growing what I'm eating. And that's why I came here.
Yeah, yeah, I hear ya. You're yelling that I've done a lot of hard work. And these things take time. And establishing my social circle is just as important as establishing my nutritional one. All true and I thank you for cutting me slack.
BUT, I'm still wondering how far removed from my original goals I am.
I'd like to take a moment to also blame the frickin' bees. Listen, I'm crazy scared of stingers. It's ridiculous. It's comical and sad at the same time. If you could see how silly I look trying to water my garden as I yelp at every passing flying insect, you'd tinkle in your pants from laughing. It's funny. But it's debilitating. I mean, I actually wanna raise honey. How's that gonna happen when I can't pick my cukes because I'm scared of the bumbles?
I read about other homesteaders. The really committed ones. The ones who have no AC, no freezer, no fridge. The ones who live on solar power and root cellars. The ones who have teams of horses for going to town. I'm jealous of those people. It's not like I want to be totally Amish. But I feel like I've strayed from my original path.
I'd love to do things like build myself a writer's cottage out of straw and clay. Build an outdoor kitchen so I could cook with fire (but get this, I'm scared shitless of fire... I won't even use the fireplace in our new house because I'm scared of starting a fire in a house made of woods... SET in the MIDDLE of the freakin' woods.
I shouldn't be inside. I should be outside right now, raking my yard, building flower gardens, cutting and hauling brush in spite of the snake threat (I worked all day on Saturday doing just that while the kids played outside half naked... it was awesome... They all ran around in their underwear and their rubber boots and their gloves. Lolo even took OFF her underwear and was SO pleased that she could just squat and poop and pee wherever she wanted that I was afraid she'd pick up her turd-y trophy and bring it to me!!!). I shouldn't be inside fussing over laundry and dishes.
I don't know what going on. I moved into the woods because I wanted my kids to grow up in the woods. But I feel like I've holed myself up in this house and am now hiding from the very thing I want.
I'll blame a little of that on my hormones as I am, once again, challenged in that department this week.
I just found out that the fitness coordinator at the Y, the really super positive one, the one who said if I got my Zumba license she'd hire me, well, I just found out she's very ill. Before I left for France, she wasn't feeling well. Last week, when my sister and I went to the Y, they said she was laid up in bed with pneumonia. Yesterday, I found out she has stage 4 lung cancer. How does that happen? It's not me. We're not even related. I don't even know her that well. But I am DEVASTATED by this news. I guess because she was the representative of positivity for me here. I guess because her smile and openness and willingness to interact was a symbol of hope. I mean, it still is. It's just... well, you know...
And going back to the whole farming whatnot... I wonder if it's just not going to be in the cards for me because of who I am now. I love Sam. Okay? You know I do. But he's not adventurous. I mean, he is. But he's so not. I have never been able to call him up, tell him an idea and have him receive it with excitement or even an open mind. Whenever I talk to him, his sigh of annoyance is physical. Almost spiritual. Like wondering what the frick else I'm about to get him into. It hurts and it's a heavy burden. What that means for me is that I'm going to have to find some more autonomy. I wanted to be able to share my life intimately with someone who had similar goals as I. And I do have that on a sort of superficial level. But we're no where NEAR having one mind. It'd be nice not to have to work so damn hard to accomplish even the smallest things. I think it really boils down to means. If I had some source of money so that I wouldn't even have to ask all the time for the things I want to do. If I had a job or could finally sell my books, I could have the means to do the little things I want to do.
Maybe that'll happen eventually. I don't know. I hope it does.
Right now, I'm torn between this drive and desire to get things DONE and moving along and the fact that doing things takes a lot of time. And that six months isn't really THAT long in the grand scheme. But what if I had stage four lung cancer. Wouldn't six months be a nice long frickin' time? I think it would. I don't want to use the excuse that "things take time" or whatever. I should be out there right now, raking leaves, hauling brush, braving the bees. And when I'm inside the house for whatever reason, I should be bettering myself, making plans, doing research, writing and editing my work, etc.
I guess I feel I just need to get my life straightened out and reorganized! I need to put my goals down on paper and get a timeline going.
Know what my OTHER concerns are? Well, one is that I'm afraid that I don't really enjoy life. That doesn't make any sense, does it? I mean in terms of living, I feel like I make a pretty good effort. But there is a difference in DOING things and EXPERIENCING them. I feel like I don't enjoy. I don't experience. I don't live. I feel like I just do. Maybe it's because I'm in such a hurrty, I don't actually experience the things I'm doing. I think it's also because I'm pretty screwed up chemically right now. I'm angry a lot. Depressed a little. Anxious quite a bit. I used to really taste it. Life, that is. And anymore, it's like I'm eating and getting full but not really tasting anything. Does that make sense? It doesn't to me. My life is full of things to do, people to love, things to see and eat and taste and, and, and... but still, I feel a little empty... Pretty empty, in fact.
*sigh* I don't know... maybe it's my period, like I said. Or maybe I really should get medicated (I haven't because of the whole wanting to have a baby without chemicals running through my veins). Maybe I should go on a pilgrimage and help some people. Maybe I should stop watching TV and get off the damn computer. Maybe I should read more like I used to. Maybe I should actually PLAY with my kids instead of sending them down to the basement so I can watch tv or play on the computer.
Anyway, I just needed to vent all this bullshit. Thanks for letting me indulge. I really am fine for the most part. There's no reason to worry about me or organize any sort of intervention or anything. I just needed to get some of these thoughts out of my head.