I'm learning. I seem to keep saying that and I know I'm repeating myself. I also know I haven't elaborated and offered you all the specifics yet, but within that learning, I am recognising that my default mode is not sustainable and it needs a great deal of reassessment. You see, I tend to undertake the usual daily happenings and often - too often - I add in a few extra things here and there. I'm rather certain that this is a common thread with most of us in this day and age, and in the past I have usually managed life's juggling act quite fine. These days however, I quickly tip towards overwhelm. My ability to do all those things has become vastly reduced and, simply put, I'm just not able to maintain the same level of usual goings-on. Not yet anyway.
It goes like this...
Full days plus too many late nights, equals fatigue. I tend to dedicate my days to my children, especially Noah who is not yet at school. With them, I try to balance out the various household/homesteading tasks with quality time shared doing their chosen activity. That leaves the evenings for my work (writing work, paperwork etc) and being the sole adult in this family it also means that, that list of said tasks is pretty crazy. I know, I know... drop the 'to do's', your kids are only young once. It's a fair point and it's one that I really live by but all the same, things do have to get done.
Anyway, once the fatigue/exhaustion sets in, I begin to spin out, lose clarity, have a meltdown and then realise I need to pull-back. Spin, melt, pull, you see? Grief is kind of a sucky thing but it does hold a good deal of beauty too. I just really need to accept that, for now, my days cannot be filled in the same way. I'm also really bad at asking for help or more accurately, recognising in advance those times where I might need to call in the support or pull-back. I'm working on it and I'll get there, I know I will. It's like anything new, we practice and we practice and we keep on practicing until it becomes easy. Right? Right.
Some time in the future I'll look back on these months with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of wisdom. I'm still in the first year, good golly, I'm not even half way through the first year! I'm think I'm doing a pretty good job since most days we manage quite well but sometimes I get really frustrated when I know I have to rein in those parts of my life that were going joyously gangbusters before because for now, my time and energy is getting sucked elsewhere. When I ignore the signs the aforementioned 'spin and melt' syndrome kicks in. My kids need me. More now than ever and I'm the only one they've got to help them with all the daily running around. I love my kids, they are my best mates and that will never be under question, but what does get to me is the constant stuff that has to be done for them outside of home. That's the stuff that sucks me dry and pulls me away from my "fuel"*. Homesteading is my "fuel", time spent with my kids doing the things we all love to do, that is my "fuel". The petty stuff that seems to fill up the day...? That is the stuff that bugs me yet I am finding it very hard to figure out a long term solution.
The end of next week sees the close of this term, perhaps I just need the break from school stuff? I do know that I will spend time over this break pondering a plan so that next term offers me more balance. Got any suggestions? I just tracked down this post and even though I'm not feeling quite as sad as I obviously was on that day, this familiar feeling does seem to be a reoccurring theme for the 'end of school term'. Ahh, I'm telling ya, it's the learning thing and some lessons are harder than others. Wanna guess how often I feel like fast forwarding a few of these days to skip to the part where I've already lived through this bit? Urgh, I know I should soak up this moment and live in the 'Now' and I guess skipping the hard bits is cheating the process. I did promise myself that I would see through each and every messy part.
Right then, well... now that that has all been said and I'm finished with my almighty whinge, I thank you, as always, for listening. Better out than in, they say! Time for me to go into pull-back mode which means off I creep under my rock until I'm pumped full of love, craft and homesteading goodness.
ps/ today's images are just a touch of winter beauty from our garden. The Narcissus (Jonquils) have just popped up their heads and the Nasturtiums are going wild!
pps/ we have a trip away planned for these school holidays and you can bet each one of the three of us are counting down the days. Details to come :)
* my dear friend, Rita, offers a great read (and tips) about finding your happiness and identifying your 'fuel'.