I have to admit, lately we have been a little overwhelmed.
Winter has gone by so slowly, that all our plans seemed like they were miles away.... Until they weren't.
Suddenly it is early Spring.
I am so thrilled about this, but out of the blue we are now rushing to finish a batch of wine, bottle a batch of beer (obvious priorities), start seeds, brood chicks, buy materials for new structures, render lard, boil sap, finish a camper re-hab, and then some (all while keeping up with day jobs, house work, feeding a baby, while simultaneously maintaining our relationship and sanity).
I have a really difficult time giving myself a break. I'm not sure if it is the momentum - haven't really stopped since we graduated college, or if it is the fear of becoming complacent... Most of it I have to attribute to plain ol' passion for country livin' and a now much more apparent understanding of doing what you love. A combination of all is the likely story.
Due to this, our calendars are always packed. Jammed. Maxed out. Usually it is all happening so fast, I hardly have a moment to right it down. All of these schedules and plans floating around my head got a bit heavy.
I finally bit the bullet. Admitted I was in pretty deep - I broke down and bought a planner.
The reason I say that with the sound of defeat is that it is very clear to me now that our "hobbies" have become much more than that. This is now how we live our lives. How we plan our time, move from one season to the next, and how we think about the world around us. None of which is bad, but it did remind me that I am no longer who I was...
I suppose the idea of that much change seems intimidating to me. That being said, our lives have been packed full of life changing events in the last year, so it's time I acknowledged and accepted that completely. When things are going on and the world keeps turning from week to week sometimes you hardly even notice yourself falling behind or starting to run low on fuel until the empty light flashes on.
With that being said, here are some thoughts:
Write lists. Write all the lists. Get those thoughts out from swirling around your brain. Goals and ideas are WAY more likely to become real when you write them down. Promise.
Take a step back. Take inventory. Ask yourself if you really do or don't need something (whether it will cause unnecessary financial or time constraints).
Center in on the items in your list that are truly going to help you be the person you want to be; the things that will help you live your best life.
Make time for upkeep of yourself! Take time outs, go on dates, give yourself a manicure, drink that wine you bottled last October.
While my planner is still kind of overflowing at the moment, a lot of it will slow once the initial Spring rush has passed (once the seeds are in the soil, the coop is cleaned out, etc.). There are some things I am actively choosing not to worry about for the time being (though the Homestead Husband may tell you otherwise looking at the laundry list). Those choices are for the best.
This homestead/life planner is definitely the first step to ensuring that we accomplish what we need to, without getting consumed with stress. This is especially important as the goal with our homestead is to bring us peace and focus on the important stuff in life. If it ever starts to make me feel too cramped, and like an actual chore, I know I have gone too far and I'm not getting out of it what I wanted to.
^Photo: Kate Michaud Photography, Paris, ME
Here's to keeping up with things while also keeping them in check.