Everyone who knows me well knows I'm a dreamer. It's a blessing and a curse, and today my dreams are piling on top of me with a force that is starting to feel suffocating.
I suppose being a dreamer is both a giver and a thief. It's a gift that gives you vision and ideas; it provides a way to creativity and imagination. Yet, it reminds you of limitations, steals away your thoughts to a place of unease and discomfort, and truthfully can be quite overwhelming if you can't find a way to make these dreams and visions that live so vividly in your mind become reality.
And so, this is where I am.
I dream about this homestead and what it could be a lot. I dream about the animals we could add, the projects we could complete. Ways that we could make this place more sustainable.
Right now my head is dreaming of next year. Oh, the possibilities. We could set up the pasture so that the cows can rotationally graze in four separate paddocks. We can rotate them weekly, giving them new fresh grass and giving the grass a chance to recover and grow back before they return, thus preventing overgrazing in some areas and undergrazing in others. Then, the chickens do their role. After the cows leave the paddock, the chickens will come in for manure spreading and fly control, which helps fertilize the grass and naturally lessens the crazy amount of flies that cows can bring to a homestead.
Also on my radar is adding pigs to our family. Each year we buy a whole pig from either a local farmer or the butcher shop. Why aren't we growing these ourselves? How can we create a place and space to add these animals sustainably? Do we get a breeding pair? Buy a feeder pig? Where do we start?
And right now my mind is also on our current barn situation. We don't have a big barn. It's a 10x20 shed is what it is. Within this barn, we've separated it into 2 stalls, so we have the calves on one side and the cow on the other. Between the stalls is the water tank and the feed bins and literally no room for anything else. This means we don't have a close storage space for hay (we're keeping it on a hay wagon right now with a tarp over it, and I think that will work good enough...) and we REALLY don't have a spot for straw/bedding. Our brother-in-law and D's sister said that we could have sawdust from their mill for bedding, which would be such an amazing thing....if only we could figure out how to store it without it freezing. My grandparents have tons of loose straw up in their haymow...but we don't have anyway to store that either to keep it dry. So, I've been really thinking and trying to come up with solutions. I'm running lots of ideas by D, who patiently listens, but I can see on his face that these ideas are stressing him out too.
See, both of us work full time jobs. We both are really busy. Yes, I'm home during the day because I work from home...but my days are so incredibly full with teaching and homeschooling that there isn't time to complete these projects. Not to mention, if I did try to complete these projects with three children in tow, it just would not end pretty. There would definitely be at least 2 out of the 3 of them crying and a cow eating the other's hat.
This presents a problem. This means that all of my dreaming and ideas fall upon D. I can't build the things I want, but he doesn't have the time to build them either. He works so hard for our family, and it's really unfair of me to ask him to do more at night after he's already worked all day. So my pathway to fulfilling my dreams becomes stagnant and blocked, and everything becomes really overwhelming.
Does this happen to any of you, too? Maybe someday this blog will become something and we can focus more of our time on building this homestead instead of working our other jobs....but for now, it's not and brings no income for me. At least it serves as a way to release these many, many feelings and thoughts that live inside this crazy brain of mine.
So where do we go from here?
Well, part of me wants stomp her feet and have a tantrum, while completely giving up. Let's sell everything. No more chickens, no more cows. Who needs a garden anyway?
Then the more realistic part of me reminds me of how we got here in the first place. It took time. Dreams take time. These things will happen...in time.
It's ok to not be ok and to feel overwhelmed sometimes by the enormity of life. Things can pile up and can quickly get overwhelming. Times like these can easily give way to negative thoughts that can lead down a really devastating path it you don't take time to face them and recognize them for what they are. I know that path, and I don't plan on going there again.
So let's face these thoughts head on:
Just because I can't complete all of the dreams and goals I have by myself does not make me bad at my roles in this life. It makes me human.
Just because we don't have a solid plan for bedding in place already doesn't mean we won't figure one out. We always figure out something.
Even though I really want all of the things now, it's unfair to make more work for D if his heart isn't into the project like mine is. We both need to be on the same page together, making decisions together, for this homestead to function as it should. That might mean waiting another year for pigs. It might mean we don't create a chicken tractor to put in the cow pasture for next summer. I have to accept our limitations for what they are.
And, after all of those thoughts have been addressed, now let's talk about how to move forward by focusing on the good:
We have come so far in this journey from a tiny garden in town, to making maple syrup, to a big garden in the country with chickens and cows. We have meat in our freezer from our own chickens, and meat in the freezer from D's deer kills this fall. The basement is full of preserves from our garden. Just the fact that we are here in this house on this 40 acre property in the middle of nowhere is a huge dream that has been fulfilled in itself. Focusing on what we haven't gotten done only takes away from all of the amazing things that we have already done.
And this blog is growing! We only had 30 some readers at first and now we're up to over 200 followers. That is progress. That is growth- and all organic, word-of-mouth growth! Let's celebrate that! Thank you for following our journey!
So if you find yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed with everything going on, maybe this can help you through. If you're like me, writing is a release and a way to free my soul from the demons that are gripping me; it gives me a chance to bring life to my struggles and worries, validate them, and then move on.
And that's just what I'll do now, move on. Because we've come a long way, and dreaming (while it helps us to grow) about what could be, in an unhealthy way, isn't always best for cultivating a heart of gratitude and can blind us from recognizing how far we have come on our journeys.
I wish you all the best on your journeys,
As always, the best way to support us on our journey is to comment, share, and talk about this blog with your friends. Thank you for reading; you are appreciate
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