I get overwhelmed. Not TERRIBLY often. But it does happen. Just don’t ask my husband – because he will tell you I’m always overwhelmed. (Ok, ok… I’m working on it…)
I like to say that I get overwhelmed because I just have so many great ideas – I just want to make them all happen. Now. At this very moment that I am thinking of it.
For example – remember my humble idea to start a farm? We are now at 1 cow, 4 goats (2 on loan to us), 2 sheep, 5 chicks, 18 chickens, 2 (excessively huge) dogs, and 1 cat.
See how quickly things spiral out of control?
And then I turned into that woman who decided she was going to make everything. “Oh gosh, we are out of laundry detergent? Dishwashing detergent? Deodorant? Toothpaste? (insert ANYTHING here)? Oh, don’t worry – I’ll find a way to make that too!” I truly have good intention behind ALL of these decisions. Really.
I have learned to recognize a very simple fact. I learned it the HARD way.
I cannot do it all.
I sure as hell want to. But I can’t. Not right now, with everything on my plate. Maybe one day, right?
My priorities have become crystal clear to me:
- Family. I don’t think I really need to elaborate here. My husband and my kids are the most important thing. Ever.
- Farm. This farm will one day become our life-line. We are not at a place yet where our farm can completely provide for us. But it will. One day. Hell, that’s why I started doing all this in the first place, remember?
- Work. For simplicity sake, I am going to lump in my day-job and my blogging in one priority here. For now.
I recently started to do something whenever I would start to feel overwhelmed with the decisions I have made.
Take a step back.
Evaluate where my priorities are in relation to what is turning me on edge – and start there. Tonight was a prime example. I had ten million things going on. Dinner. Putting up pasture animals. Facebook (don’t judge). Email. Blog. And Emma.
Emma has been dying to learn how to cross-stitch. As I heard that frantic voice in my head “Ack! How am I supposed to get all this done?!”. I stopped and checked myself – my priorities. Then I turned dinner on low, walked away from my phone and computer – and taught her how to stitch her little heart out.
And she rocked it (no doubt). And the impromptu piano lesson she has been waiting for me to give? Rocked that too. And the look on her face afterwards eliminated all worry.
And I’m not stressed out anymore – well, not TERRIBLY stressed out. Because I followed my priorities.
I have also found that routine is KEY here! Routine with the animals most of all – because animals get pissy when you rock their routine boat. And did you know that pissy animals can ruin your day? Literally. R-U-I-N it.
With two stalls completed in the barn, we have decided to start a new routine for the goats – being secured in a stall at night. The reason for this is not what you would think – Granted, we do want our animals to be nice and cozy at night. Up until now, we have always allowed our animals to roam free and sleep where they choose. We have sleep sheds built within each pasture (however, no on likes to use it) for their convenience. But the reason we decided to do it was because morning feedings were becoming out of control. As in, four goats trying to knock you over to get anything that you have that might fit in their mouths. And I would yell and swear and try to keep my balance as I tried to get the food handed out to everyone.
And then I said, “Enough is enough!” We need structure here, animals!” So now they get their feed at night and get locked in. And I am happier. For the time being.
This one little change in routine for us, however, takes about 15 pounds of stress off my shoulders.
Ever heard the term “Work smart, not hard”? I am finding that homesteading is an intricate blend of hard work done smartly, in order to obtain some sort of progress.
So I will continue this struggle to maintain a balance between all of these things. Eventually it will get easier – after some more really hard days…
But it will all be worth it…