Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The annual panic post

If you've been around for awhile, you know that I generally panic this time of year. Husband-professor Mike is back at school, and the three now-adult children are all in college. Margaret will be graduating from University of Illinois this December. Katherine, my baby, is editor of her community college newspaper this year, and favorite son Jonathan is in theater and has already been cast in a play this semester. That leaves me home seven days a week to milk goats, make cheese, harvest vegetables, can, freeze, and deal with whatever emergency happens to be happening around here, which seems to be coyote related lately. Most days, I have one additional person here to help, and I hate to sound ungrateful, but that's not usually enough.

In past years, I've also freaked out about the fact that we still didn't get drain tiles in the ground around the house and barn, which means that we'll have to deal with continued flooding at random times. And no, we didn't get the drain tiles in this summer either. And the potting shed still is not done, although Mike did buy the lumber, so we are one step ahead of previous years. Maybe my dining room won't be taken over by seedlings next spring. And we got nothing done on the house -- you know, the one in which we live, the one we started building seven years ago. So we're still living with no tile around the master bathtub, few baseboards, and an open staircase. Someday this will be a beautiful house.

But this year, I have new things to add to my panic list -- I have a book coming out in a couple weeks, which means I'll be doing lots of speaking and book signings. So, I have speeches to write and Power Points to create. If you're in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, or Kansas, be sure to check out the events that are already scheduled there, as well as Illinois, where I live.

I also have to write my second book, which is due January 15. And I started two new blogs, which is one reason I don't post here quite as often. I've already introduced you to the Homegrown and Handmade blog, which is a supplement to the book and contains recipes and information on growing your own food and fiber. But I also decided to start a writer's blog -- a blog where I write about writing.

Does it surprise you to know that I've been thinking about selling the Irish dexter cattle and most of the Shetland sheep? I just haven't worked up the nerve to actually post any ads. Part of me keeps saying, what if it's a mistake? I'm not sure how it could be a mistake to reduce my workload around here, but fear of making a mistake paralyzes a lot of people.

Now the sun is low enough in the sky to be shining into the window next to my computer. It's my cue that it's time for evening chores.

5 comments:

Debby said...

Over commitment can really ramp up that panic thing. Wish I was closer, so I could help a bit. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and think, I know I can do this.
I had planned on getting Shetland sheep this coming spring but with this drought, I am reconsidering. Otherwise,I might consider yours, if you were to put them on the market. I'm also looking for some smaller cattle than my Angus for after I process the current ones. My current choice are the Scottish Highlands. Good luck

Patty said...

This time of year does seem to throw us homestead types into a panic. Pending winter, looming up in front of us, along with the gardens throwing produce at us seems enough in itself, and there's oh so much more than that.
I hope that by the time winter really does set in you'll feel a whole lot better. I'm also wishing you help for right now. Blessings!

LindaG said...

Boy, I understand not getting anything done.
With all the unemployment, perhaps you could barter help for meat or something?
Good luck!

Margaret said...

Regarding making decisions: check out http://www.stevepavlina.com/articles/do-it-now.htm and scroll down to the heading titled "Do it now!" He makes some good points.

Mama Pea said...

We all must face decisions whether we want to or not. Your life (and help for your workload!) has changed over the years and with all three kids venturing out more and more into their own lives (i.e., not being on the farm to help), so you have to realize you're going to have to make changes.

Look at how many more commitments you personally have than a few years ago? (Your writing and speaking is something you want to stay with, right?) Although we want to do EVERYTHING, we simply can't . . . and keeping at it will only bring about disappointment and frustration and even possibly take a toll on your physical health.

Making changes isn't a bad thing nor should you consider it failure in any way. And, remember, it's not forever. There will come a time when you can change (again!) to ways that feel even better. It just has to be the right time for it to be fulfilling and rewarding.

The above sermon given by someone who makes LOTS of mistakes, has a very hard time making changes and still tries to do too much. :o}

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