The combines are running in the field, semi-trucks are filling the roads, and tomatoes are going bad in my garden. It must be harvest season. Harvest rarely starts this early, but the soy beans were ready so there you go.
My days, however, have been terribly unproductive. I’m chilling with the kids, knitting and watching Gilmore Girls. I’m in burnout mode. I’m beginning to see a pattern even more than usual this year. I normally burn out when it comes to the garden, and canning. This year, though, my daily afternoon away from the family is gone as my sitters have returned to school.
My old sitter was homeschooled and just came like clockwork to just give me a break. Oh I miss her. She’s on the other side of the world being a nanny to Knut’s sister and her family. It’s a long story. But I miss them all. She was one of those sitters who was stricter than me but very kind. The kids adored her. She brought a box of activities to do with the kids every week and the t.v. never once had to come on. She had a brother who had similar issues to David so his meltdowns didn’t phase her one bit.
Speaking of which, I’ve broken my no-chores-on-Sunday rules since David started his diet. I really didn’t know what else to do. It’s not like I thought that God would strike me down if I worked on Sunday. It’s that I believe God has designed us to rest one day each week and when we just go-go-go we crash. It’s what our bodies need.
Each Sunday I’ve come home from church, and rolled up my sleeves to make multiple meals just to get through that day. I’m learning some quick tricks to David’s new diet. I’m honing my survival skills. But it’s gone on long enough. I’m tired. I need rest. At first I was worried I was sinking into a depression again. But the more I thought about it, I realized that no, needing rest is not the same as depression. Embrace the rest. My brain needs a little bit of time each week to just have some white space.
I’ve been so lazy the last week or two. I’m acting as if there aren’t any chores to do outside, or inside for that matter. I feel like this is what makes me a bad farmwife sometimes. I get to this point where I just don’t care. Most of the older farmwives I know just work through it. I see them do it. The idea that you would just stop working because you don’t feel like it is utterly ridiculous. The number of times I’ve heard the story of the lady who canned her cherries the evening after she gave birth because she couldn’t stand the idea of losing her cherries for the year, and when the harvest is ready, it’s ready.
So I’ve been resting because I know I’m burnt out. I’ve been burning the candles at both ends. It’s all catching up with me. Instead of just shutting down, I’m just slowing down. I’ve learned that when I’m reaching my breaking point to just stop pushing and let myself breathe a little.
It’s incredibly guilt-inducing.
But in the same breath, I know it’s right. It’s how I’m designed. I’m an introvert who likes my quiet evenings, and needs my alone time. I need to rest, and that is not a flaw in me, no matter how much I wish there were more hours in the day. God made it this way…pre-fall of man. I know I am caring for several human beings right now, and I can’t afford to risk me breaking down again. So I’ve been pulling back, and watching work just not get done.
This is our 9th harvest out on the farm. As bad as it sounds, I’ve learned to look forward to the craze of harvest. My sweet, very social husband, is gone late everyday. It is fully acceptable for me to go into hermit mode during these months. I can stay home, put the kids to bed, and then do whatever I like without people talking to me. I’m actually starting to complete thoughts now, after the 3rd night of this.
I know I need to get to these ever-present knitting patterns that are so near completion. I really want to get a laptop for the kids’ to use in school so they stop stealing mine. I need to get those patterns published. But right now, I’m watching Gilmore Girls alongside Jen Hatmaker. (Well, actually not with her. But she’s going through the series for the first time, and so I decided to watch it again, at the same pace as her. Because it’s so unproductive, and unproductive is so appealing to me right now.)
Well, it’s not totally unproductive. I’m getting a ton of knitting done (my Ashby shawl was finished last night and only needs ends woven in and blocking left), and I’m starting to feel rested again. I’m actually contemplating meals that are not survival mode. I’m now completely prepped for our homeschool to start next week. I’m so glad I gave myself that extra time and grace this year. I was stressed about the decision to push off the start of the new school year, but I see now that was a very, very good choice.
Come to think of it, sometimes I think resting is by far the most productive thing I can do.