I am hitting my usual August haze. I’m consistently 2-3 days behind what I should be doing, which usually makes me stress. I’m not stressing at all about being behind now, but I’m not sure if that’s a good thing either. I feel like I should care that things aren’t running as efficiently as possible. The culture here that I’ve noticed since moving to the farm says that worrying is responsible and stress pushes you to finish. I should be pushing myself more. I should but…eh.
Welcome to August.
I’ve been taking a lot of walks these days, when I should be doing other things. I’m just drinking this season in! This year our garden was completely mulched, (known as the “Back to Eden” gardening method, also known in the trade as “sheet composting.”) It was a big experiment and I’m just loving it. I have never enjoyed gardening as much as this year. It was a ton of work on the spring end of the season, but it has really paid off.
Weeds have been so easy to manage, even with the soy bean mixture fiasco. Yes, the strawberry patch is crazy now, but I’ve sort of let it get that way and focused my energy elsewhere because I plan on digging them up setting them in neater rows this Fall.
I just keep walking out to my gardens throughout the day. I walk around them, check on various plants, search through some cucumber vines, look at growth that I never remember or write down. This is the first year I can actually say that gardening has been a sanctuary. I’m so behind on canning, mostly because I’m going for these walks, picking handfuls of weeds here and there, talking to my plants. It’s getting bad.
I should be stressed. I should be pushing myself. But I’m just taking the time to enjoy myself in this beautiful little yard this year, that I just can’t bring myself to justify the guilt. The joy is overtaking it. I don’t want to swing to the other side of the pendulum and rejoice in my laziness. I don’t think that is any better than workaholism.
The colors are so magnificent this time of year. I convinced David to take a walk with me yesterday when he was being a grump and I was walking next to him with the cheeriness of a Care Bear in Technicolor, saying “Look at that sky! Look how everything is so GREEN!!! David, David! So many months of the year we live in a world that is white and grey and brown. For a few months everything is so bright! Look at those flowers! Look at the tomatoes!” I got a few eye rolls, but he eventually came around. It’s hard not to. This season has that effect.
One of the reasons we started school this summer when we did, half days, is that I don’t want to start full time the day after Labor Day as we usually do. I always have a big gearing up and excitement building efforts for the kids. But it’s the tail end of gardening season and the first month, when we could get so much done, and such great habits into place, I’m constantly interrupted by my stupid kitchen. Food starts rotting everywhere, as piles of buckets of produce is stacked around my house and my freezers are full of freshly harvested chickens. It happens every autumn. Knut is annoyed at the waste and tells me all about it, and the kids start realizing that I’m easily distractible, and try to cut every corner possible, and use my stress to their lazy advantage. It’s just always this awful start.
So this year, I’m holding off my “big jumpstart” to a new school year until the end of September, maybe even October. In the mean time, we started school half days in July, and will continue on part time like that until then. That way I can do a big jumpstart, and actually follow through. I’m hoping this will benefit us all of the winter months. It takes a few years of homeschooling before lightbulbs go off and it occurs to you, “Oh yeah, I can be flexible like that. I don’t have to follow the public school calendar.” Of course, many of the kids’ activities start in with the public school calendar, so this plan could fall apart anyway. I guess we’ll just have to find out.
The problem is, the kids are chomping at the bit to get back to full time. While they will never admit, or ask for more work, they are asking when we will start certain subjects. They want to know when we will get back to Greek. They are wondering about map work and big projects. The little kids have been asking about our tea times when I read aloud a book to all 5 kids around the table as they eat a special treat. I just don’t have time for that now, and they miss it. I love that they miss it. I’ve been trying to sneak in a few “special” tea times the last 2 weeks as they have all been asking so much.
This wasn’t meant to be a homeschooling post. I guess it’s just on the brain.
I had so many plans of projects this summer. So many lovely, wonderful plans. I had a small furniture painting project, and so much school prep that needs to happen. And I’m going on walks. Lots of walks.
I’m not sure if I will regret that down the road. I’ve been thinking about something a mentor of mine at our church said a couple of years ago. She was always so busy, but not stressed, and I asked her how she prioritized her day with so many people needing her. (She worked with a charity targeting immigrant mothers, and all her kids were grown.) She said that she got up every morning, and prayed that God would bring the people and situations into her day that He wanted, and may her heart be open to them. She said that’s usually when her phone started ringing, and her day would be off and running.
I guess that’s my goal, though I don’t know how effectively I’m doing it yet. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs. 16:9.