The farm is all a buzz, literally, with two bee hives and spring flowers we have the hum of bees in our ears. The downside to the bees is that they like the water that drips out of hoses. We have to be very careful when we pick up the hose and fill the animal waterers. The bees are very helpful with farm chores and will ride on your shoulder or pant leg to keep you company. We are very thankful to have them around. I would hate to have to hand pollenate all of our plants. We already have tomato flowers that are ready for the bee’s assistance.
Every spring on the farm is filled with the sound of chicks. PEEP PEEP PEEP PEEP. This sound can be heard in the barn, the backyard and our bathroom. Turkeys and ducks serenade us day and night, did I mention night! I am ready for the chicks to all be outside. I am thankful that warm weather is in the forecast.
Over the last several months we have been working on cleaning out the house and farm. With every load we take to the dump, recycling yard or the donation center a weight is lifted off of us. Now let me clarify, minimalism is a far way off. So I created a word, “simplism”. Autocorrect does not like me! We are attempting to simplify our life. We have a lot of manage, food, animals, garden, energy, water… the list goes on and on. I dont need to add clutter to that list. Throughout this process we have learned a lot, I am going to list three benefits of Simplism.
One: The greatest benefit has been the house is easier to clean. Can I get an “Amen”? We can speed clean the whole house in 30 mins as a family! When there is not as much clutter, there is not as much to pick up. We have eliminated “extra” furniture. This has reduced flat surfaces. Flat surfaces are magnets for clutter.
Two: We are organizing what is important and useful to us. This process has allowed us to better understand our resources. When I know what I have and I know where it is, I dont have to buy another one. It is saving us money and time.
Three: Reduced anxiety. I never realized how much clutter and chaos caused me anxiety. I admit it, at times, occasionally, once in a while, I am a control freak, maybe. Clutter makes me free completely out of control. It is embarrassing. It is distracting. Straight up stressful. With every load of “stuff”, most of which I cant even name what it was, the anxiety decreased.
How to Start? Just start with the easy stuff. Start by emptying trash bins. Recycle old newspapers and magazines. Clean out clothes have have holes or dont fit. It is a snowball effect. The more you clean out the more you want to clean out. You will not regret it. The hardest part is starting. Sent a timer, put on your jam and just start. It did not accumulate overnight, you dont have to get rid of it overnight. I will be praying for you!
Even though there are some dear friends who would tell you Im not right in the head, my brain is the only part of my body that I feel works right! The rest of my body has times when it betrays me. There are days when all I can do is lay in bed. POTs disease is the main diagnoses that keeps me down, but like so many things it is not straight forward. I have other “conditions” that when mixed with POTs equal difficult days. If you are not familiar with POTs disease, I encourage you to google it. They can explain it better than I can.
So when POTs leaves me in bed, I am stuck thinking, dreaming, at times feeling very defeated! At those times, in my mind, we make everything from scratch, never go to the store, we are out of debt, work 100% on the farm, are 100% self sufficient, food and energy independent. The reality is at that moment my kids are eating boxed cereal and dinner may be a frozen pizza. I am thankful that I have a local store to fall back on when I can’t do it all myself.
What I struggle with is compromise, am I a failure at homesteading because my kids are eating Chick-fil-a for dinner tonight. I feel like it. Learning to be at peace with my body and my abilities is not something I am doing with grace. I look like an emotional rollercoaster, one minute is making my own mayonnaise and the next I am dipping a fry in Chick-fil-a sauce. Total extremes from raising the food 100 percent on farm, the next a Big Mac.
I dont have the answers. I just wanted to share the struggle with you. Even if I am in bed or not able to work the farm 40% of the time, I am still proud of the other 60%. We are still learning. We are still striving to live a more sustainable life. The only one who puts guilt on me, is me. That is not how God wants me to live my life. I am learning to give every situation to God, daily. I am learning to pray and give thanks whether I am in bed or planting vegetables. I am praying for God to keep teaching me, keep molding me, keep leading me. My POTs is not a mistake, God has allowed it to happen and I pray he is glorified through it. My family is wonderful. They support me and care for me. My husband said that the POTs slows me down so the rest of the world can keep up. I appreciate his encouragement. If you are struggling with your health, don’t believe the lies of guilt. Believe that you are loved. Beautifully and wonderfully made.