There are times on the farm when we are faced with a quandary. The more we think about it, the more it grows, until it becomes an unwieldy problem and we just cannot seem to see our way around it. It is moments like this when I just have to step back and let go. Which is what I did today.
Last night, Randy got a call from our friend Johnny. It seems another acquaintance had a problem, and needed help. This man raises pigs, and his boar hog had gotten way too big to breed any more. At 425 pounds, the boar’s weight could easily break the back of any sow, and it was just not feasible to keep him. So, at 4:30 this morning, Randy got up and headed down to Johnny’s to help out. Around 7:30, I went down to see this monstrosity of a pig, and could not believe its size. Not only was he huge, but he also had a ‘solid’ foot- when most pigs are cleft footed. Although not completely rare, it is still an unusual sight to see.
After a visit with Johnny’s wife on the front porch, I came home contemplating the vast dimensions of such an animal. And as usual, my mind shot off in a tangent. ‘Whoa. That is going to be a lot of sausage. I can’t even imagine having enough freezer space for all of that. Speaking of freezers, I need to defrost one of mine. Ooh. I wonder how my trial jar of frozen blueberry cordial is going to turn out. If it does, will something like that even sell? For that matter, what will we be able to produce to sell? Not vegetables, that’s for sure. With all this rain, our garden will barely produce enough for us. Is there even anything we can do successfully that can earn us a small income? Ugh. Why am I even trying? Just thinking about all the attempts and failures is giving me a headache.’
As my mind kept running in circles about what we could do, what we have tried, how we might do something different, I finally had to throw up a mental stop sign and step off that merry-go-round. It was making me dizzy. Once I successfully got off and stepped back, I had yet another thought. I have been so wrapped up in how to earn a dollar, and new projects, that I realized I was no longer truly enjoying just living on a farm and being as self-reliant as possible. It seems everything we have tried this year has tanked, and we are being shoved back three steps behind Square One. Wasn’t it time to take a break? Aren’t breaks allowed?
Yes. They are. Taking a break and stepping away from any quandary, puzzle or problem is one of the best ways to be able to see it more clearly. And by doing so, I realized that I was stretched out in so many different directions, I no longer knew what I truly wanted to do, and could do successfully. Although this year we did limit ourselves to five or six areas of income, due to unusual weather patterns and an increase in ‘off farm’ occupations, our time and ability has been seriously cramped. And none of that was ‘budgeted’ under the time column.
Never fear. This Farm Wife isn’t giving up, she is just regrouping. And in the process, she is going to slow down and just enjoy daily life on the farm. She is going to celebrate and feast upon the few vegetables the garden is producing; she will visit the local farmers’ markets and gather up a few things to can for winter. She is going to bake breads, cookies and pound cakes, and even try to make croissants again. And she is going to take time out to really think through the new Six Step Plan for next year, and get a little better organized, save up for better greenhouse heaters and a load of wheat straw for the garden.
Have you got a quandary or problem you just can’t get around? Has worrying about it taken up all your time? Then maybe it’s time you step away from it for a while, and regroup. You know, the old saying tells you that when life gives you lemons, you need to use them to make lemonade. Well, in this Farm Wife’s case, she’s about to make a whole lot of sausage. Or, at least, help our neighbor make it. And to me, there is just no better way to spend my time.