Monday, September 01, 2008

Time of the Season

Edited: I am going to sound like a completely ungrateful butthead in this post but please know that lack of gratitude is not the problem. I am extremely thankful for everything and I'm not asking for sympathy. I'm not going to delete this post either because I think it is just an accurate record of what happens sometimes in life.

The title here may be appropriate for more than one reason if any of you remember that old song. Anyway, I noticed the phenomenon you see in the photo above this Saturday morning. I know it was not there last weekend but since I leave home well before sunrise during the week, I am not sure exactly what day the sun started making it presence known, though it is very recent. So, you know what this means. Summer is winding down quickly. By 10:00 a.m. this little streak is gone as the sun has moved over enough to be blocked by trees but it is dropping lower in the sky. It was very early in the morning and I had gone out onto the deck to enjoy some coffee and look around. I turned to go back inside the house for something and I saw it. It just struck me like a ton of bricks. Summers gone; I've done nothing. The progress on the house is just limping along. The yards grown up, the garden is in shambles and I'm too tired to do anything.
Yesterday was not a particularly good day. I mean, the weather was nice but my spirits lately have just taken a direct hit. Well, actually that's been going on for some time but it just seemed to culminate this weekend when I was struck with how late in the year it is. I am at a loss as to what to do. I'm just not getting anywhere. I've lost my appetite; for lots of things. Things are not making sense to me anymore. I realized that I probably went in the hole on the garden this year. What meager food it produced (because I didn't have time to attend to it) didn't come anywhere near the cost of preparing and planting it. I have not been able to put anything up from it. Two quart bags of green beans and some dried peppers just don't count. I look around and I think 'what the hell am I doing". I have all these big, pompous statements on my sidebar about living an ecological life and I'm not doing squat. Yeah, I buy organic and use natural cleaning stuff I make myself; well, big deal.
I bought three beautiful ducks to help with pest control and to start the process towards acquiring animals for food etc. I had them in a fenced area, I thought protected, but some creature, dog or coyote, broke through the fence and ate them. Broke the electric fence and tore the hog wire up to get to them. So, I'm going to have to build a avian Alcatraz if I want to keep any chooks or anything and I've got lots of time for that.
I cannot handle this much land and finish this house by myself. I've looked into changing jobs. I've talked with everyone I know about my options on that. My company has asked me to teach in the apprentice program and I thought maybe that could turn into something but now we have no first year students to teach because we have downsized so. Physically I can not continue to do the work I do much longer. Even the guys at work are getting concerned. They worry over me and fuss but I don't know what to do. I have to keep the income in order to buy materials for the house but I rarely have time to put said materials up. Winter is coming and I have to get the new heater installed in the basement.
Why did everything work out for me so perfectly to acquire this land and be able to build on it, only to see everything disintegrate because I don't have time or ability to complete what I've started? It seems like every door I come to slams in my face. I've been through stuff like this before and I know that right when it seems that you've done all you can do, something will just suddenly create the perfect condition to work everything out but that's not happening now. I'm past what I thought was the end of the rope. There seems to be absolutely no purpose to what I am doing. I am not doing myself any good and am sure not able to be of any good to anyone else! I can't help anyone around me and showing this house and land isn't doing anyone a bit of good because there is nothing to show.
I'm sorry this is such a downer post but that's just the way I feel right now. And I am so grateful for what I have; that's why I want to use it for some good, but it's like, I can't even do that. To think that I was given all this and all my abilities also, just for my benefit, is disgusting. That cannot be right. I'm trying to keep going, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Do something every day even if it is just to pull a few weeds or sweep off the porch but I'm lost. I don't even know what else to say.

*The Zombies


pablo said...

Well, I can't know your state of mind or your particular circumstances well enuf to give you any answers. But I can say that I think we've all be in the place where you are (I don't mean Alabama, either.) Endurance. Forebearance. Avoidance. One of those might work.

edifice rex said...

Well, I'm not looking for answers Pablo and I know I'm not the only one to ever go through hard times. And this is not really a hard time, it's just supreme frustration. I define a time as "hard" when there is someone dear to you dead. That's hard.
But endurance is what I know best and you're right, that is what I must do.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

From here I think you have accomplished much. Finishing on building projects always is painfully slow. Press on an ignore some things and do some things that will make you feel good next.

Woody said...

I hear ya...

This too shall pass.


tammy (kitty lover/carpenter) said...

Learning is painful.
But, it helps define you and helps to make you grow into something. You seem to be just facing some truths about yourself, abilities, and what will work for you. This is ususally followed by great insight, understanding, and some great life changes.
I see this as a great transistion in your life. Keep your chin up, keep examining what works for you and great things will follow.

Anonymous said...

ER, keep moving girl, one step at a time. You cannot work full time and build your home and manage a garden and expect it to look like some-ones who is home all day.

Personally I think you are expecting to achieve too much. You work a full time job that includes hours of travel time to get to work, give yourself a break woman!

Break it down, prioritise, your garden can wait if you want more done on the house, or vice versa, you dont have to be a full on homesteader doing it all right now.

I've said it before and I will say it again, I think you are doing amazing things!

We all have the odd day where we look around and wish we were all miles ahead of where we actually are (my fruit trees are a classic example-I want the fruit now lol)
The secret is in looking at how much you have already achieved and knowing you will get there in the long run.

Time girl, all in good time!


Floridacracker said...

I read this earlier today, but couldn't comment at the time. It has bugged me all day.
The commenters have dropped some good advice.
My remodeling is much like your building. It stops when the money stops, which is often. So the living room is still torn up and unfinished ... no one can use it ... imagine how popular that makes me ... the garden I had high hopes for is a hideous weed jungle. Like you I got about one salad out of waaaayyyy too much $$ and effort.
The mower died, the lawn looks like a hay field, and there's no disposeable income for a new one.
Oh, and the Escape check engine light is on ...
It does get overwhelming, probably more so when you are doing it on your own, but I still think most of your readers are in awe of what you do at work and what you get done after a hard day's work.
I think if we scrolled back through this summer's posts, we'd see that in fact, you accomplished much.

Probably much more than any of us.

edifice rex said...

Hey Philip! Thanks and I think that is actually a good idea to pick one or two things to do that will just make me happy to have done. something creative to just make things look better.

Hey Woody! thanks. I know it will. I just wish it'd hurry.

Hey Tammy! Well, honey, I could use some great insight right 'bout now! lol! You are right though, I do feel that I am going through a big transition and that something is changing. Just not sure what. And I know things will work out.

Hey Molly! Well, you're right also. I am expecting too much. I get very impatient at times because I guess, I have just become so programmed to work, work, work. Also, I acquired this land later in life than I have seen other people and I guess I want to make up for lost time.

Aawww FC, I'm sorry you thought about this stupid post all day. It's just me whining. And you're right too. Everybody has stuff pile up on them and gets overwhelmed. I hope you are able to get all your stuff back to normal soon! I wish I had your always cheerful attitude.

Jenn said...

God, girl. Ride it out.

You've done little bits all summer, but because it's whittling, it feels like nothing.

I get this same wash of emotion when I've spent all day in my garden, and I stand back and it doesn't look like I've done anything. Later I can see that the work has been done, but in that 'now' I'm lost and flailing.

And you are still in limbo/free fall from the relationship you had counted on slipping out from under you. That's a terrible shakeup, and not one that you recover from easily or immediately.

Let yourself work through this. Get the essentials done (heat) and worry about the rest later.

And first year gardens always suck. Surely someone out there will back me up on this. You usually get enough out of it to have faith in the next season... Give it a go next spring, when the sun is back where it is now...

Time is important to watch, but also to take.

Be kind to yourself.

Elizabeth said...

I couldn't agree more with these good people. A very wise woman once said that "people are too worried by the product of their day rather than the process. We tend to want things finished NOW rather than just enjoying the process along the way. We need to value the process AND the product." I looked at your older posts and was amazed at what all you have accomplished. That you are this far along on your house, that you even put in a garden, etc, etc, etc... Like Molly said prioritize, do the stuff you HAVE to do, then do some creative stuff. I am from a northern climate where construction stops for the winter. Do you work all year round? Could you work, buy stuff to work on your house, possibly take a few weeks off to do the work and then work some more or do you have to work full time to keep your job? What ever you decide to do you are in my prayers. Hang in there. Sorry no pics of the jewelry, I ended up working this weekend. Ugh!!

Richard said...

I'll bet my last dollar that you have accomplished a lot more then you think you have.

What I do when the projects get long and frustration sets in, is to make myself a list of the things I want or need to do. Then I take each step and break it down into individual parts. Then as I accomplish something I cross it off. It helps to see that you are really accomplishing something. This works for me. And don't forget to put things on the list that just give you pleasure and relaxation time.

karl said...

i feel your pain. this year has also been a big nowhere for me--or so it seems. i have officially set my sights on the next season. the blur of this past failed summer will be felt dearly this winter when food stores must be purchased--at a very high price.

my on going failures are;
- - root cellar
- - install solar hot water system
- - milking barn finished
- - new chicken coop built
- - summer kitchen built
these all will be rectified eventually but for now i feel the failing pain of projects on the furthest back burner.

i hope you get out of your funk soon. i'm glad you shared and wish that your troubles wash away easily.


Loretta said...

As "Jenn" said, first gardens are usually a disappointment. As busy a lady as you are it would have been very hard to keep it up. Mine gets away from me very fast and I am here every day! We think everything will look like the pictures on the package and they just "don't" year you'll do better.

I love reading your blog, I wish I could do a 10th of the stuff you do. You're gonna have a beautiful home some day that you can be so proud of!