With the coming of spring, there always seems to be more to do in almost every aspect of our lives. On a homestead, this is especially true. Vegetable plants need to be started in a warm, sunny room, safe from the cold and frost that run late into spring where I live, ground needs tilling for those vegetables quietly incubating in a warm room, new projects need tackled, maintenance, repairs, spring cleaning, the list goes on and on. Where I live, winter often starts early and ends late, lasting around six to seven months, so spring, summer, and fall are very precious to the folks that live here. I’m always happy to see spring arrive but the workload is sometimes daunting. My precious new mindset, slow living, slowing down, getting back to basics and creating my own definitions and rules are definitely challenged. So much to do and, it sometimes seems, so little time to do it before the cold returns. One wonderful thing about this busy time, though, is that I get to reconnect with the natural world without getting frostbite! The stars at night, with no light pollution from any cities, the various birds that make this place their home once winter finally sheds its hold on us, the flowers and grasses and cacti that grow in abundance, all of it is treasure to be appreciated and marveled over. This is the meaning of rest and recharge – to sit back and watch, listen, and breathe. There is nothing better than the sound of rain on a tin roof and I never tire of it. The challenge, then, is to find that balance as we rush from one chore to another in order to accomplish the goals during the spring and summer season. To do what needs to be done, do the things we want to do, and still have the balance so slow living is accomplished.
I’ve done a lot of reading and research about the lifestyle that I have embraced and come to the conclusion that it is a mindset, one that has to be cultivated and protected at all costs. We have to retrain our brains in order to give our hearts and souls the peace and joy they seek. In my last blog post, I talked of how letting go of things that are not important and focusing solely on the things that are is the most freeing experience I have ever had. I write every day, well, almost, but I also don’t agonize if other things/people that are most important in my life need my time and attention. All of the things that matter to me make up my life and, sometimes, some things need to be put aside for the other things that matter in my life. I think that is how I am viewing the upcoming spring and summer – I want to do it all, and it all is important to me, so therefore I will do it all and bask in the joy of it all as I do. Instead of stressing about everything that needs done, I’ll enjoy everything that needs to get done. This is where it becomes crucial to let go of the things that weigh your mind and heart down. Sometimes it is guilt, sometimes the drive to succeed, sometimes it is pressure from society and people that we must fight against to keep our peace and joy.
A good example is my blog/newsletter. The author world, social media, how-to books, etc. all tell you to find what interests people and push it for all it’s worth in your blog. I kept agonizing over what to write, trying to tailor it to what others advised; trying to figure out what others would be interested in, to tailor it to what was trending and trendy. I HATED doing this blog and it was a struggle to sit down and write something on a regular basis. One day I decided I was just going to write about what I think is important, share what I am learning, and not give a rat’s a** what anybody else thought. I now LOVE blogging and look forward to my monthly post. It gives me a chance to reflect on and reinforce what I think is most important and maybe, just maybe, someone else out there will like it and it will make them think.
As I said, I’m still writing every day because it is my greatest passion and I have found that it keeps me balanced emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Without it, I feel angsty and fussy, but with it, I am at peace. I am also finding that, because of how it makes me feel, I am much more prolific than I was before. I’m thrilled to say that the second book in my new series should be completed by the end of the month. The first draft, that is, then the real work of rewriting and editing begins. Book three has solid notes and I’ve mapped it out very well as I have gone along with books one and two, and it is such a huge thrill.
Please, PLEASE, find your passions and embrace them, make them a priority in your life. Think about what is most important to you, in your life and in your world, and start letting go of the things that aren’t. Find balance. Find peace. Find joy. Maybe grow a few tomato plants or fill a pot with some flower seeds while you’re at it. ;)