Overwhelming Inspiration

It is fitting that I am sitting down to write this post with a long to-do list at my side, a bored baby to the other side and oatmeal slow-cooking on the stove.  I feel like I’ve been chugging along alright since Ava was born.  We have fun, I work a little bit here and there, the dog goes on regular walks or hikes, we generally have good home made food, and the house is clean sometimes.  However, a few weeks ago I was feeling VERY overwhelmed by things to do, even though it seemed like I had heaps of time and I wasn’t really doing that much.  The unfortunate thing about this was that I had many things that I should have been doing, not that I had to do.  My solution?  (This is a confession, of sorts) Do as close to nothing as possible while watching too many rerun episodes of cooking competition shows…  This is not a good solution, and I don’t suggest it.  I enjoy bouts of laziness, but it had gone too far.

My happy, friendly, little weeding buddy!  She mostly eats soil and gnaws on brassica leaves.

My happy, friendly, little weeding buddy! She mostly eats soil and gnaws on brassica leaves.

Luckily, I had a little farm-watching gig lined up for the fourth of July week.  It wasn’t a huge time commitment, but it was something that I had to do otherwise crops could die and people who were patiently waiting for fresh cut mesclun mix would go saladless. I spent quite a bit of time at the farm over the week, sometimes ten hours a day; but I didn’t really get that much work done.  It turns out that everyone is right, it is hard to get work done with a baby.  I find that I’m super lucky to get more than thirty minutes to complete a task.  I’ve become a master of task shifting!

Elbie using her water trough as a pool on a hot day!

Elbie using her water trough as a pool on a hot day!

Usually, my time at the farm consists of about 1/3 to 1/2 of it dedicated solely to Ava or me things–nursing, changing diapers, playing, eating lunch, etc.  The rest of the time I get work done in chunks.  If Ava is napping, I can do something that requires a lot of movement in the field–setting up irrigation or sprinklers is good for these times.  If I can wear Ava on my back, I do standing things like using standing hoes.  If she’s happy in her car seat (or just sitting on the ground, as we discovered yesterday) I do something that involves moving minimally and I’m on the ground too–like weeding or harvesting.  Ava just scoots a long with me.  She also loves sitting and watching the giant salad spinner.  If Ava is being hyper or inconsolable I stop and we play a bit or try to get her to nap.  I have a timer to keep track of when I’m working, and it all works out very well!

Ava loves the giant salad spinner!

Ava loves the giant salad spinner!

Having this forced schedule in my life helped me achieve a 180 degree perspective flip (people often say a 360–but wouldn’t that just bring you back to where you started?).  Instead of looking at all of the things I was expected to do and getting unnecessarily overwhelmed, I started to look at all of the reasons why I had these things to do.  We have a home that needs to be taken care of, we have a beautiful daughter that I get to share this crazy world with, we have a very active dog that encourages me to get outside and explore as much as possible, and I have a young family with healthy minds and bodies that we want to keep that way!  Instead of feeling overwhelmed and stagnant, I started to feel inspired and motivated  by the things that I should be doing.  I felt blessed to have a home and family to care for.

Mmmmm, potatoes are flowering!

Mmmmm, potatoes are flowering!

Perhaps this is a simple thing that others do and have done for time immemorial, but it is new to me!  I have a newfound perspective on how lucky I am to have this sweet and simple life.  I have a newfound passion to have my own little farm sometime in the near future.  Best of all, I have left the reality television behind (well, mostly…).

Zukes are on their way, I'll be gone for the first tastes.

Zukes are on their way, I’ll be gone for the first tastes.

We are leaving on a jet plane in just a few short hours to visit friends and family in the Upper Midwest.  It’s our first flight with the baby, send us good and happy thoughts!  My next post will be from NoDak or Minnesota!

Sending you peace and love from AK,

Alex, the Rural Farmgirl

Leave a comment 7 Comments

  1. Dorothy says:

    Thank you for the blog. I enjoy reading and watching Ava as she grows.

  2. Lisa H says:

    You have probably read or heard this saying before, but when I was growing up my mom had this on a wall by our kitchen sink. I’ve always remembered it and when I am struggling to find the energy to do things like the dishes, (sometimes I let them stack up too much, which makes it even harder to find the motivation to do them…why is that?) I think of how often my mom did the dishes and I remember that saying and it reminds me how blessed I am. It’s something simple that gets me busy.

    Thank God for dirty dishes;
    they have a tale to tell.
    While others may go hungry,
    we’re eating very well.
    With home, health, and happiness,
    I shouldn’t want to fuss.
    By the stack of the evidence,
    God’s been very good to us.

    It’s the simple things that make us happy and give us motivation. Thanks for sharing yours with us. Have a great trip!
    Lisa

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      This is great! It’s a perfect iteration of how I’ve been feeling these last few days. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Joan says:

    Happy thoughts for your entire trip. Oh the life of a young new Mother farm-her girl. Sure is a struggle to get it all together and each minute seems to change the next but I found in times as you are in, to have a to do list and a DID IT list, makes one realize all that they did do. Your Ava is a total darling and she will learn to be out n about with you and enjoy God’s earth. God bless.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks Joan! Evan took care of Ava the other day and it took him 6 hours to do the dishes. He now knows what an accomplishment getting anything done is. It’s well worth the extra effort, though!

  4. Nanette says:

    Welcome back to ND if only for a short time. Enjoy your stay whatever the weather may be. N

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