Saturday, September 27, 2014

Survival Mode

We've had to scale back activities for the past few weeks due to the convergence of a few factors, including my head cold, Andrei's heavy teaching/conference schedule, and dreary weather. I guess I sort of alluded to it in the last few posts. Anyway, I did an assessment today and realized that I had let go of a lot of my goals and just a lot of self-discipline went out the window. I think it was okay to have a few "pajama" days, and that was a conscious decision-to not put too much on myself that would lead to exhaustion, during a time when Andrei needed to focus on other things. Taking naps during the day with David. But it is hard to get that momentum back, and I know that I will need to work hard at it as those gray winter days set in.

I've been mostly better for a few days and then I got these blisters on the corners of my mouth! Sorry if it sounds gross, but it's just another sign that my immune system was weakened, I guess. So I've been increasing the vitamins and probiotics again. I was preparing to head to worship practice this week, but when I thought about the mouth sores and needing to open my mouth to sing, or press my flute against the wound...well, that's pretty much a deal-breaker. It will have to wait.

I got into a fiction series this week (first installment free on Kindle and it's a nice length) about mother-daughter homesteaders in present times who live sort of in isolation. It's a Christian series with some good values, but it still manages to romanticize the homesteading life a bit. Who wouldn't want to make their own ice cream and hand-stencil wallpaper? Heh. It addresses the issues of time management, and that got me is it that we do so little "manual" labor these days, yet we still never have enough time? Well, obviously a job and its commute will do that to you, but I feel like I never get anything done even being at home. Soap-making, are you kidding me? Where does the time go? And part of what gets me is that everything in modern life is so fragmented. I wish it could all fit together somehow. Why do I resent going outside for a walk? I wish it accomplished something...I wish we had a task to do out there, other than trying to get some exercise in order to sleep well. Why do we have to get exercise on purpose, instead of just naturally doing physical tasks throughout the day? But my big question for the homesteaders would be what they do with their children. Is it just more natural to have children wandering around as you do outside chores? Okay, they're all perfect angels and help out, but you have to teach them, and that takes time, and is more messy in the meantime. Is there such thing as abandoning farm chores because of a teething toddler, or staying in when you have a cold? The thing that sounds nice about homesteading is the "home" part. And I suppose many would agree. I like my modern technology, but I do get tired of the city, and its vices (as bottles shatter outside the window).

Another idea mentioned in the (first) book is that "every day should have its Sabbath"...I don't know if they borrowed it from somewhere or not. Basically, the lack of electricity forces you to slow down in the evening. And I'm sitting here tapping out a blog post at midnight because there is NO other time when I can work in peace. And the household chores still aren't done. But I'm not complaining. I'm just thinking about priorities.


  1. Oh, Elizabeth - I have had these very thoughts "I wish we had a task to do out there, other than trying to get some exercise in order to sleep well. Why do we have to get exercise on purpose, instead of just naturally doing physical tasks throughout the day?" I even try to "multi-task" while walking - listen to a book on tape, or do a prayer/meditation routine. There just aren't enough hours in the day!

    I had to laugh, though, when you wrote about the book; my guess is that true homesteaders would be far too busy to worry about wallpaper! Unless it were to quickly glue up some newspaper to keep the wind out. But perhaps their homesteading is not quite as rustic and desperate as I am envisioning. (We used to do some historical re-enacting in a cabin and that's what I'm picturing, actually.)

    You can tell I'm working too hard, as I read your first few sentences, I realized I was fearful of getting too close to you and catching your cold. Um....

    I wonder if you really are just too worn out. You are a busy, active person. I think I was actually older than you when I got pneumonia, and I think I got so very ill because when I felt bad I pushed through it and spent a weekend hanging wallpaper! From that experience I learned the not-obvious enough fact that for me (and I bet for you): If I feel like resting, I need to rest. It is not like me to want to rest, so it is not laziness, it is an actual, physical need to rest. Rest!

  2. For a few years now I've known that I'm just not as strong as I used to be, and a lot of people I know have developed chronic illnesses since living in this city...gulp! What I mean to say is that I'm pretty aware of my limitations by now, and I'm thankful for family members to take care of me.

  3. I read an interesting book this year called, "All Joy and No Fun: the Paradox of Modern Parenthood" and it's not a parenting book that gives advice but rather attempts to put the effects of parenting on the parents themselves in a psychological, historical and cultural context. I guess overall it made me feel validated about some of the challenges facing parents today as compared to even when we were kids.

  4. Thanks for the book any chance do you have the Kindle edition of volume 2 and could loan it to me? I've finished the 1st one already :)

  5. I actually downloaded the whole series, but I don't know how to loan them! By email?

    1. Yes, I attempted to send you a message on Google Hangouts to give you my email address, if you don't mind sharing them with me, but that seems not to have worked.....

    2. Okay, I'll check it out. Google+ is like this whole new world!


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