Own Your Life. Own Your Choices.

Inertia is a dreadful sensation.  That feeling of being stuck, of dullness, of being absorbed by the dreary quicksand of day-to-day life. That is how I’ve felt for the past several months. In between moments of giddiness at seeing my son roll over and hearing him giggle, brief glimpses into how extraordinary it is to live on a farm and grow vegetables, poultry, and two maniacal kittens, and treasured times of tenderness with my husband, the sneaking suspicion that I have nothing to contribute has seeped into my consciousness. 

I have this idea that before, because I worked in a high stress, no money job in a very fancy hospital, I was more of value.

I have this notion that because I am living off my husbands income, I am inching closer to being a waste of space.

Even though I would gladly defend any parent and their choice to stay “at home” (bullshit phrase, as most parents who are the primary caregivers to their children are rarely in the house), my choosing to do so in some way means I have failed. 

While Ethan naps, I have been frantically googling “flexible psychology jobs” Hillsboro, even with the knowledge that I have no real interest in leaving him with another carer at this point.

While out in my garden or feeding my chickens or cleaning out their pen, I have this notion that I have failed everyone who has had faith in my intellect, my business acumen, and ability to earn an income.

I’ve also been a treat to be around, I assure you.

However, today, sitting in a local coffee shop to get out of our scalding hot homestead (102 degrees at last check), while filling out the paperwork to establish ourselves as an LLC, it crossed my mind that our little farm is now my business. The chickens, the vegetables, our future livestock, and most of all, the conscientious upbringing of our son (who currently is in his carseat, wearing just a diaper, sucking on a metal spoon – so we’re working on the conscientious part) – this is my job. My profession. And I can bring all the skills and intelligence that I used working at the hospital and more to make this farm a success.

This simple change of perspective has had a profound impact on the lens I use to view my life.  I could get all philosophical about it, and talk about how undervalued stay-at-home parents and farmers are, or how the only reality is the one we’re living, but plenty of others have described these concepts beautifully.  The TL;DR version of this is simply that the only person who can make me feel better about my life is me. I choose how I view my life.  I can choose to listen to the people who talk about how amazing and busy and hard-working I am (hi, mom!) or to the voices that say because I don’t get a fortnightly pay-check, my contribution to society is less than. Or, I can choose to keep doing what I’m doing, learning what I’m learning, and thank my lucky stars that my life is the abundant gift it is. 

The Creative Process

Ira Glass is one of my heroes.  The host of This American Life, I have been listening to this man talk on NPR all over the world since I was seven years old.  

Ira Glass

Some of my fondest memories are of listening to him in the car with my dad, or during runs training for triathlons.  When I turned on Radio National in Australia and TAL happened to be on, I started crying.  I was so happy to have something that made me feel at home. 

Because my sister and brother-in-law are both well known actors, and my father was a movie producer, I’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of fun and interesting people, like Jon Bon Jovi, Harrison Ford, and Art Garfunkel.  I was able to meet all of them and view them as people.  However, when I saw Ira Glass on the subway, I freaked out.  Like, a drooling teenager.  I yelled, as I was getting off the subway “Oh my GOSH!!! I LOVE YOU!  I’VE LOVED YOU SINCE I WAS 5!”  And he smiled and said thanks.  I was high for a week.

Anyway, Ira Glass, who has created one of the most successful radio shows in the past century, as well as shows for television and stage, seems to be one of the most down to earth people ever, and a source for really good creative advice. I highly recommend watching this 2 minute video from him on the creative process. 

In writing this blog, I am actively trying to figure out what direction I want to take with it.  Is it a “lifestyle” blog? A farming blog? A healthy living blog? I truly have no idea. All I know is that writing makes me feel wonderful.  That other people’s blogs have been a source of light in times of darkness, guidance in times of fear, and laughter in times of sadness.  And that the story of starting a farm when you don’t know shit about farming will at least be amusing, if not always educational. So, I’ll do my best to just keep writing. We’ll see what happens.