I can’t remember the last time I went for almost two weeks without blogging, ha! Not that big of a deal, but I do miss writing about the farm and connecting with you. My reasons for neglecting this space are good: Life is full to bursting with happy writing deadlines, interesting volunteer activities, and general momentum. I feel amazing bodily and heartily. Gratitude is seeping out of my bones.
Here’s the low down:
Gardens are awake! All over the farm! This consumes my senses as well as my imagination day after day. I want you to come walk through it all with me. Stuff is sprouting that I do not remember planting; and treasures are blooming that I had feared were lost.
Chickens are laying eggs again like gangbusters.
The statewide spring Beekeepers’ Conference was so fun, and I am just weeks away from new honey-makers. (squeal!!)
Running has picked back up, and my ankle feels amazing. I logged 23 miles last week and have 35 planned for this week. I feel like myself again. I’m beginning to look myself again, too, though happily that is now a lesser concern. Still unsure what races are in my immediate future, but I’m not worried about it.
Handsome and I have been cleaning out, organizing, and freshening up the farm in wonderful ways. Weekend warriors we are. The turnpike might be a phantom worry after all, and together with the weather inching toward true springtime, that happy news is giving us such a boost. We have that old craving to really improve our home. Our nest. Our beautiful sanctuary from the world.
Speaking of which, we have big delicious plans for the sunny, sandy front field. If you say it backwards, it’s nolemretaw.
Gardening class with Maddie is just downright pleasing my soul. She is insightful, sensitive, interested in growing her own food, and simply a pleasure to be with every Thursday. Last week we planted her first round of potatoes on Saint Patrick’s Day! Isn’t that cool? And she has been amending her flower bed with rotted horse and chicken manure (from our farm) and will soon be tackling early veggies. Love it all.
Handsome is blazing through obstacles at the Commish. He makes me so happy and proud. Oklahomans should know that your utility regulators work their guts out and care deeply for doing the right things. Balance, fairness, clean business. Three cheers for PUD!! xoxo
I signed up recently for my first trade/craft show. As “Green Goose” I will be selling handmade textiles at a cool little place not far from here, and locals… I would be thrilled to see you there! If it goes well, I will continue to show up once a month and will add fresh eggs and seasonal produce to my booth.
Let’s see… What else?
Well there is this small detail that soon I will be flying to Colorado to visit Jocelyn!! For the second time in a year I get to spend a week with her in her natural habitat. This time, no hotels. She has her own place now, and (can you even!!) she asked me to help her fix it up. Paint, organize, decorate, etc. We plan to cook together. Hang out. Work in her garden. She even asked me to babysit her beautiful puppy while she’s at work. I MEAN!!! xoxo
So yes, life is wonderfully full. Week to week, day to day, we have no shortage of lovely ways to pursue happiness. And we tend to catch it too, which is amazing. I feel abundantly blessed and motivated right now. Maybe it would be worth sharing a few easy strategies for keeping up this healthy momentum:
Five Ways to Maintain Momentum
- Eat well. Not too much, not too little, and plenty of whatever makes you feel amazing, long-term. You know what your body actually needs. Everyone has a different chemistry. For me it’s lots of raw fruits and veggies, some Greek yogurt and nuts, and more eggs and chicken than you can shake a stick at. Sometimes a salty snack or bowl of kale soup with lentils. (Magic elixir!) Also at least a gallon of water daily, plus caffeine. When I stick to a mellow eating plan (without severe dieting or endless indulging) I feel like I could do anything for hours and hours. And still be in a great mood.
- Stay active, especially when you’re exhausted! Running is such a paradox, right? It’s kind of odd that when you feel deeply spent, you can force yourself out the door for just half an hour of hard running and suddenly feel re-energized. Have time for a longer run? Oh man. Make those to-do lists long. But of course you can stay active in hundreds of ways besides running. Even on “rest” days if I stay moving during most of the daylight hours I sleep so great and think so clearly. You too? Physical activity begets more energy and drives out mental fogginess for sure.
- Yes, also sleep. Stay active but still make time to stretch and sleep, haha. My Fitbit has the peculiar ability to measure sleep patterns (sorcery!) and on my best nights I sleep an unbelievable 7 1/2 to 8 hours. This weekend I was alone in a hotel room on Friday night and slept less than 5 hours. Staying alert for the conference was at times challenging, especially because I was sitting a lot. (How do you office dwellers do it??) I got back to the farm Saturday night and made up for the sleep loss and inactivity with almost 9 solid hours of dreamless slumber, pure bliss! Needless to say, Sunday was grand. I had energy to spare and felt happy all day.
- Mind your surroundings. I get so much more done and feel so much better along the way when my environment is bright and healthy. Happy. When the house is tidy, smelling great, and somewhat shiny ( no need for perfection every day), our laundry and ironing are caught up at least for the immediate future, and the middle field is (mostly) scraped clean of manure. Each of these are ongoing systems, of course; but that’s why doing a measurable amount of work every single day matters. And it just feeds the positive inertia.
- Practice Active Gratitude. Every chance you get, notice small, beautiful details. Train your senses to zero in on beauty. Write that stuff down if you can. Say them aloud, even if you’re alone. Celebrate it! Share your excitement about life with others. At the end of every day, rather than bemoaning what didn’t get done or what could’ve gone better, give thanks. Count instead what went well, what you did accomplish, what grace and mercy were shown to you. Say thank you and smile all day, every day. Remember that your mind and body listen to each other and that life tends to reflect your attitude toward it in what it throws back at you.
Okay, can we chat about positive inertia in a different way?
Weekly Goals Instead of Daily Goals
One new ritual I am playing around with is using a master weekly goals list instead of a daily goals list. I tend to make my daily lists too long anyway. So long, in fact, they take several days to accomplish, so why not just admit that? haha! I tried this new approach last week and it helped so much. Last Monday morning I grabbed one of those ginormous wall-hanging white poster sheets of paper, like what you use on a flip-board for meetings? Using a permanent marker I filled one big page with concrete tasks that needed to be completed before the weekend. Many of them were either time-sensitive or required gradual progress. Not average daily jobs: stuff I would likely forget or procrastinate without some mental supervision. My list was red-inked and packed full and nearly grid-like in symmetry and kind of gorgeous. Since no one else is here to motivate me, this big red list served as my mental supervision, and for some reason it was so much better than a notebook-style planner or small paper on the fridge.
Every single day I started with lots of coffee and happy chatting and life planning with my guy (Hot Tub Summit still reigns supreme). Then came tidying the house, planning our dinner that night, feeding the animals, and running however many miles my plan called for that day. Then I ate some feel-great food (see above), showered, and started nibbling at the master list. First most important thing first. Each day was a little different with regard to how much time was left after basic work for making progress on my goals, but pretty much Monday through Friday I was “done” and ready to get serious by 10 or 11 am. That lefts six or seven hours to focus before the after-office-evening rituals start with my guy. Well, 6 or 7 hours minus snacks and Facebook. : )
This approach kept me so focused you would not believe it. I felt more and more excited crossing items off the list each day. I was able to scan everything in one spot, looking for the next most important thing (remember Handsome’s excellent advice?); and my energy stayed strong. It was so great. By Friday afternoon when Maribeth and I hit the road for our conference, only two items remained undone, and I was able to finish those this the weekend. All of this made my little road trip waaaaaaay more enjoyable! It made for a restful, productive Sunday too, and now I am looking forward to writing a new ginormous list for this week.
Multi-task, or no?
One final thought, take it or leave it: I have largely abandoned multi-tasking, except for letting household machines work for me while I am doing something else. (Laundry, dishes, etc. Start those super early and be done with it.) I know multi-tasking used to be wildly popular and may still have its place, but this simpler approach seems to save me tons of time and also yields better results in my projects. No more trying to fulfill Master Gardener social media duties while blogging. No more trying to do beekeepers’ data entry while listening to a podcast. You get the idea. Maybe I can sew while listening to meaty stuff, but that’s about it.
One job at a time is great. And please… let’s soon talk about making more deliberate, life-affirming choices with what those jobs are. I have so many thoughts on choosing life instead of being dragged around by it.
Okay, thanks for checking in friends! Lots happening here at the W, as I am sure you’d say about your corner of paradise. Hope to meet again soon.
Carpe the heck out of those diems!