You might have noticed that it has been over a month since I've managed to sit down and write...oh, there are some long hand scribblings but nothing finished. I try to be as authentic as possible, yet I find myself only posting or publishing the good stuff, so when there feels like there is no good stuff I just don't post...the pics I chose for this post are all cute baby goats. I realize that by choosing these pics and not the pictures of the bloody milk from Ruby's right teat, or Melly's tiny udder that may or may not be producing enough milk for her twins, or a pic of my bashed up knee/hip/shoulder I am creating an image of this farm and my life as idyllic. I think we need to stop pretending like we are perfect, but I also think I need to embrace how very imperfect I am.
The reason I haven't written in so long is because I never get moved to the top of the priority list. I don't take care of myself...a picture of me right now...dirty hair, scraggly nails, bags under my eyes, mismatched clothes...but more importantly than what I look like right now is how I feel.
Kidding is the best and the worst time of the year and this year I decided to incubate some eggs too, so for the last nine days I have turned eggs over five times a day. It is the first thing I do when I wake up and the last thing I do before sleep. Add to that two goats kidding during that time just off their due dates which required lots of late night checks and early morning barn visits and I haven't sleep much.
Funny how I can find time to check on goats, then kids, and turn eggs over five times a day, but I can't find time to shop for groceries, or cook, or feed myself. Don't get distracted by the cute goats pics now...this is serious. Yesterday, I read two articles that randomly popped up. They were both about self-care and what that really means. See I can intellectually process the information. I can say it over and over again, "I have to take care of myself, so I can take care of the farm," but putting it into practice is another thing entirely. Actually, I generally resolve to do better and I do, for a week or two then it is back to my bad habits.
One of the articles I read was on a facebook post and the replies from women mostly made me sad. We all do it. One woman wrote...that sometimes it was taking a shower, or brushing her teeth, or washing her hair. So sad, because I can relate. I consider taking a shower every night self-care, not just something I need to do every day to be human...not something I DESERVE...an act of self-care shouldn't be the things that we need to be doing to stay clean and healthy. Cooking for myself should not be considered self-care....well, it is, but instead we should see it as a priority, something non-negotiable.
When JC is home I make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We never eat a handful of walnuts for our lunch or have popcorn for dinner. No matter how tired, depressed, stressed, or anxious I am I cook for US, so why can't I cook for ME?
The above pic of me snuggling with goats was taken yesterday about 5pm and it was the first time I stopped all day. I had a bowl of cornflakes for breakfast, a handful of tortilla chips, and a handful of walnuts (I guess that was lunch) all day. I made two batches of soap and both were failures. I repeat, both were failures...why? I could blame the lye, or the temperature, or whatever, but at the core of it...I didn't take care of myself yesterday (or the day before, or the day before, or the day before) and I was distracted and I fucked it up....why? Maybe it is because brains don't function well on so little food...and such crappy food.
And I KNOW this...I have to feed myself. I have to eat better. My body is twitchy and ridiculous...I'm always queasy or anxious or depressed or achy or, or, or...you get it. Even though I often feel terrible, I always feel better when I eat and eat well. I know this, yet it is so hard to do it...because of time, stress, and anxiety, because I don't like to go out, but also because I don't have energy to wash my hair, or open and close the gate, drive there, or freak out about finding a parking space for my big ass truck (because when I'm having a bad day I have no confidence either) or push the cart, or GEEZUS, make decisions. Ack, the decisions get me every time.
Today, has not been much better...I had a bowl of cornflakes again. I was distracted, looking too far into the future and stressing about how much I needed to get done today and one second I was buzzing out to the barn to clean stalls and the next I was on the ground, stunned. It wasn't one of those slow-motion-oh-shit-I'm-falling falls. It was Up, then Down...no arms flung out to break the fall, not a single thought, just Up, then Down, then pain.
And I won't lie, I stayed down for a while and when I got up I hurt, but I limped to the barn and cleaned and thought about Why? had that just happened. I can't remember a time ever when I fell, but didn't know I was falling. I always do it in slow motion, always. But today, Up, then Down, then pain....now fear. Because I don't want to fall again.
I know that I slipped on the bottom rail of the gate (which is on the ground), but I also know that what caused me to fall was not strictly physical. I need to feed myself so my brain works better, slow down, stay in the Now, stop stressing, Rest.
I made a manageable list for today and although I'd rather put my own eye out (and at this rate I might accidentally do it) I'm going to the grocery store...and I'm going to compromise some of my ridiculously high standards so that there will be some convenient, quick food here so I'll have no excuses not to have lunch or dinner in the coming weeks.
Literally and figuratively I'll pick myself up and dust myself off over and over again, even though I sometimes just want to stay down. I can resolve to take care of myself better, do it for awhile, fail, resolve again, do it, fail...it's okay, I'm human.