Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
– John Lennon, 1980.
Looking back over the last week’s posts, I noticed a subtle theme that traced through the things that both Christine and I wrote during the week. Both of us, not intentionally I’m sure, touched on simply not having enough time. Both of us did so in the same manner as well. We both opined on how having off-farm jobs puts a pressure on us when trying to work on our dreams here at the homestead.
Last week’s blog post, Making Time for Work and Play, touched directly on this topic as it demonstrated how we try to balance the tasks that need done around the homestead with making time for family fun. Meanwhile, Christine posted about feeling the time crunch on our homestead’s Facebook page and how finding a bit of respite in a morning’s escape always helps.
Unfortunately, at times it feels like there is nothing we can do about that time crunch. We’re not at a point where the homestead can be wholly self-sustaining. Sure, the bounty our land provides makes us a lot more resilient in the current environment. But, in truth, most days we need both of our off-farm jobs just to make ends meet. Making the homestead thrive and working for ourselves is always the dream, but there’s always something pulling at us to step away. There’s always a bill coming due. There’s always an appointment that needs to be scheduled. There’s always a shift that needs to be covered. There’s always an event of one sort or the other. There’s always… There’s always something pulling at us to step away.
But we love what we do here on our homestead. We’ve created an oasis here on our land. Christine and I have created that oasis for ourselves and our family. Instead of going out to find what we love, we’ve worked diligently to create what we love here in the space we have available to us. I routinely joke that in my mind once I’ve come home for the day it practically takes an act of God and congress to convince me to leave again!
The trick is, I’ve found, stepping away at the right times and for the right reasons. Make time for family. Catch up with old friends. Sure there will be conflicts. This was the first year I did not Trick-or-Treat with my children. Work delayed me to a point where I was going to be late getting to their mother’s neighborhood that evening. But when I called my kids to let them know I was on my way, my daughter let me know they were looking forward to going with just their friends. They were growing up. Stretching their independence. I was the one worrying. I was the one with fear of missing out.
And while, yes, I truly missed walking with them this year for Halloween, we all gathered the next day at the homestead to finally meet our granddaughter, Avery Jean! While Christine had travelled to Indiana for Avery’s birth and then again to see her in September, this was the kids’ and my first meeting her. We weren’t alone though. Family and friends all gathered with us at the homestead to celebrate baby AJ’s visit. We packed the driveway, packed the house, and all together celebrated the things for which we are most thankful.
It was the kind of day worthy of a break from the work of homesteading. The kind of day worth living.
John Lennon wasn’t the first person to utter the opening quote from today’s post. Whether voiced word-for-word or through a variation of those words, the thought can be traced back through much of human history. Just look at these words from Syrus:
Man intends one thing, Fate another.
– Publilius Syrus, Sententiae. No. 253 (c. 43 BC)
We’re always trying to find time for all the things. Maybe focusing more on the things that matter most is all any of us can do.