Just doing, day 7.
Posted On July 20, 2011
We start the day with a visit from "Lady Asa". We laugh.
We have a quick breakfast, and Jeff goes to work.
Vera and I play with water and packing peanuts.
I turn this…
Start a load of laundry.
Bring up the clean diapers.
I get sidetracked and clean out the bathroom sink.
I refocus and go outside with the kids. I get the table looking nice, and Vera tests it for sturdiness.
It’s really hot, and the kids are a little whiny. I move logs.
Jeff gets home and takes kids inside. I sweep.
Clean up the miscellaneous pots and things.
Vera and I find a toad!
I clean up all the tree trimmings and make a pile by the chickens.
My sister comes over to help. She brought snacks! She helps us rake up sticks and straw, pull radishes, and is just generally a really good sport about working in the heat.
Jeff finishes one of the last trellises, and we stop there. My sister-in-law brings over their water cooler and some ice. People are going to be coming on bikes, so they will need water.
And that’s where I stopped taking pictures! The rest of the evening was filled with people. There were 6 groups that came through, each with about 15-20 people. They all seemed really interested, they asked lots of questions and were amazed by how much we’ve been able to harvest. Someone even said we should hire our services out to plan people’s gardens. Jeff, love of my life, said the offer is out there for free. She took down our info! I have lots more reflections about this stuff, but that’s a post in and of itself. Maybe tomorrow! Anyway, the tour stopped at around 8, but we stayed out talking to neighbors and friends until dark. I even sent home some summer squash and an egg with some kids who were really eager to cook something with them. So cute! It was a really rewarding evening for Jeff and I. I considered updating last night, but I could tell Jeff just wanted to relax with me, so I decided to post this today instead.
This "Just doing" project has been really fun for me. I was rarely visited by anxiety this week, despite this big event looming on the horizon, and despite having a post to do every night about all the weird little details of my day (and it’s usually hard for me to get out 2 posts a week, let alone 7!). It really helped to keep me in the moment, and reflecting on it all, I think I thrive that way. I also was extremely productive. I mean, it really got me thinking about how much energy is spent on stuff inside my head. When I set that stuff aside, I had lots more energy for action. It also got me thinking about how much emotional energy is spent on things that are not real- like all the time we focus on being someway/where/thing we are not. All the time that we spend thinking about what would be our version of perfect, and then grappling with emotion about how it is not… It’s silly really. We have influence, but we don’t have complete control. Continually having the expectation that we can control things makes for a ridiculous state of being. What can we control? What we do.
Anyway, in doing my best to stay in the moment, I made a couple of observations. The first is that I should be spending more time doing than I spend thinking about doing. This is a struggle for me. Obviously we need to spend some time considering what needs to be done in our lives, but it becomes absurd when you’ve spent a month merely thinking about clearing off the top of the dresser, rather than just doing it. The second is that when I spend less time thinking and more time doing, my thoughts catch up to my actions. I often think it happens the other way around. You know, waiting to feel the motivation/confidence/happiness/etc. to do something before you get up and do it. It often doesn’t work that way. In my experience, when I put actions before my emotions, then my emotions are more temperate, more accurate, more honest, and certainly less taxing. This past week was a perfect example. I found that as the week panned out, I was so pleased and relaxed with our progress, that I didn’t care that we didn’t "get it all done" because it was honest and we worked hard and were legitimately proud of ourselves. When the tour actually happened, I just felt like we had a great excuse to spend time on our projects- no one focused on the front yard, or the trees having been trimmed, or our awning. All of that was for us. And when it came down to it, I just had to open myself up. In the end, I was so glad to be able to share.
I’ve always been intrigued by the whole zen master thing- "Master, give me the answer to the universe…" and the Master says some version of "Have you done your chores today?" It’s making more sense to me every day.