“Work hard, play mostly.” My little brother said those four simple words when he was 3 years old or so. Ever since, it’s been a staple in our family-quote repertoire. I’ve been invoking the power of that little saying lately. It feels perfect for me right now. It’s a great recipe for that sort of grounding, stay-in-the-present approach that I need in my life. I’ve been going at this pace for long enough that I think it’s just the way things shake out for me. It kind of reminds me of my transition into parenthood. Vera was born and my rhythm got thrown out the window. I had to reset everything, really. I learned to think of time and tasks and starts and finishing as being this really fluid thing. I had to loosen my attachment to predictability and just take what rest/play/work/time I could when the opportunity arose. I feel like most of the things I take on in life has some of that quality. Everything is this new baby, filled with potential but also kind of scary and needy and a bit out of my control, and I just have to work to stay present and find joy in my own service and participation. If I tense up and stay attached to the idea of anything fitting into a neat little box then I miss the moment and the peace in front of me. I’m working to keep my eye on the ball, dive into each present task with some muscle, and let the results go in favor of gratitude for the simple fact that I get to do this and live such a good life. I get to work hard and play mostly.
Time outside has been pretty amazing lately. We are moving forward with our project on the land now that we found out we can get a construction loan with the help of Jeff’s mom as a cosigner. I had high hopes of doing this thing debt-free and without the pressure of banks telling us what to do, but this whole process has been a big lesson in loosening expectations and just resetting it all in favor of what works. I want what works, so let that be my vision.
We’ve pushed through that low discouraged place and have recently found ourselves out on our future homestead with renewed excitement. Jeff is working on this shed for storing the piles of wood and farm equipment we’ve accumulated. I talked about feeling unsettled leaving it all under tarps for the winter, and he lit up thinking about a project. That day we had that perfect work/play balance I love. He gave the kids all tractor rides, we took breaks to soak up the warm setting sun, space was cleared and four posts were up by the time the sun set. A roof is up now, and so we’ll see some more organization out there soon.
I was telling a friend about this today, but I’ve been struck lately by how different I feel out there. The thing I’ve noticed is how my mobility changes. I swing my arms wider, I am often compelled to run and jump around. It’s been really freeing and unexpected. It got me thinking about how reigned in we are physically, simply because we don’t have spaces that accommodate free movement. Even if it is a big open space, usually there are unspoken rules or pressures that keep us from widening our stance. Anyway. Musings.