Alone

It’s 9 PM and everything is quiet. The windchimes are sound in the breeze as the thunder of a gentle thunderstorm rumbles on. The crickets chirp. It’s a beautiful, perfect late summer night on the prairie.
And I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone than I do tonight. So, so hopelessly alone. And just plain hopeless. My heart hurts so much. I’m so tired of trying. Of hoping and scheming, only to be dashed and muddled. There is nowhere to turn. I can count on no one. No one can help me. There are not enough tears to ease the hurt and loneliness. I know Jesus said he will never leave us nor forsake us, but I don’t even know what that means. How does that even apply in everyday life? Especially when our faith is not based on feelings? Are we just supposed to have faith and believe in the promises and imagine a benign, comforting, invisible being at our sides? I don’t understand it at all. I pray for my eyes to be opened, for God to show me in a real way what it means when people testify that leaning on Him was the only way they got through their tough times. Like, what does that even mean? How does it feel? Is it simply trusting and knowing that all things work together for good, that God has the big picture in mind and THAT is supposed to make you feel better?! I wish I knew.
All I know now is that I feel abandoned and an island. Surrounded, but only by what is different and I am not truly a part of. My username for multiple online accounts is FarmWifeGina, but even that is a false pretense. I wish I was a farmer’s wife. I’ve dreamed of working alongside my husband on our own family farm. But as of yet, he is a mere farm hand, the hired man. He goes off everyday and does his toil alongside other people. And I stay home alone, sucked down into the mundane nothingness of sick housework and the lonely joy of watching our children grow and learn. We are pulling in the traces together, but not really. Not like we want to be.
This wouldn’t be so hard to swallow if we had a social life. Or, any life at all. Any life outside of constant work and striving. We apparently don’t even know how to make friends. I mean, we do, but we don’t. Not the kind that you get together and play Rook with every Friday night. Or anything of the sort. We’re just weird. I don’t know what I was expecting.
Actually, I do. I was expecting to live in a new place, with a new church, new social circle, away from any family, much as my parents did for all of my growing up years. And they had lots of friends. Until we moved to MI when I was 13, we had a decent social life. But I’m realizing that the difference between then and now was that a.) we moved between Mennonite communities and, b.) we were the “missionary family,” so of course everyone was going to be nice to us. They knew we lived far from family and were perhaps more welcoming than they may have been had we simply been a regular family moving from another Mennonite area. Nah. The more I think about it, the more I agree with myself that it was the culture. Mennonites just tend to be hospitable, especially to their own. It was the culture hop where we seemed to have missed so very, very badly.
But what are we going to do about it? I have no idea. What is there to be done, other than to suffer? One way or another, there will be many tears involved. If we stay here and continue to fight to put down roots in this hard ground, I look forward to so much more loneliness, more grasping at straws, trying to find the necessary childcare as I run my business. I guess I could always quit my work, with its chaotic schedule, but right now I have too much money sunk in, I HAVE to make it work. What’s more, this is supposed to be bringing in some income, supposed to be building towards a full-time job that can help support the family whenever Farmer Man quits his regular job to become self-employed (at what we have no idea yet).
The other option is to sell everything and move back east. But that would hurt too. A LOT. The optimist in me says that we could sell and move back with a nice bundle of money in our pocket, given enough time to find a buyer who can jump through the weird hoops that come with securing financing for a farmette in the middle of nowhere. And I’m fairly certain that given a little time, I could bring my business to full-time, back in the land of a doula-educated populace. It would be a good career move for me. Sorta. But then what? The kids would have to go to much scarier public schools, filled with kids raised in much less wholesome homes than the kids here generally are. Sure, they might be able to go to an amazing private Christian school, but I highly doubt we could afford that. I have no idea where we would go to church, but it’s not like there aren’t plenty of options. And then there would be family nearby. Cousins. People to hang out with and shoot the breeze about stupid stuff for no reason at all. Sure, they’re infuriating in their ignorance, but it’s better than this. And I would probably be able to take an active part in doula groups and babywearing groups and LLL and all kinda of inspiring things.
But we would lose so much. We would leave some very dear friends. The prairie, in all its splendor and rawness and peace and gentleness, truly has my heart and it might be ripped to shreds if we decided to leave for the cramped life of the Eastern Seaboard. And how could I ever tell my boy that we’re moving away from his acres of exploring, to where he must stay within the confines of several hundred square yards?
So I guess I must suffer on. Or pray for relief from the severe social anxiety. And press on, battling through the panic of never feeling less than guilty when having to ask for babysitting, hoping just to make it through until the baby is in school and then childcare will be one less load. And then hoping that at least our children will be adults that want to hang out with Mom and Dad. Or something. Something.

Depression: I haz it and it sucks

So much for getting in a routine and keeping house. Bullshit. At the moment, things are spiraling out of control. I just don’t care anymore. Well, I do. I care a lot. The dirt and piles that are accumulating are making me very sad and crazy, but I get no satisfaction from actually doing something about it, whatsoever. Get all the laundry caught up on? Who cares. It’s not really caught up on anyways. Get the kitchen spic and span? Yeah, right, that’s not happening any time soon. All I can think about is how I’ll have to do it all over again in a matter of hours. There is no motivation whatsoever. I’m sick and tired of everything. Sick of cleaning up pee accidents. And poop. So much poop. Sick of everything I touch being sticky, greasy, grimy, or all of the above. Sick of feeling the crunch on the floor everywhere I walk. Sick of the flies. Sick of cooking, but mostly sick of cleaning up. I don’t want to do ANYTHING. I want to stay in bed and cry. Or hide under the blankets so I don’t have to see the messy, filthy bedroom and forget about how miserable I am. Yeah, I know, I’m just lazy and lame. That’s what I’m thinking too. Except that this spiraling around the drain totally coincides with my running out of my inositol supplements a couple of weeks ago. Of course, it’s one of the more expensive of my supplements. And there is literally no money to buy more at the moment. It sucks. *I* suck. I know, depression lies, but at the moment I have no truths to combat those lies. I fail at all the things right now. Even the simplest things of keeping clean sheets on all the beds. Or keeping the trash can emptied. Or keeping a handle on the budget. Or keeping paperwork filed. Or keeping my kick ass desk clean and organized. Or cooking decent food. Or, or, or anything. I haven’t been yelling at the kids, so that’s good. They are the only source of joy in my life right now and we have fun. The only reason I get out of bed in the morning is because it’s my duty to them. And I don’t want to have to deal with the disasters that happen when little people are not supervised.

I’m learning that I don’t get depressed and cranky because the house is a mess. That’s what it feels like. That’s what I thought was my problem before I actually learned what depression is and that I’ve had symptoms for YEARS. The house becomes a mess when my brain starts going down, down, down. It has to do with brain chemicals and hormones and motivation and shit like that. But it’s awful hard to live in that hole and even harder to start cleaning up, figuratively and literally, the aftermath and climbing out of that hole without help. Ugh. Just, ugh. I don’t even know what to do. I can’t keep going like this. But what else is there to do? Literally, what else can I do about it? The supplements are out of the budget for now. As is any kind of counseling. Getting on top of this funk with “simple” positive thinking and gratitude seems positively impossible and overwhelming at this juncture in time. Miserable. And it’s not like talking to anybody else is actually going to help anyways. Farmer Man is busy. I can tell him, but what exactly can he do about it? Say, “Well, sorry about that, have fun getting back on top again?” He has too much to do anyways. Stuff like harvest and milking the cow and getting ready for winter and crap like that. Because there is NOTHING anybody can or will do to help. It’s all up to me. And it SUCKS. Dealing with it alone makes it even more overwhelming.

Leaving the house is a relief, somehow. But so exhausting. And there’s no money to spend and nowhere to go anyways. And nothing at home gets done while we’re gone. Not that anything more than the bare minimum is accomplished while we’re home as it is. I know, back to being sick of how gross everything, why don’t I just do something about it? Because, that’s why. Because in order to clean up the laundry room, I need to get the shelf over the washer and dryer organized. And to do that, I need to pull down the pile of heavy things that will fall on my head. And once I do that, I need to figure out what to do with the things that don’t really belong up there. And IF I get that far, I need to go through all of the clothes and sort them by size and whether I’m keeping them or not. And that’s just one room of impossibility. That’s the problem with everything. Why put something away if I don’t know where AWAY is and even if I do, adding this item to the pile where it belongs will simply add to that pile and I’ll probably forget where it is if I put it there, so better to leave it right where it is so I know where it is the next time I’m looking forward. So much logic, I know.

So much frustration, not enough words. Kids need to eat. I’m afraid to go upstairs because I’ve been sitting down here budgeting and paying bills because it NEEDS to be done, but I’ve been hearing the ruckus the whole time. *sigh*

Well, screw that

Ok, not really, but sorta. In a mostly fun turn of events, we discovered gorgeous hardwood flooring under the ratty carpet while painting the living room and now the whole main floor is in an uproar since we ripped up all the carpets in the bedrooms too, but need to wait on paint for those rooms. Soooooo, I guess I’ll focus on keeping the kitchen in shape so I don’t get too overwhelmed and just quit completely.
Here’s some pictures of the living room:

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No new non-negotiables

Because I only managed to hit all of them on one day last week. So this week I’m going to try writing them on the blackboard in the kitchen and checking them off. Because I am genuinely having a hard time remembering them all as my brain swirls through the day.
Ugh. Having so much anxiety this morning. Probably triggered by paying the bills this morning. Or maybe I ate something detrimental. I dunno, but it’s bordering on feeling like PPD. This whole weekend has been kind of iffy. Part of it may be the fact that I haven’t even been keeping up with these 5 small tasks, never mind any bigger organizing projects. Yeah, when I do the non-negotiables, it helps a lot with maintaining, but it doesn’t do a thing for the big mess on my desk or in the Suburban. I need to figure out a better system for mail and paperwork too. Blargh. Patience, I guess. Hopefully these habits will make it possible to start in on the big stuff after awhile. But it’s pretty discouraging right now.

This wagon is nice

Yesterday was a good day, even though I was either gone or preparing to be gone all day long. Wasn’t planning to be gone until 4:30, but I was. But I got up before 6 and got my non-negotiables done and wasn’t trying to play catch-up when I got home and that was really, really nice.
My goals for today involve the same non-negotiables, putting away piles of laundry and washing more (seriously, catching up on laundry and making AAAAALLLLL TEH THINGS CLEAN is an obsession in the impossible). Putting away laundry is not my favorite thing, but I just turn on an interesting podcast and do it, it doesn’t take too long. Even piles.
And then once I’ve done the dailies and put away the laundry, I should probably wipe down the bathroom and vacuum the living room before either gets too bad. And if I get that far, the grass is super, super long and I need to zip it off quick before the dew comes on.
Yep, there’s my housekeeping priorities for the day.
I should confess though that my blessed husband has both unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher yesterday and this morning, sweet man that he is.

Falling off the wagon, again

Uuuugggggh… When did I last post? Well, too long ago, I know that much. I can’t say I’ve completely fallen off the wagon with the new habits (that aren’t habits yet), I’ve unloaded and reloaded and run the dishwasher at least once every day, I think. Maybe missed once or twice. But the bed hasn’t been made, nor the floor swept, nor the picking up for 5 minutes. I’m slipping back into old habits of NO habits and I don’t like it and I’m not going to let it happen! I think part of it is that when I WAS accomplishing those non-negtioables, I realized how it really wasn’t THAT hard and when I slipped up, I figured, well, it’s not really that hard, I can catch up tomorrow. Yeah, no, NOPE! Not going down that path again! These habits WILL stick, if it’s the last thing I do. The other thing is that I’m getting too many non-negotioables, I can’t remember them all, lol. Sounds dumb, but it’s the truth. I try to remember what else I’m supposed to do, but as I’m thinking, I’m also seeing other stuff to do and I go do that and forget about the non-negotioables for then. I know, I just need to do them in the morning and get them done and I’ve been trying, but it generally takes all day to work through the short list of tasks, due to, ya know, looking at someone’s tower and getting someone else a drink and cleaning up someone else’s poop and the hours it takes to keep all the people fed. And the fact that I’m so distractible and any one of these disruptions can derail the whole list for an hour or more, until I remember what it was I was TRYING to accomplish. But anyway, excuses, excuses. Here is a reiteration of the non-negotioables I’m up to, this is what I will be working to get back on track this week: 

-Make the bed

-Sweep the kitchen floor

-Un/reload/run the dishwasher

-5-minute pickup

I’m not adding anything new this week because I really just need to work harder on these. I think I’m going to try writing them down in a visible place as a reminder that I can see and hopefully actually notice, and also so I can check them off. Because that’s totally worked before. HA.

Homesick, part 2

Here’s the annoying thing: I think I’m actually on my way to being somebody in the birth world here. Like, a leader or something. I could get my CBE and really do some good. Professionally I think I could do ok here. But on the other hand, I could probably fill up my doula schedule a lot faster there. I wouldn’t have to be a leader, I could just be one of probably many doulas, building up to 4-5 births a month a lot faster. Let someone else do the childbirth classes. Maybe I could even be involved in a doula agency. And we could probably put the kids in a decent private school with that income. Bah. But who wants that?
Oh yeah, me. Because I’m sick of striving and putting up sheer boredom and loneliness.