Tired

Tired, tired, tired, tired. So tired I feel weak to the core. Emotionally weary. Physically worn out. Spiritually exhausted. HA. Actually, too mentally exhausted to even focus on my spiritual state.
I’m probably depressed again. Which would make sense, since I haven’t been eating the best (too much sugar! too much rice- cheap starches!), nor have I been taking my supplements like I should. I need to start exercising too, now that the weather is finally getting nice again. Even just a daily walk, although I’d like to *try* to tackle the C25K program again and hopefully actually stick with it. But I’m so tired. I want to nap when I have time to walk. But probably, if I just went walking, maybe that would get the right parts of my brain motivated to do more walking and movement. Like Dr. Rudolph says.
It seems, to accomplish everything that we’re trying to do, that we need to be firing on all cylinders. And that is decidedly not happening. Every Sunday afternoon, we have a long to-do list, but we generally end up collapsing in exhaustion, taking ill-afforded naps that don’t seem to do much to revive. This afternoon’s nap was jam-packed full of anxious dreams, muddled visions, and I was so, so tired in the dream, but my mind refused to let me rest in any kind of peace. An all too common theme. Thankfully I was able to catch Rosie before she slipped over a railing and fell 3 floors in this dream.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this here. I have no one to complain to without sounding whiny or like I want something from somebody. But it’s not like I’ve published anything here in a very long time. And I don’t have regular readers. But Facebook didn’t seem like the right place to vent. Again, whiny and asking for something. Not that there’s anything wrong with asking for help. I just wish I knew how. I wish I had the security of knowing that I wasn’t causing undue burden to anybody who might have to hear me complain. Hence, why I don’t write this in a private journal. I *want* to share, but I don’t. I dunno. Too tired to think that hard.
And spring fieldwork hasn’t even started yet.
Soon I will be facing the time of year where I will once again live the life of what nearly amounts to being a single mother. And nothing will be going away. I have a maternity shoot and 2 prenatal visits, plus a doula meeting to attend in Bismarck, an important event to sponsor in Dickinson, and Bountiful Baskets. And that’s just April. I don’t have a free Saturday until a few weeks into May and surely seeding and Farmer Man’s extremely long hours will have begun by then. So now, basically, I try to accomplish everything possible during the week, Saturdays are either full with Bountiful Baskets or I need to leave the older kids with Farmer Man and be gone for my birth work stuff. And then Sunday, beginning with church with no skipping Sunday School because Farmer Man is a teacher (a lesson he generally studies for late Saturday night), and then catching up on the stuff we couldn’t do Saturday, but that really needs to happen on Farmer Man’s days off because the rest of week is filled with long work hours and somebody else dictating his schedule.
None of these things are bad. They’re good. We enjoy serving and fulfilling these duties. Individually. Honestly, we’re not really involved in that much, but when you add in normal everyday stuff–maintaining vehicles, keeping up with a property, caring for animals (including a milk cow), parenting 3 small children, building a swing set for said 3 small children, etc.–and the fact that we do all of these things completely on our own, Farmer Man and I are the only people to keep up with it all. Yeah, exhausting. This is where the lack of a support network comes in.
Sure, we have a great church, we have some good friends. But there’s no one to fall back on. Nowhere to go crash on a couch and check out for a little while because you know there are grandparents or aunts and uncles to keep an eye on the kids while you just decompress and be out of the house with other adults that you don’t have to try to impress. Because you don’t need to impress family. Or, at least, you shouldn’t have to. But hey, it’s our own fault for not staying near that kind of support system.
There’s been a lot good with our move to ND almost 5 years ago. We have a little farmstead to shape into our dreams. We’re in a small, safe town with an ok school system. Farmer Man has a job that provides sufficiently and maybe a little more.
But the little farmstead: what good is it if Farmer Man has little time to pursue the projects that his dreams consist of. And the little town: what good is it if you aren’t related to anyone and aren’t familiar with the bar scene and have no idea how to break into the social scene or make the kind of friends you can hang out with a bunch because the cultural differences are just so big. We have people over occasionally, but I feel sorry for any families we invited over for a meal because our house is small and hard to entertain in, any extra kiddos makes things loud and rowdy and hard for successful adult visiting and probably just stressful for the other set of parents. And when it’s cold out, there’s nowhere else for the kids to be except inside with their boundless energy. And when it’s warm, well, everybody is busy with farming and stuff. Oh yeah, except me. I’m busy with single mom stuff, but I’m on a team of my own while Farmer Man works his tail off on someone else’s farm. Which brings me to the job that puts bread on the table. It’s all well and good working for someone else. It would be better with regular hours. And something of a future, something to build a career on, or a future where Farmer Man can come home, where we can strive forward together as a family, where we can make our own hours and schedule. But hey, yeah, that’s probably a pipe dream, too good to be true. At one time we thought this job was leading to that kind of life, but I guess it’s not now after all.
Does that mean I want to move back to PA? No. I don’t fit in there either. And we can’t afford it from a financial standpoint. We can’t give our kids the life we want to give them in that locale. But maybe that’s not important? Maybe a support network is more important? But living near my family in MT is not really an option either. A little distance is ok when it comes to that side. *sigh*
Something needs to give, but I don’t know what. My birth work is where my heart is, but as it stands, I don’t feel like I’m having my cup filled in a way that I can then put all of my energies into my clients, the all-in effort that they deserve.
Bountiful Baskets needs to go, I know that much. I want to keep our site, I want to be involved, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep running it. I suppose I shouldn’t care if we keep our site. I could simply refuse to burden us with it any longer, there’s actually another site in another town a little closer that’s run by someone else, I could always just go there for affordable produce and only worry about the occasional volunteering. But I’d be letting our town down. The community I’m trying to become a part of. Although, I’m not sure people care that much anyways. People tell us thank you for bring BB to our town, but I’m not sure anybody would really take steps to make sure it stays here, or would really miss it if it was gone. Lol, this sounds like BB site suicide; “No one will miss me, might as well end it all.”
But I can’t even put in to words the relief it would be not to be the responsible volunteer site coordinator. It would be amazing. But then, everybody else in town is just as busy (or busier) as we are, so who am I going to ask to take over just because I’m tired?
I guess I’m just weary of trying to balance the constant game of catch-up with the effort of getting ahead. Never gonna catch up, really, probably never really gonna get ahead either. Forget chasing dreams. Not that I wouldn’t encourage anyone else to go after their calling, but it’s feeling pretty impossible for us. How silly we are. Right now my dreams consist of 4 births a month, making enough to pay someone to pickup and clean my house once a week, being a good mommy who is present and balanced when I’m home, good friends to hang out with a couple of times a month, and a little decompression time for little ol’ introvert me. Oh, and I’d like to stay here on the prairie, and be more than co-parenting roommates with my dear Farmer Man. I miss him. I miss sex. Blah.
And now this word salad shall come to an end. No resolutions, but at least it’s out there.

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7 thoughts on “Tired

  1. I don’t know what to tell you because, I’m not sure there’s much I can do being so far away. I will pray for you although I know that probably sounds cliche. Sometimes we need to just push through the pain and exhaustion and fight for our sanity. Let out a roar and go for that walk, shout out loud to the devil that you are a child of God and have His power, love and a sound mind, attack your husband with vigor even when the kids are in the other room. I hope I’m helping and not hurting. I wish so badly I could come visit. I know how much a support system helps and I wish I could be that for you physically. Praying God reveales himself you to in a mighty way through this season. Know that you are not alone, your are being covered in prayer, and you are an amazing woman!

  2. Alright, Regina. It feels good to get shit off a girl’s mind sometimes, doesn’t it? I remember spending pretty much the entirety of my 20’s feeling similar to how you are describing, and while I didn’t have kids, I did have jobs I hated and/or grad school on my plate, cancer scares, and financial peril, so I think it all evens out in the end. Billy and I both know what it feels like to never seem to get ahead, to be able to move forward with intended projects and dreams, and to not feel like you are making any headway. Hell, we still feel like that.
    Let me encourage you that you ARE making more progress that it seems. In a few years you will turn around and realize that more has happened than you think–even with kids–even with the long hours and frustration.
    Let me also encourage you that it is evident to a fellow anxiety sufferer that your anxiety brain is working over time. You are, as Dr. Leaf says, “shoulding” yourself to death. I should work out. I should take my supplements. I should be doing more in my house. This is bad. The word “should” raises a stress reaction in the body which only leads to more shoulding. A conscious decision must be made to stop using that word mentally. Instead, if you really actually need to do something say ” I need to do this.” I find for myself that saying need sorts out for me what truly is a need and what is just things I think I need to do. What I see here is that you are being incredibly hard on yourself to accomplish, do, do, do…..but remember that your worth is not at all found in what you do or what you accomplish or what you prove. NOT AT ALL. Your worth is found in your identity as a child of God. That’s it. Anything else that you or I are striving for is grasping after the wind. A hard truth, but the truth, and I think a liberating one, especially for those of us with perfectionistic tendencies and anxiety.
    Remember that it is scientifically proven that like attracts like. The thoughts and energy you put out will return to you in kind. Don’t stop imagining and visualizing your dreams, but realize that God’s time table is not ours either.
    Also remember that you are smart and capable and you want to do many things, but you are in the season of your life where you have small kids (one of them still at the breast). I feel like every single friend I have with kids has felt like you are describing above about this stage into the addition of another little one, especially when still breast feeding, regardless of anything else going on. This is just a season. This will not last forever. You will get to a stage when your kids are older that life will open back up for you a bit and you will have more time for things. For now, please be kind and merciful to yourself and your expectations of what you can do.
    Remember the lesson that you taught all of us in bringing a particular bible study to the table: Eucharisteo. Practice it. I have found this to be the best management of my anxiety. Be thankful.
    And lean into the wind, my friend. As your other friend says below, this pain and discomfort is exactly what is refining you into an even more beautiful person, reflecting the image and character of Christ, day by day. It is because of His love that He allows these seasons and trials. It is not easy to accept, and not easy to process day by day, but that is when clinging to James chapter 1 can be so important.
    Count it all joy, my sister,2 when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
    As for support system, I wish I could do more for your in this regard. Yes, the culture is difficult to break into here (and elsewhere in the Midwest I would argue), but there is also the geographic separation of you guys just living so far out of town that makes helping each other and interacting more regularly extremely difficult. Having said that, let me just say that as an “insider,” my perspective is that you have impacted our community GREATLY and you are much more a part of this culture than you realize. It takes folks here time to get to know you, then time to open up, then time to accept, then time to include. Your including yourself through things like BB and even through your doula work–this goes a LONG way towards establishing trust and helping others figure out what you’re all about. Be patient–and realize that there are many who care about you and admire you but are also struggling under the weight of similar trials. You are noticed. You do matter. And we do love you.
    And for the record, our entire family would DIE without BB. It’s so important for our community. If possible, I would suggest talking with your volunteers and see if you can somehow rotate who is in charge of the drops so not every single one rests on you. I have a feeling if you were open with folks about your situation that many would step forward to stand in the gap. At this point, I think people are just amazed that you are doing everything you are doing and are just staying out of the way of you being Super Woman. It is up to you to ask for help directly and provide motivating reasons why you, personally, need to back off. I think people will be very accepting of that and very willing to help.
    I hope that these comments are encouraging and that you realize that we are kindred spirits. We have many of the same struggles, and I empathize with how you feel. Know that God is with you–closer than you can imagine–and that He is bigger than all of these problems and struggles and heart aches. This is how we set our hearts at rest whenever our hearts condemn us–because God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.
    Be at peace, my sister.

    • Aaahhhhh, so much good stuff here, thank you. Stuff I KNOW, but totally need to be reminded about. Obviously. This really is the stuff life is made of, I probably just need to get over myself. I think part of my problem is expectations. I thought when I grew up I’d be able to get out of the house, away from the kids (siblings). Then I grew up and nearly immediately had a house and kids to care for again. Ah, yes, I have no idea who’s fault that was. Not that I would change any of it, but thank you, legalism/brainwashing, baha.
      Soooo, if people are staying out of my way to let me be Super Woman, does that mean I steamroll people in pursuit of the bigger picture? Because I certainly, certainly hope not. Blah. This public relations, dealing with other human beings stuff is HARD.

  3. Hey Sweetie. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in this. What is on our plates looks vastly different, but we’re both doing it without a support system, and exhausting is an understatement. My littlest is about to turn 5 (like, how?), and I feel like I might just be coming up for air. Being a mom to tiny ones feels so often hopeless and demoralizing, and overwhelming…. plus everything else in life. Hugs!

    • Thank you much, friend. The juxtaposition comes when you hear all the time that this is just a short time and you’ll be wishing for this sweet stage to come back and you know this is true and you want to savor it, all the while feeling guilty because all you want right now is for it to be bedtime!

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