I hadn’t realized so much time had passed.
Last fall nearly broke me.
A house move, mostly done by me, mostly alone (a few days in, Kyle was hired away by the husband of a colleague), under intense pressure, while working. The exhaustion and grief of dismantling sixteen years of living, revisiting reminders of lost loved ones and lost optimism. The realization that I had made a mistake with college visits and raised hopes that were financially impossible. Finally, an attack on my teaching, and by extension, an attack on my moral self. To have all this on the heels of a terrible winter of intense cold and death and change and loss brought me to a low ebb.
I felt alone and completely beaten, as if every decision I had ever made in my adult life had been a mistake. I would look around the farm, my dream, and think,”What a stupid dream.”
It’s safe to say I was depressed.
However, since Christmas I have slowly turned a corner and climbed back out of the black hole.
We had a freakish, almost snow-less winter. It was terrible for skiers but a rest for me at a time when I had little energy. Naturally, this was the first winter I had invested in and installed snow fences. This gave me a small smile.
Stash, my bouncy standard poodle puppy, required long walks most days all winter to stay sane. Stash, Toby, and I went out in ice, snow, wind, and rain. It was good for me. Who can stay glum when a dog is capering with happiness?
Having fewer animals in the barn (8 ewes instead of 14, 2 steers instead of 10, and 2 cows but no calvings) meant less work and, with the warmer temperatures and some luck, zero sleepless emergencies.
During my March break from school, I had the first days of real relaxation I could remember in five years. Several times I lay on our bed and read a book! A small voice in my brain said, This is a good thing. Take note.
Now spring is here. The farm is waking from the long winter. The robins are back. Soon the dead brown fields will flush green and the buds will be out on the trees. I look around and in my mind I see all the chores ahead.
I know I’m better when I realize I can’t wait to start tackling it.
A lot is up in the air for me right now. I was warned in January that my job might be cut due to budget constraints; I should learn within the month. I knew moving to this lake house that I would have to move us out in the summers; we may cram into the farm for eight weeks and then return, or we may need to move somewhere else entirely — that, too, is unclear. I’m working with a builder to see if I can come up with an affordable house plan for the farm and with a financial advisor to see if I can come up with a plan to pay for it. Nothing is obvious or easy, but one step after another.
I have my yellow pad and I’m making my list. I’m back!