As winter fast approaches, the list of preparation chores seems to grow instead of get shorter. I am a list maker so I love to mark things off, I even use an electronic list! But it is also my favorite time of the year so I love being outdoors. I don’t know about you, but I often feel as overwhelmed this time of year with winter preparations as I do with the spring planting. When I get like this, I forget to enjoy where I am and what I am doing.
This isn’t my usual kind of post, but I have felt a little overwhelmed this week and wondered if maybe you have too. As the farmer/homesteader, we are the source of action and supply for meeting the needs of our animals and families, so its very important to take care of “you.” In the spirit of this thought, I wanted to share some things I have learned to counter-act negative influences in my life- namely me, myself, and I.
First and foremost is prayer. Prayer changes me, not my circumstances and not others. It is me that needs a new perspective, a change of heart. Then all other things fall into place. I have also learned some truths that help the physical.
1) Change your environment – a change of scenery is a great idea; take a walk around the farm and really see it; be sure to breathe deeply, inhaling and exhaling completely, at least 15 times.
2) Face the tasks and challenges realistically and make a list (I just don’t know how to not do this! LOL). Then prioritize the list and delegate some of the chores, if at all possible.
3) Let go of the expectations of others. You know your family, your farm, your animals. Decide what is important, what can go undone, and what order it needs to happen in. Then get started without worrying about what others think or say.
4) Live in this moment, right now. This moment is the only one you have. Don’t get so busy with all the things to do that you forget to look at the changes in the leaves, the garden, your animals, all that makes your farm, your farm.
5) Expect the unexpected. This is the basic truth to the homesteading way of life and comes with the idea of being flexible. You just have to be. No matter to what degree you are involved in homesteading, this is true. That is the nature of things. You have your day planned and then something happens that needs your immediate attention. OK, let’s deal with first things first, take some deep breaths and just move on.
This one was hard for me when I was younger. I was a “bit” (understatement) of a control freak. I wanted to check things off my list in the order I wanted them done. Life on a farm just doesn’t happen that way. I had many a bad day because of my inflexibility.
6) Embrace good fear and put away bad fear. Fear is the enemy of faith. It cannot live where faith abides. This may seem a little strange to be on this list, but it is vital. Good fear causes us to act in a manner so as to fix or prevent a situation from happening. Its healthy. Bad fear causes us to be trapped into inaction and catastrophe follows.
I hope these truths prove useful in your life. Especially now as you begin your winter preparations. Knowing these things and actually doing these things have two totally different outcomes. I am thankful for the energy I had today to not just think about these truths, but to act on them and change the outcome of my day from a “bad” one to a positive one.
What do you and your family do to deal with the pressures of the onset of winter? Have you started your preparations? Share your experience with me in the comments section below or by email. I can’t wait to hear from you.