It’s no secret to anyone who homesteads that a traditional skills lifestyle can be challenging. Winter, spring, summer or fall there are chores to do, livestock and plants to tend, and housework that seems to never end. It can be exhausting and overwhelming.
Sometimes that exhaustion is overwhelming to the point we want to give up. That has happened to me over the years. Two simple questions have helped me focus my efforts, decide what is important, and given me both mental and emotional clarity. What is that question?
WHY AM I TIRED?
I know. It seems obvious why a Homesteader, particularly a woman Homesteader would be tired. The amount of work required to keep a home and a homestead is staggering. But there is a deeper layer than just the workload.
This is one of those questions that when you sit and ponder really opens up a can of worms.
Tiredness can stem from many things – taking on too much, disorganization, a none participating partner, finances, emotional distress, not fitting into the local culture, and the list goes on. It’s different for every woman. The answer depends on your personal situation.
I asked myself this question last year. My answer was fairly common. I don’t always take good care of myself, I spread myself too thin, and I was trying to keep up with everything mentally.
Then I asked myself another question:
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
This is question that has the real impact on daily life. It’s also, for me, the harder question. Answering this question forces one to examine self responsiblity, work methods and ethics, inner struggles, and basically to grow.
Sometimes implementing these changes are scary. It requires interacting with people in a different way. It means getting creative with problem solving. And problem solving doesn’t mean fixing the issue with the first solution you try. Sometimes the answer to “what am I going to do about it?” takes several tries to get right. And that’s okay.
We all get tired, but preventing and recovering from burn out is important as a Homesteader, and it is important as a woman. Too often we sacrifice ourselves and our health. We wear ourselves down to the point of illness. That’s a dangerous situation for a woman Homesteader.
Two simple questions have improved my life, and I hope they improve your life as well.
Until next time,
Moriah and the flock