It’s no secret that things have been hard. And having just come to the other side of my annual rotation around the sun it feels like there’s a possibility for new direction and growth.
A birthday being an annual marker is the perfect opportunity to look back on what has happened, and then look forward to what is to come. I feel ready to set down some of my pain and some of my anger￼ so that I can see more clearly what is around me and what needs to be done.
I have been ruminating on these thoughts for the past three days and while I can offer you no grand Epiphany’s, I can offer you my own self-realizations that may or may not be of comfort to you and your own journeys.
Also just remember that this is just a period of time. A period of time that is hard for so many people. That there can be a sense of comradery built off struggling through life at the same time. That we will all be better and stronger when we come out the other aide of this. I love you all, be well.
1. It is OK to redefine your self-constructed concepts
So in the midst of losing my home, and losing my job, and my husband losing his job too, I had a small meltdown about my connection to the identity of The Hot Mess Homestead. Clearly, the term hot mess is so apropos, but without living in the confines of a farm do I have rights to the term Homestead?
This was a painful thought. This thing that has been a guiding light for me, that had offered clear direction for both myself and my family may no longer be applicable.
So I sat with this, and I came to the realization that homesteading can be done in many capacities. And while I no longer live on a farm the very ethos of homesteading is part of who I am and part of who I choose to be. The house I’m staying at has a garden and I regularly go out and harvest things for meals and have worked to put away some of that food in the freezer. I have local friends whom I help with their farming and food processing in exchange for food ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼and supportive conversation. I am still being extremely fiscally responsible, upcycling things, and mending as needed. I am still fostering a sense of wonder and connection to nature for both myself and children. These are my tenants of homesteading.
Wherever I am I will be homesteading.
Allow yourself the opportunity to change as the things in your life change. Don’t let it break your ideas of self but merely bend your ideas of self to fit the person you are blossoming into.
2. It is OK to be sad
I was so sad. It was like I was steeping in a soup of grief made into a jambalaya with the addition of anger and pain and frustration and betrayal. I did not succumb to a level of depression where I could not provide for my children, however, I was fundamentally aware of the fact that I had less of myself to offer them. That my fuse was shorter. My enthusiasm was lacking and my interest was waning. I would wait until the children were resting after lunch to cry and again when they had gone to bed for the night.
Having never experienced a deep sadness in this way before, as in the past I would’ve just shrugged it off and dug my heels deeper into my work, I choose to lean in. I did not judge myself for being where I was, I had the utmost compassion for myself, and still am practicing that on a daily basis. As previously stated this process is not over for me and all I can do is witness it with interest as to where I am at now and how this period of time will define the person I will become.
￼￼￼￼￼3. Help is there is you ask for it
It’s not that I have avoided asking for help in the past, or that I have allowed my pride and ego to keep me from asking for help, but in humbling myself and putting my needs out there the universe has responded with such an outpouring of support that it has moved me at my core being.
That in my hour of greatest need and questioning a lifetime of servitude and questioning humanity on a fundamental level, my absolute faith in the world was revived.
I asked for food. A simple request.
What I got was food, and money, and letters, and rocks, and text messages, and phone calls, and hugs, and words of support, and love. I got exactly what I needed without even being able to identify what my need was. I was moved to tears on a daily basis, and even now just reflecting on this magnitude of support I have been moved to tears again.
Ask for the thing you think you need, because by opening the door for help even a little the universe can step in and give you the help you need/deserve.
4. Reconnect with the things you love
I forgot how much I love playing the guitar. Do you know what I do now? I play the guitar every single day.
The trauma of the past few months has separated me from things I once loved. And what has been left in its place is a void. And for a period of time, I filled that void with sadness but now I am choosing to fill it with things I love.￼￼￼￼￼
So sure that means the guitar. It also means having extra time with my kids, king one calls with people I love, writing, reading, knitting, time outdoors, splitting wood, etc.
So make a list of the things you love and commit to doing one thing on that list every single day.