My dear Friends, It has just been far too long since I have made the time to sit and ponder with you. So much going on around us, where in the world do I start? I could start with any of a number of topics, but I think that cabin fever is the top spot today. My goodness this has been a harsh winter! I typically do not struggle much with winter. I like the snow, my climate tends to be bearable most of the time, and well, it gives me some much needed time to hibernate and work on some stuff that I just cant force myself to stay in and do in the summer. However, this particular winter has me all sorts of restless and antsy. It could be illness. It could be politics. It could be that we are going through a season of struggle. It could be that God has me in an extended period of silence. It could just be that it has been a particularly long, cold snowy winter. Most likely, it is a combination of all those things rolled into one tidy package that we call cabin fever. Typically my winters are good for quilting and beading and making all sorts of homemade goodies. Not this winter. I have been sick for the majority of it with this pesky upper respiratory infection that just wont stop. I tried every natural remedy I could find as soon as I felt the cold coming, and to no avail, as it managed to plant its infectious bacteria deep in my chest and face. I finally broke down and went in for antibiotics. Some improvement. Not enough. After a second round of antibiotics, my brain is finally clear enough to sit down and put enough thoughts together to form a paragraph. A good sign, I must be finally responding to the meds. Meanwhile, I have been pretty much debilitated for most of December, all of January, and into the beginning of February. I am not sure that I can remember a time in my life when I have been so ill before, and I am deeply grateful that it is finally passing. I have been “useless” so long that it has taken a toll on my self esteem and I have to remind myself daily that I am in fact a decent person worthy of breath, and that these feelings of self doubt are the whispers of evil left over from being sick for so incredibly long.
My mind is overflowing with all of the things I have felt helpless to accomplish for the last couple months, and the why’s of it all. Most of you know I stopped asking why a long time ago. I stopped asking why the day that I had a clear understanding of how it would cripple us to know all the why’s. So today, when my mind says why, I am able to tell myself that the why isn’t my business. That God has a plan and he has kept me in the quiet dark this long for some reason that is not important to me at this time. That when I come through this silence there will be an obvious reason for it, and I gave in to it. I don’t care why, Dear Father. I have learned to trust you. I have learned to trust that when it feels like you are not paying attention to me, that I must remember you will never leave my side and that you have a reason for keeping quiet through all this. I have even learned how to remain at general peace while I wait for you to reveal your purpose. But Oh I am antsy. Oh I am stir crazy. I hear myself asking why, and try to remind myself to remain calm and breathe and wait for your reveal. I really am getting a grip on this patience business.
Typically, in January, I would be absolutely beside myself with garden planning. Seeds spread out in a giant messy pile on my living room floor. Overwhelmed with picking how many of each wonderful heirloom goody I am going to put in the ground. Oooing and aaahing over the selection after long months of grocery store streamlined and boring, flavorless produce. Oh how I look forward to planting and harvesting my garden this year. As the price of food skyrockets and the world around us seems more bleak every day, I find myself full of desire to get my garden growing, and yet, for some unknown reason, I cannot force myself to pull out the seeds. I find myself making excuses, and knowing that they are just that. That I am a master of working around obstacles and I can solve these “can’t, but’s, and wont’s” also. I went into January hopeful and optimistic. I used the holidays as a time to nurture myself and try to honor my body so that I could beat the sickness that was brewing, and I spent the beginning of the year just trying to envision what I would like to manifest in my life this year. I did pretty darn good on this beautiful vision board I put together. And I must admit, even in illness, it has been wonderful for keeping me on task. I still carry great hope that it will help me stay focused on the dreams I hold in my head and heart.
Oh the dreams! So many, how can I even begin to touch on this subject. Of course we all know I am a daydreamer for the country. We all know that I long to go deeper into the country, further away from the rat race. I have my country home now. I find myself taking for granted what I was once so thankful for. The longer we live in this once glorious house on this once glorious piece of land, the more I find myself blaming this space and the owners for my delay in getting this hobby farm running. And yes, to be fair, some of it is just assinign. From a landlord who says I cannot have chickens on our two hundred acre piece of ranchland because they are too destructive, to the fences I am not allowed to build to protect my garden, I find myself placing blame. For perspective, understand that this same landlord called to ask me if I would descent and keep the family of skunks that moved into the barn as pets because she did not want to put them down. Good grief. Yes. It is easy to place blame, but I know that that defines failure. I know that I am smart enough to work around these obstacles. I know that I can find a way to fence my garden temporarily and that I can trade produce to a neighbor for eggs. Oh but some days it feels so defeating! I just want to go to my chicken coop and gather eggs, let the girls out to play, and scatter them some scraps. A longing and an ache to be self sufficient. To remove myself from the toxic food system that we have been forced to rely on as Americans since the 80’s. It has taken its toll on us. On society as a whole. For the well being of our bodies and brains, we just cannot afford to be eating supermarket food as a daily routine any more. And what are we to do? Trying to purchase healthy food is a joke, and not only has it become almost impossible to just buy healthy food at a reasonable price any more, it leads to so many other issues. Some of them make me feel quite paranoid, and at times when rationale kicks in, I feel like I am being gullible and enjoying the bliss of ignorance. What a terrible time to be so restricted in function. I sit, day in and day out, wishing I could find productivity. Wishing I could stand for more than a minute or two without feeling faint. Wishing I could be doing the work it will require to manifest all those dreams I so carefully glued to that vision board.
But instead, I watch the “news”. I sit and scroll through facebook shaking my head in pure amazement. I see the emotion driven hatred and judgement every single day, and I see it from both sides. I see Americans at war with each other, and it drives me even harder to want out of this societal madhouse. I read every article, every perspective, with skepticism. It is next to impossible to know who to trust anymore, and I look around me thinking, “Good grief this is like a real life version of the ‘Left Behind’ book series”. You have to have read the books to understand that. After spending a few days unable to shake that feeling, I decided to watch the movies. I needed some validation. What a giant disappointment. The movies are hardly the same story at all. So many critical details left out. So many of the things that I see happening today are described in those stories, and I know that the real answer is to turn to Revelations for my comparisons.
As for politics, I am in the middle here, and its lonely. I did not vote for either major candidate this election. I thought my vote could be better used elsewhere. That if a third party could get the votes they need to receive the equal coverage in the debates, that maybe next election we would have better options to choose from. I, like most Americans, felt that both primary candidates were awful representations of what we want in a leader. I recall that being the major theme of the entire campaign. “How do you choose between the lesser of two evils when they appear equally evil?” and I voted consciously. However, people seem to forget that just a few months ago we all seemed to agree that we did not have a good candidate for president. As I sit here, miserable with ill, I watch friends fight, I watch relationships end, and I feel completely unable to relate with either side. I feel that the hypocrisy coming from the left is absolutely shameful. That they are in fact perpetuating the things that they claim to stand against. The right isnt ddoing much better, I see both sides failing to hear each other. People whom I used to spend endless hours talking to no longer have anything to say to me, and many people whom I once looked up to and admired have shown a side of themselves that I will never unsee. I have group chats that havent been participated in since the election and I feel as though a great deal of my friends have lost respect for me because I refuse to don a “pink pussy” hat and join in their emotionally driven agenda without bothering to learn the actual reasons for my stance on the issue. I will proudly declare that I am a libertarian, that I believe that we need to spend more time taking care of each other and less time relying on the government to rule and manage us. A perfect example is all the planned parenthood drama. Let me preempt this with a disclaimer. I once worked at planned parenthood. I received reproductive healthcare from them for many years when I was younger. They do provide services other than abortion, or at least they did when I was a client and employee of theirs some twenty years ago. I am not an opposer of planned parenthood. However, I also run a not for profit establishment, and I do not receive my funding from the government. Instead, I have to work for my funding, as most non profits do. Most not for profit establishments have full time staff dedicated to fundraising. Rummage sales, silent auctions, dinners, peer to peer solicitation. What I wonder is why these people cant see past the obstacle. So many women marching in pink pussy hats and cardboard signs. So much energy into demanding that our govt continue to fund these programs, and not even in this country, but in others as well. All I can think is, if you put your emotions aside for a minute, and get rational, cant you see there are solutions here? What about private fundraising? All those women marching? How much was spent on yarn and how many hours were invested into this protest. If you put all that money for yarn and cardboard, combined with all the hours you spent protesting, think how much you could have given to planned parenthood, or a private refugee foundation. Ultimately, probably more than the govt gives them.
We are so busy fighting, disagreeing, dividing ourselves based on politics and emotion, that we aren’t stopping to rationally brainstorm solutions. So much destruction. Hate and destruction only breed more hate and destruction. Instead of spewing around half truths and misleading headlines, instead of resorting to threats and well, actual violence, why cant we as a whole, decide to do something positive, loving, and productive with that energy and those resources.
And so I find myself questioning my sanity. Am I just paranoid? Am I making this stuff up? How can the world really be in this sad state of affairs. How can we have lost the ability to effectively rationalize and problem solve. Have we really become so divided that only war will reunite us? That is such a discouraging thought! How have rational citizens been reduced to petty hate and bickering among friends and family? And so, I am discouraged by politics. But not government politics. Those have always been discouraging. I am discouraged by the politics of human relations. Its a sad state we are in, and if you don’t jump on one of the two bandwagons, its lonely as you look for a place to fit in and people who wont accost you for not jumping on the emotionally fueled political bandwagon.
While I find myself questioning my sanity, I also find myself more and more compelled to escape the rat race that is society, and more than just the politics of my country, but the politics of the world. It is scary everywhere. Which in turn, fills my brain with obstacles, and gets the wheels turning on ways to solve them. I have spent the last few weeks, when not in amazement of the emotional fuel running our country at the moment, seeking ways to pinch pennies, find that land that we can start developing a sufficient lifestyle on. Finding a way to rely on myself to get healthy food and safety from the masses. One thing that I am pretty excited to have found is digital coupons. Yep, I am that girl. The one who prints out a hundred coupons then forgets to use the majority of them before they expire, but I found something awesome this week. I learned that you can go to your local grocery store website, put in your frequent shopper card number, and load manufacturer coupons directly to the card. This way nothing to carry, nothing to clutter the purse, not standing in the aisles searching through stacks of coupons to see exactly which items I have to get for them to be valid. Just load them to the card and when I go through the checkout, they are automatically taken off. This is also a bonus when I stop at the store spontaneously, and when I have to send hubby after work, without paper coupons. Thrilling! If I can save even a few bucks on food it will have been well worth the afternoon of scrolling through food coupons.
And on that note, I have a few ideas on how I can generate some cash on the side, to stash away for a little chunk of land. Even a cheap little place that I can develop into sustainability. I think I have taken enough of your precious time with my thoughts today, as random and scattered as they may be, it was good to get them out and I thank you for taking the time to hear them. I must now get back to carving out my dreams and goals, and finding ways to overcome the obstacles that are standing between them and I. I hope the weekend finds you blessed. Until next time my friends, may your burdens be light and your blessings be abundant!