With so many changes happening so quickly, it’s no wonder that we all felt a little off balance for a while. Milking chores, rabbit litters, and shed building were crammed into spaces that had previously been filled with something else, and it felt as though we were exhausted and further behind each day. I was not having fun and neither was anyone else.
Then one day I realized that things were getting done in their own time and all this worrying and effort were simply not helping. I was so focused on what I didn’t have done that I wasn’t celebrating our accomplishments. This made it seem as if we were getting nowhere and that simply wasn’t true. Perfectionism had raised it’s ugly head and was spoiling our joy. Here are some things I realized:
It takes time to establish a rhythm whenever there is a change: add an animal, deliver babies, remove an animal, change housing arrangements, even the changes in weather the seasons bring. All of these things require a different pattern and it takes time to fold it into the existing routine seamlessly. In the meantime, there will be inefficiencies and time wasting. Some changes take just a couple of days to figure out. Others may take a week or more. I’m learning to be patient with myself and leave some minor things undone until I get it all (mostly) under control.
I can let some things go undone (within reason) until things smooth out. I like to clean out the goat shed every day. It’s just easier. BUT, it can easily go a week without causing any kind of problems, I just have to use the wheelbarrow rather than a 5 gallon bucket. If there’s hay in front of the feeder, or I haven’t raked around the compost pile, it’s not a tragedy. I find I get so focused on keeping things tidy that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing and that quickly leads to burnout.
It’s okay for me to ask for help. Tony and Maddy are “city folk”. They didn’t grow up with livestock and they just don’t realize all that needs to be done sometimes. I can be very stubborn about asking for help, but that isn’t fair to any of us. They usually have a good time helping and by doing everything myself, I’m cheating them out of the experience of providing for their own needs.
So for now the pattern is set. This morning as I sat on my milking stool with Hush’s warm side against my cheek and the joyful sound of the birds welcoming another day. I was filled with a deep sense of gratitude for my wonderful life. I know there are more changes to come and new rhythms to dance.
I welcome them.