Saying “some days I’m all over the place” is like saying “I have a couple of tools in my garage”: an epic understatement.
This website tends to follow suit. You’ll notice I don’t post on a regular schedule, and nobody (including me) knows if I’ll be talking about building houses, living in the country, or hugging donkeys. All three are equally important to my sanity. The only guiding principle I have for what I write is to always tell an authentic story.
If it takes a day, or a week, or a year (and some of them do), my hope is that in the end I’m sharing a real story. And, if you see me go silent, it’s usually because I’m struggling with how to put something into words. And sometimes I’m struggling with wanting to.
What I’m struggling with right now is, well, more than one thing actually, but the primary twitch in my eyeball comes from how frustrating it is to try an find a nice, old, beat-up pickup that isn’t actually falling to pieces. Even harder? Being able to recognize whether or not it’s falling to pieces.
I used to feel this way about houses and it took me a decade to figure out how to build one for myself. If I want to buy lumber for the chicken coop, and haul the tractor up here to mow the field, and rent a bobcact to put in a fence before winter… ten years is probably not going to be fast enough. And I struggle a little with wanting to justify my need for a truck because I know so many people do things without an SUV or a pickup. But, those people–bless their compact-car driving little hearts–aren’t me.
I would also like to state, for the record, that I have not lost my shit over the truck situation yet. But I did very clearly enunciate to my father over the phone when the last prospective truck didn’t pan out, that “I. Am. Very. Frustrated. By. This.” Historically my relationship with my father has been such that regardless of how he responded my head would rocket off of my shoulders and spin around with steam coming out of my ears until I calmed down.
This time he was all, “I know this is uncomfortable, but you just have to get through the process.” And my eyes crossed for five seconds while my brain tried to process getting through feeling a little paralyzed and helpless. I would rather step on ten thousand rusty nails that feel than feel paralyzed or helpless. Actually, if I started keeping track I may have almost that many puncture wounds in my foot, but, unfortunately, none of them resulted in a new truck. So I took a deep breath and realized that this is the price you pay if you want to live by yourself in the middle of nowhere on a farm. This is the price you pay if you don’t know how to take a truck a part and put it back together again. This is the price you pay if you don’t have enough time to properly search for and research what you need.
That’s life, and that’s where I’m at right now. In a week, or two weeks, or– god forbid– a month, I’ll post a story about my new old truck and all the shit I’m going to haul around in it, and what a pain in the ass it was to find it, but it’s totally cool because it all worked out okay in the end. That’s what the story will look like then. But this, my friends, is what the story looks like in the middle.
Luckily it’s not the only story in my life at the moment, so instead of ending there, I tell you another one that has an awesome ending, and is a narrative I need to remember more often…
So, here it is, and it starts last week on a Monday morning. Do I really need to say more than that? I woke up late. Tripped over the cat trying to get downstairs to let the chickens out. Didn’t have time for a shower. You know this story because it’s the story of every Monday, everywhere, for all of time.
You also know that because it was Monday morning, and I just barely made it out of the house on time, that on the isolated middle-of-nowhere country road that usually looks like this…
I hit a traffic jamb.
For real? Maybe fifty cars travel this road every day, and apparently every single one of them was backed up on the exact route I take to the expressway. At this point in the morning, the frown-lines on my forehead were, uh, significant. Botox worthy. Possibly permanent.
So I turned around, headed the exact opposite direction of my office, and turned down the nearest unfamiliar dirt road that would take me South. As I’m driving, I catch a glimpse something yellow out of the corner of my eye. It’s not close– across a hay field, behind a tree line– but it’s so bright I can’t stop looking at it, trying to figure out what it is.
And because it’s bright, and I’m already late, and life should always have a little adventure, I detour down another side street. I drive up and over a hill, and just as I clear the top, I see this…
On the worst Monday I’ve had in ages, when a small child could literally crawl inside my frown-lines and hide, when nothing was going right, I got to start my day by dancing in a sunflower field.
I’m sure there’s a moral in this story about embracing the unexpected or some other such philosophical thing, but really? It was just freaking awesome. That’s all the moral I need when things aren’t going exactly the way I planned.