Every year I go into spring with a ton of energy and a ton of projects, and I’m always convinced that energy and motivation will last the entire summer… until sometime in July when it gets hot and buggy out, and we’re past planting time in the garden/vineyard/orchard, and then my body and brain just kind of shut down and the best I can do is lie in my hammock until sometime in early fall when I start panicking about getting ready for winter.
And literally every year when this happens it comes as a surprise. I go through a whole mental checklist of things that might be wrong with me because I’ve all the sudden become a lazy-ass. Am I sick? Do I have allergies? Am I sleeping enough? Am I depressed? What is happening?!
I mean, objectively I suspect what is happening is that starting in February I put new counters in the kitchen, then built a chicken run (and lost a lot of Nugs which really took an emotional toll), gardened, weeded, got new bees, did a makeover on my mom’s room, finished two rows of trellis out in the vineyard and planted a dozen new vines, got new chicks, finished the arbor to the garden, created two new flower beds, oh, and I cleaned out my downstairs tool room and turned it into a home gym…
(More on that in a later post.)
And then I climbed a mountain.
Oh, and also, my mom and I almost bought a lake house. Spoiler alert: We did not buy a lake house (yet) but even for a person who randomly bought a farm online while sitting at a bar once–ahem– there’s still a fair amount of mental and emotional energy that goes into planning for and potentially buying a new property.
So, it really shouldn’t be surprising that I’m not super motivated right now to build the cabinets for the laundry room, or get the floor in the upstairs bath, or, you know, finish the kitchen. Still, I miss the rush of inspiration and energy that comes from starting a new project (specifically from wanting to start a new project) and when I’m not building or creating or starting something new, I tend to be pretty hard on myself. (The phrase, “What the hell is wrong with you that you haven’t had a working bathroom upstairs for 3 years?” has been running through my head on repeat for the last month.)
I have a huge backlog of half-written posts from before my trip to Idaho, but since I’ve been back I think the biggest thing I’ve managed to do (outside of general farm maintenance) is put the mower on the tractor, and harvest a ton of zucchini.
Instead of rebuilding my greenhouse or fixing the garden fence or working on the laundry room, I’ve been spending a lot of time on my kayak, exploring the local rivers and lakes.
When I sit down to write I find myself without the right words (or the desire to find them), and I think part of that is because my real motivation to write is in telling an authentic story, and it’s difficult to write about things I did months ago without feeling guilty (because I’m not currently working on big projects) and/or inauthentic (because I don’t currently feel motivated or inspired or exited to talk about those projects like I did when I was working on them.)
This, by the way, is 100% why I’ve never turned this blog into a full-time job. You can’t be authentic and consistent and still be an actual human who has ups, downs, and general fluctuations in their energy/motivation throughout the year.
It’s also why you’re reading this particular post and not the one I’ve been working on about all the things that have happened in the vineyard this year, or the one about the home gym that I built, or the one about my new plans for the mudroom and all the new shelving/storage I built in early spring.
I’m going to tell those stories eventually, but first, I think, I just needed to be honest about where I’m at. I’m a little tired, I’m enjoying summer, I’m planning new adventures with my brother, I’m reading books, I’m making time for my friends, and I’m storing up all that energy I’ll need come September when I need to start prepping for winter (and finishing all of these projects I started in spring.)
As always, there’s more to come… just not right now. Right now I need to take a nap.
Well, living it is more important that writing about it. Rock….and Nap….On!
I totally get this. I wrote a daily blog for years. 1500 posts. And then one day, I just couldn’t do it, photo it and write about it all anymore. I still do it, but dropped the posts down to 1 or 2 a week of the things I’m most excited about. And I focus on being happy and not feeling guilty for not doing it all anymore. That’s got to be enough for now.
Kit, it’s healthy to have a life outside of diy in case you needed to be told that. Enjoy your summer and time with family and friends! No shame in that.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
And this is exactly why, 5 years later, I’m still reading your blog and love seeing it pop up, while almost every ‘professional blogger’ I follow has fallen by the wayside for me. I don’t want to read another sponsored post or forced project, I love following along on the ebbs and flows of life! Keep on keepin on (even, or maybe especially, if that just means a glass of wine NR a good book in the hammock).
Ditto! Most bloggers who made it their job aren’t worth reading anymore. (And I wonder what they’ll do when they don’t have a blog for “work” anymore.) But I’m always happy to see a new post from you!
And that is what summer is all about!
Maybe just start a batch of zucchini mead. That shouldn’t take too much effort. Have a fun summer.
For me, as I get older, I still enjoy hard work and toiling away all day on a project, but I get tired faster and the exhaustion that comes from a hard day’s work can carry over to the next day, or two, or three… And I’m only 42. Still, sometimes you work so very hard and wonder, to what end.
The joy needs to be there to make any project worth the time and effort. To truly enjoy the fruits of your labors, you must make time to just be.
Your work on your farm inspires me. I plan to move out of suburbia in the next year, get some land, chickens, build some gardens, follow in your footsteps (a little). Life is more meaningful when you fill it with meaning.
Well said Amber! At 47, I feel it as well! I think your last line sums it up perfectly! And I always love seeing a post show up in my box from you, Kit, probably because they are random and not forced:)
Don’t feel guilty! You have every right to have some down time. It is not healthy to go, go, go all the time.
I think you are having some wonderful experiences. And Fall will come soon enough!
You’ve got to take time to enjoy life also Kit. I always say….it will be there waiting whenever I get ready to do it.
Happy Summer!! 🙂
happens to me too, the ups and downs. the ups where i get so many project done and have the energy for more more more! and the downs where i spend weeks laying on the couch catching up on tv or in bed reading books.
sorry to hear about the nugs you lost, i know how hard that is 🙁 🙁 🙁
glad to hear you’re doing well and taking things slow and enjoying the smaller things in life – stopping to smell the flowers so to speak. it’s very important for mental health!
It’s summer, you’re supposed to be able to chill and relax. Ebbs and flows are totally normal!
Yup..I get it. Been there myself.
Full time “day” job?…check
Starting a new side venture?….check
Mid reno of a century old cottage for years….check
Nothing wrong with taking time to just kick back and just BE, so you can hit it harder when you are ready.
My a/c unit has been running for the last 9 years almost non-stop each summer, until one day last week when all it could muster is a lot of hot air…. Quite the metaphor for life.
well, it’s like that for me too!
the normal job got more stressful, the farm is a bit abandoned…
and i have 2 weeks of holiday right now and NOTHING got done!!
one good thing i can say for this year is i’m finally getting the hang of beekeeping. i started with 2-4 hives, 7 right now, getting 4 more this week! so excited for the harvests next year! there will finally be some mead!
well, the blog is great because it is what it is. i like reading about the actual, human Kit and her journey with the farm and house.
I think its been said a few times, but i finally had to leave a comment.
Please dont feel guilty about living your life
and taking your time. I love reading your blog, but it’s ok to take care of yourself and to enjoy the life you’ve built for yourself (full disclosure: this coming from the girl that took 2 months to go buy more lumber for my own in-progress mini kitchen update. Who needs cabinet doors, am i right?) .
We’re lucky that you share posts with us, but you don’t owe us those (or anything else really). So thank you and i look forward to your next post, whether its project related or mountain trips, or whatever.
I’m so jealous of your farm! Your sense of adventure is so inspiring!
. . . and then there’s trying to keep everything watered in this stinkin’ drought we’re enduring here in the mitten state . . .
Another great read thanks to you Kit! I am always amazed at how you are able to write and make your readers feel that they are just talking to a friend. Keep writing please!
The photo of you on the mountain looks fantastic – where is it? Another great article, you should be so proud 🙂