How has this quarantined lifestyle been affecting you? There are many days that go by, where it feels sort of like the new normal, and I feel accustomed to the change. Then there are days when it hits me just how different life is right now. I begin to think of the things were are missing and not able to do right now.
However, it doesn’t take long before a wave of thoughts flood my mind of all the new experiences we are enjoying together.
April and May are typically the most jam-packed months of our year. We are typically spending most nights and weekends attending track meets, soccer matches, end of the year award ceremonies, recitals and concerts. The end of the school year brings activities galore!
In the midst of all that, comes the craziest time on our farm. We have about 250 plus ewes that will give birth to what we hope to be about 500 lambs. All of those lambs and ewes require some sort of attention by us to make sure proper health and nutrition are achieved.
Then in the little bits of spare time I can carve out I sneak to my garden to prepare the soil, plant and water the seeds, weed and maintain the area to make sure I have plenty of early fresh produce for my wonderful CSA members.
These tasks are just on top of the normal everyday commitments of work, volunteer, cooking, cleaning, etc.
Running here and there, sleep deprived, stressed and crazy. That typically sums up our months of April and May.
A Different Current Status
So our current status is… a much different status.
I am not running around like a crazy lady in the morning getting outdoor chores done in time to come in and make sure everyone has appropriate clean clothing, homework is not forgotten, missing shoes are recovered, lunches are packed, and everyone is carted off to make sure our dear bus driver does not have to patiently wait for us for more than 5 minutes.
Our morning now looks like this. I sleep about 30 minutes longer. I have an unrushed time with God, writing, thinking and praying. I get the two children up whose turn it is to help with chores. They groggily, but most days willingly get up and come out to help us. Chore time is cut way down with 4 of us rather than two.
We come in and all eat breakfast together, and then go about our house, school and office work. I sit by my one child who loves to drag out his assignments ALLLLLLLLLL DAAAAAAAY LOOOOOONG. I try come up with incentives like, “when you are all done – you can drive the 4-wheeler”. That helps, until we realize we forgot a few assignments and dragging him back inside for school work is next to impossible.
The rest of the kids quickly finish their assignments and are usually freed up the rest of the day for other activities. Some will strum their guitar or beat the drum; some will run 9 miles; some will enjoy a walk in God’s beauty; some will learn yet one more card trick and seek to mystify his family members; some will complain to me that there is nothing to do. Of course, I always have a cure for that…wink, wink.
There are also usually more farm chores requiring some hands, and now I am not the only one home to do those! When my husband needs a ride to a field, or to pick up a semi to haul corn, I have drivers that opt for these kind of chores, hurray!
Needless to say, I have a little more time.
There is a river that runs right through our land. It is at a perfect stage right now, not flooded and not too low. My older three took a little adventure down the river the other day. Besides being over the weight limit for their borrowed kayaks, falling in the dirty, cold water multiple times, and losing a shirt, I believe they had a great time.
Of course my younger boys were so very eager to do it as well. I realized that for once, I was not so busy and stressed about the next thing I needed to get done, that I had time for kayaking, at 8:00 pm on a school night. I was tired, sort of cold and ready to just relax on the couch, but I said, “ok”.
It was a gorgeous night. The water was like glass on the surface, but the current underneath allowed me to float down with ease. The air was crisp, but not too cold. There was no wind to battle. The sunset was beautiful. My husband and another farmer were in the fields right next to us. It was sort of a dream.
Then one son got tired. One had to go potty. Darkness was setting in pretty quickly. I made the decision to pull over on a bank that was shallow enough for us to get out on. We hauled our kayaks onto shore and up the bank. We walked across a field to get to our house. Our kayaks would await for our continued adventure the next day.
It was not more than a few minutes into our morning, when I begin to hear, “When are we going to go kayaking?”. I assure them that when the school work is complete, we would pick up where we left off on our voyage. Although pokey son still had a bit to finish, we left anyway to beat the possible rain storms in the forecast.
It was smooth going except for a couple areas of fallen logs and debris that made a narrow pathway, and we even passed over a little bit of rushing rapids (fairly minor, but a little exhilarating at the same time). One particular area caused us to stop, lift the kayaks over some logs and carefully get back in. One child fell in briefly, one child had a small freak- out panic attack, but quickly calmed down and regained composure. We ended our adventure at a bridge where we were picked up by my husband.
So adventures like these would not be happening if all events were on schedule as usual. While our list of what we are missing seems quite extensive, I am enjoying what our days consist of instead.
Our New Normal
No rushing. Seriously, not feeling rushed or the dread of being late, is a quite unique, peaceful feeling.
Campfires, cookouts and picnics. We have had several spur of the moment campfires and cook-on-the fire-suppers that used to be a RARE occurrence.
Kids cooking in the kitchen. My daughter is quite a baker when she wants to be and has the time. She has the time now and is using her gifts to bless us abundantly. (Perhaps a few too many yummy things are being created). My son has mastered the bread recipe I make. He can whip up a batch of bread dough like nobody’s business. My son’s FACS class is now my kitchen and assignments like, “Cook a meal for your family and wash the dishes”, are my favorite kind of assignments!
Trying to Find the Motivation to Stay Motivated
So with all that being said, I have to admit, I’m not always productive with my extra time. Sometimes I open the fridge or social media a few more times than necessary. I see projects I should tackle, but don’t really feel like it. I realize my house is sort of cluttered and unorganized, not always because I lack time, but because of I don’t really want to do certain tasks.
The pressure of not much time seems to push me to get little things done. Now without the pressure, and the thought that it is just going to get messy again and the monotony of it all sort keeps me from doing much.
That’s ok. I realize that there are times when we can just chill. Relax. Enjoy the chaos. I don’t always have to feel like we need to clean organize something.
However, I don’t want to look back and feel like I wasted the extra time God gave me. I want to be sure I am using the extra time to pour into my children, get a little better control of some out-of-control areas in my home, and just continue living a healthy, God-honoring life in our “new normal”.
Perhaps you are like me, and some days you are able to check things off your list one by one and feel accomplished at the end of the day. Then you have other days when just writing a list seems too hard. You really don’t feel like being productive.
My Invitation to the Mind-Body-Home-&-Soul Challenge
Can I invite you to join me in something? I am going to launch a 30-day Mind-Body-Home & Soul Challenge starting May 1st, (or join in whenever you can and do it for 30 days!).
Here’s what we will do. For 30 days we will commit to taking care of our mind, body, home and soul in the following ways:
- Read a book for 30 minutes. “The cheapest, easiest, and most time-tested way to sharpen your brain is right in front of your face. It’s called reading. The very nature of reading encourages the brain to work harder and better. Processing written material – from the letters to the words to the sentences to the stories themselves – snaps the neurons to attention as they start the work of transmitting all that information.” Marc Peyser, Reader’s Digest. March 2019.
- What a great summary this quote is about how essential reading is to keeping the mind sharp!
- Exercise for 20 minutes. Do something that raises your heart rate and maybe even makes to break a sweat. Go for a walk or a run. Ride your bike. Do an online workout video. Making your heart beat faster is not only great at keeping your heart and body healthy, it restores you in so many positive ways, and helps fight the blues and doldrums.
- Eat your veggies. Eat at least 3 servings of vegetables, but 4 or 5 would be awesome! When we are focusing on trying to eat more veggies, we are less likely to snack on unhealthy treats. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that can help us fight sickness and disease.
- Clean/Organize something. Being in our home a lot more seems to mean that it gets messier more often. Sometimes the monotony of our days or the sheer realization that no one is coming over and that it’s just going to get messy again keeps up from having the motivation to getting it clean.
- It is amazing how much better we can feel when we walk into a room, or open a drawer that has been cleaned and organized. It seems to lift our spirits and can propel us on to other tasks.
- For this challenge we will try to find one thing each day that we will give a little extra attention to. Maybe it is a drawer of your dresser, or your closet, or maybe the fridge. Find one thing to clean out or organize each day. It can be as small as dusting the TV or as big as cleaning out the garage. You choose!
- Family connection. We will find at least one way to connect with our family. Perhaps we spend some time playing a game with one of our kids or as a whole family. Maybe we spend a little extra time in prayer for a particular child or grandchild. We could send a letter to a family member whether they live in our home or not. Perhaps you take the extra effort to eat outside or have a campfire together. Find at least one thing that draws your family closer and helps you build a connection with one or more of your family members.
- Read your Bible. Choose a passage. Maybe you take one book of the the Bible and break it down so you can finish it in 30 days. Write down at least one way you can apply what you read from the passage that day. Is there something you will change or be more grateful for? For help in studying the Bible you can download some free Bible study and prayer journaling pages here.
- Pray. Spend some time praying for your family, loved ones, community and world. Express your joys and concerns to the Lord, and wait and see how He comforts and answers your prayers. Writing them down is a great way to look back and see God at work.
Print out this check off sheet. As you complete each area, check it off. At the end of the 30 days, send me a picture of your completed sheet.
Let’s go, we are in this together. It helps to have accountability and the encouragement of others! For a completed sheet that you send to me, I will enter you into a drawing for a prize! A little incentive helps! You can email (look for my email on the sidebar) me or reach me on Instagram @worthylivingmom. Let’s use this time wisely!