Monday 3 March 2014

Down in the dumps

It's been a rough couple of weeks. First I didn't want to put it up here, because nobody likes a complainer; but I need to write about it to work it out and feel better. So you all get to be my agony aunts. (I googled that one, have a feeling that's not what it's called - but you get my drift, yes?).

Twice a year, for two weeks each, I get to live the life of a single girl. Not by choice, I may add.
My wonderful man is not only a husband and father, but also a son, and he takes that role very seriously. His mom is soon to be 80 years old, and it is important for Richard to spend those two weeks with her, twice a year.

I know I know, that's a very commendable and noble thing to do. I understand - but at the same time, the selfish part in me resents it. Yes, I've said it. I hate that he leaves every year for those four weeks.
Not only because I miss him (I do) - but I have to do all the work by myself!

Here's the ugly truth: Caring for all those animals by myself stresses me out.
I have had stomach cramps since last week, they come and go in waves - and I believe them to be psychosomatic. It's not necessarily the work itself (even though it is a LOT), but the responsibility of it all.
What if an animal gets sick? What if the snow makes the aviary cave in and they all escape? What if there is a complication with the upcoming birth of our lambs?

I know I shouldn't stress. And honestly, I'm way better now than I used to be - I used to be scared of a couple of our old horses (we don't have them any more) and generally very clumsy when it came to handling animals. I couldn't catch a chicken for the life of me, and now I'm actually quite good at it. (A necessary survival skill around here - those birds like to escape!)

The other problem is my reluctance to ask for help. I could ask two different guys to help me - and I haven't. They offered, and I said "I'm fine. I can manage."
Who the hell knows. Is it stubbornness or pride? I have no idea. So on top of me being stressed, I'm also pissed off at myself. I really shouldn't complain, it's partly self-inflicted. (But mostly Richard's fault, obviously.)

Moving on.

The other thing I always notice when I live by myself: I revert to all my old bad single girl habits. No cooking. Carbs overload. Too many cookies. No cleaning of the house. Unmade bed.
Which means that despite all the extra work I haven't lost any weight (not that I was trying, but still), but feel very bloated. Great.

I also had all these great plans beforehand: Having tipsy girls nights at my place! With sleep overs! Go to yoga! Meet a friend for lunch/drinks/dinner!

The reality? On days I don't work I stay in for as long as possible before I have to drag myself outside.
After I'm done with my chores, I drag myself back inside and slump on the couch, watching TV and spending way too much time on the internet. A few house later I have to go outside again for the evening feed, and after that I go to bed.
(Side note: Due to the unexpected snow and frost, it took me up to 3 hours every day to do it all. I had to carry water buckets because the water pipes outside were frozen. Also, try pushing wheelbarrows through the snow. I dare you. )  

On days where I'm also working, I basically rush around, feel sorry for myself and feel guilty about leaving puppy alone for 8+ hours (she's totally fine with that, but I am not).

Needless to say, no girls nights were had. Neither did I attend a single yoga class.

But there are a few sliver linings to all this. Are you still with me? After all my whining? Thanks for hanging in there with me, you're awesome!

Anyways, the silver linings.
I consider myself to be a fairly independent woman, but for certain things in life I rely on Rich. Everything car-related, farm-related, and phone calls. I hate the phone and he loves it, so that's a no-brainer. I will pick up when it's work or someone I know (and feel like talking to at that moment), but 90% of the time Rich picks up the phone.
Not so when he's gone. I put on my big girl panties the moment he leaves and deal with all that myself.
This may not seem like a huge achievement, but honestly, to me it is. I hate the phone.

There also is a certain satisfaction knowing that I can hack it without him. Life is less happy, but I can function. I go to work, do my chores, I do have fun (despite this post), I still get happy every day about blogging and comments and taking a photo I like. That doesn't change.

Also: Lily. Aka Yoda. The Corgster. Or simply Corgi. She responds equally poorly to all of them. ;-)

Who can resist such undivided attention? Not me, my friend.
(There are no bubbles because this was an epsom salt bath. Sore muscles. Because of all the work.
Okay, I stop now.)

To sum it up: Thursday can't come fast enough. I have wondered in quiet moments, if what I miss most when Rich is gone is his manpower...

I am kidding of course. I miss having him do all the farm work (he will do it for a very long time to come!), but I mostly miss cooking for the two of us, foot rubs, laughing together, talking, snuggling, some other stuff...

And all that weight of responsibility being lifted off my shoulders. I don't feel quite grown up for it yet.

Love, Miriam

* Side note: When I started writing this, we still had pouring rain. Icy rain. And really grey skies. 
But then, all of a sudden, the sky cleared for a moment, the sun came out and everything looked golden. 
The sun has already disappeared now, but that was beautiful. Every day has its great moments, even the bad ones. *

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  1. Awww I'm sorry!!! That is extremely amazing that he does that for his mom but you have a right to feel sad about it too.. That is a lot of hard work for you to do by yourself.

  2. You weren't going to put this up here but then you saw my weirdo post today figured, hey why not. I don't blame you for feeling tired and heavy with responsibility. Here's hoping Thursday comes quickly and that you'll be back with your man real soon. In the meantime get tipsy and enjoy whatever weather comes your way :)

  3. There is NOTHING wrong with having bad days or feeling bad! Never feel scared to put something out there. As long as the good outweigh the bad you're in awesome shape! :)

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  5. well i think you have every right to at least complain publicly one time :p haha

  6. Ahhh 3 hours of chores I would be the whiniest bitch ever!

  7. This really resonates with me because my poor mom is stuck with chores on my parents farm/ranch regularly when my step dad works out of town. She teaches school too, so it makes for long days like you are describing. It is an admirable lifestyle. I hope your husband comes home soon and that the weight lifts. You need the outlet so don't feel like you are complaining!


    1. Amy, thank you so much, that means a lot.
      Writing about it on the blog helps so much, it always puts it all into perspective. And, of course, hearing other people's stories like your mom's. Thank you!
      He will be back in less than 48 hours, I'm excited!

  8. Goodness, you so deserve a good wine (whine) :) I would be crazy stressed having to deal all that by makes my stomach hurt a little just thinking about it all, especially when having to deal with the unexpected weather as well! Seriously, I don't understand how you can have time to do all the chores and get to work. I'm not kidding, when P is gone I can hardly get myself out the door and feed our 2 (indoor) animals. After reading your account I truly wish I was joking about that but I'm not...I whine about having to make myself tea and pack my own lunch. So, thanks a lot now I feel bad about myself (joking of course)-I actually feel like a spoiled brat :) Glad Rich is back soon!

  9. You DESERVE to whine!! That is a whole lot of work on your shoulders, and in the super, bitter, ugly cold no less. When Peyton travelled for those few weeks back in November I at first totally missed him but then kind of got into a groove that was hard to shake when he came back. Though having someone to help with diapers and bedtimes was definitely very welcome. I just figured out that I'm kind of the opposite with the house- when I'm alone, I realize that no one else is going to clean or tidy so I'm super good about it. Luckily I've kept up with it pretty well. It was a good kick in the pants for him to leave! (And then him getting all the great toddler duties for a week was even better. ;))

  10. I'm sorry you are having a hard time :0(

  11. I admire your attitude and searching for the silver lining BUT I completely understand being in the dumps. Two weeks is a long time especially when you have all those chores to do! But this too shall pass :) And it's almost spring hurrah!


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