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Honored Advisor

Nesting and spring fever

Oh, these warmer days are ruining me!  I want to play outside all day long.... 

I had forgotten what it feels like to get really dirty and physically exhausted from fixing, digging and planting.  The three-year detour is almost at an end...last test May 4th.  Anyone who's taken a hiatus from farm and yard work knows what I mean...it just feels so good to be working the body and resting the mind for a while. 

Thursday afternoon, after working in my garden and painting, I came inside, fixed a big glass of raspberry lemonade (since it was after five and I am well over 21, with a splash of vodka) and went right back outside to enjoy it!  My patched-up red wagon, green sprinkle pot and I made the rounds, giving everything I'd planted a good soak.  By the time that was done, I was ready for a long, hot shower, a peaceful supper and a quiet evening. 

Don't know if it's the sunshine or winding up classes...it just feels so good to be puttering around home these days.   All I want to do is cook, clean, fix up things that have been neglected; but, I do need to finish absorbing the material for two more exams, before I totally flake out. 

Hard to focus when the outdoors is just sitting there, waiting to be enjoyed.  I feel about like I did as a kid, just busy with whatever moves my spirit these days. It's a wonderful thing when all you need is a packet of seeds, a little red wagon, and a cold lemonade, to make it a great day...whether you are six or fifty-six, those are elements of the good life for me!

What's the most recent day that made you feel as careless as a kid again? 

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4 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Nesting and spring fever

This will sound very simple but out on the mower yesterday and sitting inside the cabin where it is so peaceful. I felt renewed and whole again.

Hard to believe you that three years have passed since you began your studies.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Nesting and spring fever

I work outside most of the time, whether it is winter or summer, so it's not the outside that makes me feels differently relaxed. I do remember when I was putting in many hours on the route, and when I wasn't, it was refreshing to the body. Getting into a routine and then breaking it, gives me a hop, skip, and a jump. If I didn't, I would have gotten too used to the same jobs. Ever get this way when you do the same exercise over and over and then change it up a bit?

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Honored Advisor

Re: Nesting and spring fever

It's actually been only a year and a half for the classes, but there was about the same amount of time before that, when I was dealing with a serious legal issue involving my home place  in VA.  That was pretty all-consuming, since I had to learn to deal with the DOT and AG's office up there...both corrupt as all get-out, too, so very frustrating.   If there is any consolation, the DOT Commissioner lost his job shortly after our dealings...well-deserved canning, that one!

Right now, I have scheduled a day-long historic preservation trades workshop for next Saturday...have one exam for lab this Wednesday, and the last lecture one next Wednesday.  So, as of May 4th, I'll be a free bird, except for a couple more HPT weekends to finish that certificate.  Those are always hands-on, so a LOT more fun.

Your cabin sounds like a real retreat.  I know the feeling you describe...it's what I was writing about yesterday.  I am having it regularly these days.  Yesterday, it was in the garden, pulling up clumps of fading chickweed and henbit, plus the scads of wild onions.  Tossed all of them into my "tramposter" to build that up, too. 

Had bought a sack of lime, so was broadcasting that over the raised trough beds, and working it in with a rake.  Sprinkled a bit of it across the composting weeds and the old bed planting mix we'd dumped into the old 15-foot trampoline ring, too.  I'ts piled at least a foot deep now, and I haven't even started adding leaves, it's been too breezy to rake...maybe this week!    

One thing I am doing differently this year: I am not making huge to-do lists!  I used to have a working list of twenty or more chores...and enjoyed checking them off as thought they were math problems I'd solved.  Now, I am just getting up each day, checking the weather, seeing  how I feel as to doing a specific kind of chore v. sore muscles and knee issues, and then doing what my spirit moves me to do.  No more keeping score...anything I do is a winner that way.... 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Nesting and spring fever

Good question.  People will ask me how I can stand to do the "same stuff" over and over again in TKD, which is now going on six years of training.  My reply with that is that it is the same movement or form; but, I see that the longer that I do it, that I am nowhere near good enough at it yet to consider it mastered. 

Kids (and even some adults) who hit around green belt, which is about a third of the way to black, tend to drop out, since they think they know it all, and it's just repetitious from there on out.  I will tell them that they are doing it, but not nearly as well as they will be able to with more years of practice.   

That said, I have altered my thinking on lots of things in the past couple of years.  I think I've always thrived on change in my lifetime...but, now, I find myself seeking the comfort of routine.  This doesn't mean I fail to try new things.  It just means that when I am doing something repetitive, it calms my mind. 

Pulling weeds yesterday was peaceful, for example, not an irritant or impediment on the way to my end-product of the garden.  I think maybe this is the transition from "product to process" that started occurring in my conscious mind about fifteen years ago.  Yes, I am a slow learner in that respect...but, at least I am learning. 

I have put my eye on a particular shrub that "volunteered" in one bed, which needs to be thinned out, for a next "lesson in patience" later on today, hopefully.  It was where I had to stop pruning a month ago, when the weather got nasty and wet in the middle of my spring cleanup. 

I also have a couple of painting chores I hope to complete before dark....Mike has to help me set up for both, which he will do when he's finished with his hog work, which will be by lunchtime.  I'm stuck inplace until the alarm calls have all been triggered and answered.

Kind of like the change-up you mention, I've realized that I am way more satisfied with doing big jobs in smaller bites now.  For example, I painted two doors and a shed ceiling last week.  This week, I hope to finish the floor and trim it out inside...those trim boards are in the pickup bed from shopping Lowe's on Friday now, waiting for a coat or two of paint. 

I've asked Mike to teach me to use his trim nailer, and so I can then do most of it myself.  He is just too busy this minute to ask him for more than a few minutes fo assistance.  I used to get miffed when I had to wait for his assistnace...now, I just drift over to something I can do alone. 

I will bounce back and forth between painting some of the trim at a time, painting the garage doors, and maybe pruning that one bush, for the rest of the afternoon.   In  my old way of making a list, I'd have written down "paint trim," and gotten overwhelmed by the prospect of a dozen doors, even more windows, and all their surrounding jambs and frames. 

End result, nothing would ever get done...I'd move the chore from one to-do list to the next and the next...which made me feel like a real failure.  Might be why I fought Soilbabe so much on the "intentions" lists initially, too.  

So, your point about the exercise and making careful is an excellent one.  If you only do one set of things, then the rest of your body falls into neglect.  Same with your mind, your talents, your relationships. 

If martial arts can be considered a metaphor, then what I've seen in five years of training is that many things I used to be able to only do righthanded, I am now ambidextrous with performing.  We do every skill in class with both sides of the body, which I think has opened up new neural pathways in my brain.  I am using this as my model for more aspects of my life. 

It is, in the final analysis of things, all about balance.  Enough routine, enough novelty.  Enough work, enough rest.  Maybe that's yin and yang...you think?

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