Day 10 of 365
Well, I made it to double digits in my efforts to write every single day for year. That seems like a good first milestone. My husband says that you have to do something for 30 days for it to become a habit. I hope that’s true, as I will have just 20 days to go to make writing here a habit.
I will have to be quick with my writing today. I have much work to do–many essays to grade. It’s been a busy week, and Thursdays tend to be long grading days for me. Things have also been extra stressful this week. I am teaching a writing class that ends this week, and some of my students are just in a panic. I have found that, since the pandemic, the normal “end-of-class anxiety” has increased ten fold. Everyone is stressed. Everyone.
It’s understandable. I just read an article today about problems with global food supplies that are certain to get worse. There’s a terrifying baby formula shortage. There are wildfires. Inflation is worrisome. At the grocery store today, I saw that a carton of a dozen organic eggs cost $8.49. It made me very thankful for our refrigerator full of organic eggs. But I understand the stress.
Today, one of my extremely-stressed students actually hung up on me while I was trying to help her over the phone. At first, I was grumpy about it, bemoaning the treatment of teachers. But then I remembered the stress of the world, and I decided to text my student a kind message of support. I told her I was going to type out what she needed to do so that she could read and process it again when she was less stressed. I told her to try not to stress, that the work always seems worse when it feels new and unknown–feels like it’s piling up. But I promised her she just needed to take things one step and a time.
And isn’t that the truth? Just one step at a time.
I believe I have learned this deeply, learned a kind of serenity that helps me with my anxiety from the state of the world, from homesteading. There have been times when I have felt overwhelmed by the work of a farm, like when our flock got sick with a respiratory illness a few years ago or when the garden is producing faster than I can process the food in the fall because I have to keep grading essays too. There was the duck with the broken leg that had to be healed. There was the summer when three ducks had bumble foot to treat. Three ducks! That’s a lot of duck-foot wrapping.
But I always get through it.
These experiences have given me some wisdom and patience, which is so important to someone with such a busy, worried mind. I dig into each new task knowing that, even though my work may feel daunting, most likely, I will be able get through it all. I often write about the magic of the farm and living more connectedly to nature, but as I thought about things today, I realized one of the most important life lessons I have learned from the farm is that I can handle more than I can think. I just have to start.
I don’t know what to do about global food shortages. But, today, I delivered the first farm shares to two families, and a third one starts next week. Maybe it’s okay to just take things one step at a time.
And just a quick Ruby update. She is doing fairly well, but I discovered when I candled her eggs that she has some poultry lice around her head. It feels like a miracle I saw them. I have terrible eyes. My poor Ruby! But I treated her with the good stuff, since I don’t have to worry about withholding her eggs anyway. She’s not going to be laying eggs for a long time. I also took her extra treats and scrambled her an egg this morning. Being broody is hard on a hen, and adding lice to the situation is not good. Still, I will give her a second treatment next week and will scramble an egg for her every day. Hopefully, this won’t be much of a setback for her.