This time of year is a busy one for all of us farm women. Whether you're out harvesting your garden crop, with canning, freezing, drying, or helping with getting the crops off from the fields. Regardless of what you do, farm women or homesteaders play a valid role to keep the home base running smoothly.
As for myself? I battle it all on my own. Yes, you read that correctly. I own and manage my own homestead by myself, with the exception for the occasional time when I need help with something. Otherwise it's just me, my self and I.
I took the liberty of googling to see how many women are actually homesteading, or managing a place out in the country on their own? I'm talking, solo! No husband or anyone else that lives there? Frankly, there aren't that many. I think I found two.
I get a lot of questions from men and mostly women... like;
"Aren't you scared to live out on your own?", "Aren't you lonely?", "What do you do out there by yourself?", "How do you deal with mechanical issues?", and the list goes on...
First of all, NO I'm not scared to live on my own. To be honest, I would be more afraid to live in a town or city. I feel safer living in the country than in some concrete jungle. Oh sure, I get the odd time where I have to deal with a bear that shows up on my deck, looking for a quick snack. But even that is less nerving than some sketchy looking guy showing up on my doorstep, to come check me out. (Yes that really did happen)
Second, No I'm not lonely. Like I've told so many people who ask me that question.... If you're lonely, then that means you don't like the company of your own self. And if that's the case, you need to work on your self.
I love my own company. Me, my self, and I get along very well together. We have a blast for the most part. We always come to an agreement about everything, involving decision making etc. We love the same foods, same movies, same interests, and so on.
As for what I do? Well the list is endless, and as long as my arm! Anyone who lives in the country knows firsthand what I'm talking about. It's one of those things, where you scratch one item off your to-do list, and you add six more.
I will admit, there are many times where I feel overwhelmed, or just plain tired from trying to keep up with all that needs to be done, that I sometimes just want to crawl in bed and wake up in winter. It's those small little moments where I might envy women who have a partner that works alongside to help with the work. Those thoughts have happened more this year since my injury in January of 2022. Not exactly how I wanted to start the New Year.
So what happened? I fell. I was on my way to go check on my chickens, with the egg basket in one hand, and a pail of water in the other. I started going down my front steps, when both feet suddenly slipped out from under me, and I landed with the back of my head hitting on the top landing, and my lower back/pelvic area made contact with the steps. Those two spots on my body were the only places that took the main impact of the fall. The rest of me was ok. I will never forget the sound of the dull "thud" my head made as it connected with the step.
Long story short, I suffered a mild concussion, which took two months to fully heal, but I am still to this day, dealing with lower back issues. The healing process is proving to be very slow, and it hardly takes anything now to aggravate my back to the point that I'm forced to rest for days! You can imagine how frustrating that makes me feel, when I keep thinking about that to-do list I have? Let's just say, that progress has been like molasses flowing in the month of January.
But with all that being said,...those who know me, know that I'm stubborn and will keep forging on and, I've had to accept the fact that things will get done at an extra slower pace than usual, and that's all I can do.
Since my injury, I've simplified a couple of things, like downsizing my flock of chickens to just a handful. And that's ok. I seeded a smaller garden. And that's ok. Everything I do, I do it carefully, slowly, and I tell myself every day; "work smart, not hard". I've had to re-think how I do my work, and have made some modifications along the way. And that's ok too. I'm just grateful I can still do something.
Trust me, I'm not out of the woods yet. I have been dealing with therapists, to see if anyone can help me get pain relief and on my way to healing. This is where my patience will be tested, as I embark on my journey for healing. I'm sure God has a lesson for me in all of this.
There have been many days this year, where I have felt almost defeated at times. And it wasn't until recently, when suffering in pain, that I caught myself feeling angry, and sorry for myself, and I stopped my negative thoughts, and decided to focus my energy on all the things I have in my life, to be grateful for.
Despite all I've dealt with this year. I still managed to get some things done. I am three quarters done staining the outside of my house, managed to keep up with most of the yard work and maintenance, and I began my project of building a fenced medicinal garden. I got the fence built. Hopefully I will be able to get some raised beds built, along with arbors this fall. (Photos to come later) So the year was not a total write off. I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and wonderful people in my life, like family, friends,and a great support system that are there for me if needed.
At the end of the day, when I really think about it, I am truly blessed.
So to all the women out there, doing your part in whatever it is that you do, I'd love to hear what your struggles are, and how do you cope and manage while still trying to get your work done. Thanks for reading.
Have a beautiful day all! :)