Monday, January 25, 2016

The Pursuit of Happiness, or The Greenhouse is SO Clean!

Theo came over on Saturday and we worked together on greenhouse clean out. The greenhouse is a multipurpose zone, used twice a year to raise chicks for meat, used to hold plants over the winter that don't tolerate our cold snaps, a lime tree, several aloe and baby agave, airplane plants, ocotillo baby and a bay laurel plant. Come January and February we aim to use it to start seedlings for the garden.

The deep litter for chicks is a combination of hay and pine shavings. After a few weeks, it is a perfect mix of chicken manure and carbon matter, so I spent a few hours hauling it via wheelbarrow, over to an area near the garden. After a few months, it will become food for the garden.

My friend washed chicken dust off the plants and repotted a few. I hauled and hauled, growing covered in dust. Reveling in the tshirt weather, soaking in the sunshine. The girls hacked up the christmas trees and burned them in the firepit. They played with the rabbits, are latest acquisition on the farm. I mean small town backyard.

The other day I started an online course offered by Coursera. It is called "A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment." Winter months usually bring me down, and as I have several life decisions rumbling around in my head, like should I go back to school? Should I ditch self-employment and get a steady job that might offer benefits that would benefit me? It was recommended to me and sure enough, the course is engaging, challenging and enlightening!

When I started working out in the yard I felt a bit grumpy, realizing I had to make a choice, clean house or clean greenhouse. I felt pressed and irritated that I had to make a choice and couldn't do it all. I wondered why I couldn't be more like those other women who keep such tidy houses. Why couldn't I be better at helping supervise kids in the arena of household management? And then my muscles warmed up. The sun kept soaking into my bones. I felt contentment and satisfaction that comes from working companionably nearby others, not chatting, just doing our thing, as Nora entertained the little boys with Playmobil and trampoline and Rose entertained her squad of teen friends by burning things and showing off bunnies.

All of a sudden I paused as the light bulb went off.

I am happy! I shouted over to Theo and told her it would be damn stupid for me to be inside cleaning house on a day like today! I don't judge anyone who would find their satisfaction in doing household chores. I really love to clean my house. It makes me feel centered and cozy and safe. That said, a clean greenhouse makes garden plants, soil amendments and taking advantage of the gorgeous weather filled up my heart and warmed up my muscles and I can truly say I felt happy. I let go of my wish to get it all done perfectly. Duh.

This course I am taking talks about how our culture tends to look down upon happiness, as it might feed our ego more to work toward whatever our idea of success might happen to be. We think that being happy is selfish. I want to pay attention and know when to choose the thing that helps me feel satisfied and content, and JOY so my kids can see that as a model. Yesterday I was feeling tired and mopey and unhappy again. Then, as I drove home from a late Sunday afternoon hike all by myself, I began to mentally recount moments of joy and happiness I had experienced over the past twelve months. There were quite a few moments of pain, but when I thought about it, a flood of happy memories filled my mind.

I was kind of taken aback.

Wow. I think I am happy and just forgot to pay attention! Dang.

Well, more to come later. But as writing makes me happy, I thought I ought to sit down and do it for a minute during my lunch break!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you, be happy in your life, you have a good one. God bless you and the kids.