This is hard time of year for me every year. It’s hot. We don’t have central AC and we only run window units at night when electricity is cheaper for us. The fires are terrifying. The ash in the air makes me worried. All of our precious belongings are packed in the car and I’m hesitent to take them out. I feel a constant battle of maintaining my own body temperature while trying to actually get things done outside. My goats don’t have much to eat as the ground has dried. I worry about them more than I should. The increasing fascist activity by the federal government also has me concerned. Our little town made the news when a man attacked peaceful protesters downtown a while ago. I used to be a vocal anti-racist activist and I’m fortunate not to be involved at the moment. School was supposed to start this week, but we are homeschooling now. My son has been a jerk since turning six and I just want to turn the clock back to four. (It has dawned on my that if your child chooses to be rude, you just have a rude person that lives in your house now and there is nothing you can do about it.) My daughter is coming up on three and is showing it. My children haven’t played with friends or been to a park since March. It’s been five months of isolation. I need to stack wood, but it’s still to hot to work. We are still trying to get some UI so we can clean up our finances. I left LD because of their new policies and old habits. I’m so tired. Every morning I get up and find provisions for 8 goats and 11 chickens because we can’t afford adequate fencing yet. We’ve been trying for years. It feels like we can never get ahead. Still using this terrible laptop. It feels like dishes and laundry never ends. I pick blackberries and make banana bread and my husband makes yogurt and cheese. And do dishes, so many dishes. I was line drying our clothes on a rack outside, but not I’m worried about them smelling like smoke so it’s back to the dryer, which is hot and expensive. And I’m always behind no matter what. We are anticipating power outages soon. Last year, it was incredibly hard.
So it’s been hard to find my joy lately.
But I really do try. Every day my mission is to be happy, to release my stresses and to live with love on the tip of my tounge. It feels so hopeless and hard but I keep trying. I know that if I can take it one day at a time someday winter will be here.
In the meantime, I take a lot of baths and showers. Water has a relaxing, centering, and indulgent quality to me. I splash myself with cold tap water and everything else goes away and I get to focus on the sensation of freezing cold water on my hot skin. If I get it cold enough, my skin will stay cold for a half hour or so, and I really love that feeling. So I do it a lot. I take cold baths, cold showers, I even set up a private place outside where I can take a sitting basin bath. Well, it was private until the fire planes showed up. Whoops.
It’s hard being the lovely, upbeat and fun person I want to be every day under these circumstances. I like to charge up at night with snuggles with my husband, but most nights it’s too hot to snuggle so I’m in a state of feeling needy and a little desperate. Desperate for rain, for cold, for warm embraces that last all night. Desperate for a party with friends. Desperate for security and familiarity.
With all the amazing blessings this year has brought us– our first real garden, our first eggs, our wonderful goat babies, and my amazing husband and his successes toward getting his dream job, it still has been difficult.
I’m grateful for our peaceful home, for our love that binds us tightly together, and for my cousin who always listens to my ridiculous Marco Loco videos even when they are 45 minutes long and go in strange directions. She’s been amazing. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have her in my life.
I pray a lot now. I never used to. I pray for the strength that I need to get through every day and not yell. I pray for patience. I practice having faith that this will all work out like it always has. I even downloaded an app and fell asleep while “having a moment with God” last night.
And cannabis, I use a lot of cannabis now. It makes me happy. I can let go of my worries and embrace my children without anger. It keeps my head clean when everything feels like it’s closing in. It brings the joy to to the forefront and heals my ailments.
So that’s what I’m doing lately: taking baths of all sorts, talking a lot with friends and family, building my faith by surrendering and trusting, using cannabis to keep my mood lifted and my heart light. Sometimes people ask how I do it and that’s how even though it’s been hard lately. Just gotta keep flourishing despite feeling like a melting cat.