Choices and Options

This year I was faced with a number of options, and I had to make choices. When faced with choices, and we pick our option, we learn a lot about ourselves (at least I do.) We try to pick the one that best fits our beliefs, lifestyle and goals.

One choice I made was to take an early (reduced) retirement. This choice means we don’t have as much money as we once did, but we are okay, we worked all those years for the chance to live quietly and peaceable on an off grid farm. We are here, so rather than working, I’m farming. Not as much cash in my pocket, but a much better life.

After making the choice of retiring, I made the choice to do things that I said I would do when I quit working. I realized that there isn’t enough time in a day to do it all. Now I’m faced with choices of what I can do, and what needs to be put aside for a while longer.

One thing I will keep on my plate is a community market (a farmers market with non food cottage industries invited to participate.) It will be starting in May. I’m very excited about it. I’ve wanted a local market for years, and almost got one a few years back – then the town found out I didn’t live in that township, so it fell through.

That town had an option, to do a market or not. They choose not, because I didn’t live there. Seemed like a silly reason to me, but it wasn’t my choice. Funny thing is, I now own property in that town, I was approached about starting a market – now that ” I’m one of them” (really, that was the phrase they used.). Sorry, I already have one starting in another town.

This year, I had to deal with the government (two state governments, a town government, and federal.) I have come to the conclusion that I really don’t like them. They may say they are there to help, but I really think they are there to keep lawyers and themselves employed. When dealing with governments, there aren’t a whole lot of options or choices, you can go through all they want you to, or you cannot do what you started out to do.

I choose the goal over the hassle. This meant I had to deal with the government officials. Thankfully, the government wanted my goal to succeed, so we are finding solutions to some of the problems – TOGETHER.

This got me thinking about our current politically situation. It seems like everyone is saying “my way or the highway” “the other group is evil” it doesn’t seem like our elected officials have the goal in mind. It also seems like they sucked us into that mind set. I choose not to get sucked in, I choose to deal with issues and not party lines, I choose to do the best I can to make the world a better place, I choose not to paint people with one broad brush. My sister used to quote Gandhi often “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That’s the choice/option I pick.

Not My Monkey, Not My Circus

It’s taken me a while to get this thought through my head. This past year has been mentally challenging, basically because of work. In November, I quit working full time and took a part time position at nights. This (almost two) months have been wonderful.

I love not having to set an alarm clock, I can get up when my body tells me it’s time. I love starting my day doing things here at the house, all things that needed to be done, but never had the energy to do them. I love ending my day at work – just seems the right order for my priorities in life. I love the new job, I’m responsible for one section and that’s it. What is happening, or not happening in another section has nothing to do with me – so much better than before when getting pulled in many directions, and having to do something someone else didn’t do. I can focus on what is important to me, and what I want to do.

This is one of those things. I’ve thought about posts, but didn’t have the energy to actually do it, now I do.

It’s very easy to get sucked into things that aren’t my monkeys nor my circus. I’m responsible for me, and the commitments I made. I am not responsible for anyone else, nor solving their problems. I’m a ‘fixer’ – I want to fix everything. First, I can’t and second, it’s not my job. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping, and trying to make the world a better place – I’m just not going to take the responsibility for someone else’s problems, feelings, or thoughts. They are responsible for those, and they are responsible to fix it, if it needs to be fixed.
I’m here if they want a hand, but the responsibility isn’t mine.

Forgiveness comes right along with this. Forgiving myself for letting my house get out of hand. Forgiving myself for not being able to ‘fix’ something. Forgiving myself for getting sucked in. Forgiving others for the same things I do, or have done.

My happy, healthy Bonnie goal for the year is to remember to take care of my monkeys and my circus and allow others to take care of theirs.

P.S. Thanks sis for the saying

Wheels

I like wheels.

The weather on my days off were rainy, thus not a lot got done in the garden. Yesterday, it rained while we were out collecting feed, then stopped again, when we got home to continue on our outside chores.

So yesterday, I got 12 boxes filled with planting soil and moved into position. Got a bunch of planters moved, that will not be replanted this year due to time – remember I do a forest garden so all annual crops are done in planters and boxes. We got them planted, it will be a small garden this year, but that’s okay, I’m pleased we managed to get this much planted.

The other thing that got done yesterday, was moving that pile of wood that has been out there since October. Hubby has been working it, before planting season started. I finished the last quarter yesterday.

Yesterday was a good work day, finally felt like I accomplished something, and we were getting caught up from the curve ball we were thrown last fall (hubby’s cancer.)

Today, I raked up the splinter wood from the pile for our kindling next fall/winter.

So what does this have to do with wheels? If I had to hand carry the wood, dirt, planters, or boxes I wouldn’t have gotten as much done as I did. Nor would I have been able to move well enough to do the raking today.

So thank you to the person who figured out the wheel, the dolly (I was thinking it was spelled with an ie, but word says no, and since spelling isn’t my strong suit, I’ll go with theirs) and the wheel barrow.

STUFF

Stuff is a noun. A noun is a person, place or thing. Stuff is short for stuffen, an Old English word for equipping.

People might have the ‘right stuff’ or the ‘wrong stuff.’

Some of have so much stuff we have a hard time finding a place for all our stuff.

Sometimes try to cram more stuff into our already busy days.

Some people try to control their stuff by one new thing in, one old thing out lifestyle.

People discard a lot of stuff, thus the need for so many landfills.

Some people work long hours, to get more stuff.

Sometimes we spend so much time in keeping/doing our stuff, we forget how to enjoy it.

Its spring, time for spring cleaning. Time we look at our stuff, tend to our stuff and a time for yard sales (to get rid of our stuff.)

I don’t think stuff is bad, I like stuff. Stuff can make our lives easier. Some of my stuff has only one purpose, but when I need it, nothing else will do.

As the season continues, I will be going through my stuff – when I have time, my days are pretty stuffed – to purge the things that are more in the way than are helpful (this includes the things that stuff my days.)

I’ve been studying about the Sabbath, and stuff seems to get in the way of enjoying it.

May your stuff be a blessing and not a curse.

Community Change Makers

This is a new blog started by my sister, Holly Brooks, which highlights the GOOD things and work people are doing. It’s wonderful to read about positive things, how people are doing what they can and really making a difference.

I was asked to be a part of this, which I was very excited to do – talk about Farm to School, don’t need to ask me twice. Then I realized, I had to have a picture of me to go with it – not anywhere near something I enjoy. Maybe I’ll send my high school picture from a few years (okay, decades) ago.

I’ve nominated two other people to be profiled, both questioned why them. Neither thought they did anything “special” or they weren’t the “head” person or “Oh, I don’t do that much.” Every time I hear that I think of the Starfish Story (my sister’s favorite, and you will see that when you go to the site) where a storm left a great number of starfish on the beach. A young child was picking them up and tossing them back into the surf. Someone came by and told the child that their effort wasn’t going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. The child picked up another starfish and tossed them in the surf and replied, “It made a difference to that one.”

This is why I think this blog is important, it reminds us that there are A LOT of good people out there, doing a lot of good work, and are making a difference. Now there is a place to profile the work, share what we do, reach out a little further, and most of all – remember that “not much” is really important, and makes a difference.

Here’s a link to the site, enjoy the starfish art work header, take a minute to read a positive story, make a nomination.
http://communitychangemakers.me

It’s Been Two Years

Since my hysterectomy, since I started the Happy, Healthy Bonnie project.
A quick review, after the hysterectomy I felt great. I didn’t remember ever feeling so good. Some of my excess weight started coming off, I didn’t have the cravings that I had in the past. I wanted to continue this wonderful feeling, and started the Happy, Healthy Bonnie project.
Now two years later, the weight is still coming off, much more slowly – a few months ago I realized that I wasn’t going to meet the weight loss goal that I had set for myself. Thankfully, I have some good friends that showed me that I’m making progress, making real changes in my lifestyle and that is much more important than a number on the scale.
But I wanted the number on the scale to go down! In the last few months, I realized my friends were right. I set the goal for the scale, it was a gauge to see how well I was doing – but it’s not the only gauge. I no longer get as tired as I used to, both physically and mentally. I’m getting more done. I did NOT revert back to my old eating habits when I found out my husband had cancer. I’m still careful about getting up and down from the floor, but I can do it with much less concern now. I’m sleeping better.
Two years later, we are still on the path, and looking forward to year number three.

As The New Year Approaches

It’s time to set goals for it. The slate is blank, I can fill it any way I choose – how shall I fill it? This year’s events and lessons will help to shape next years.

One of the major events of 2014 was hubby getting cancer, so the first thing in 2015 will be doing the final test to confirm he has beaten it. That will happen the third week of January.

2014 also brought the journal of “my three things” where daily I would list three things that blessed me that day. Some days were better than others, but it was a great exercise, and one I will continue. Not only did it help my attitude, but I slept better – sleep is so much better when you go to bed thinking of blessings rather than worries.

Christmas of 2014 was the start of our new family tradition of circulation cookbooks. (I’ve got lots of cookbooks, I tried some of the recipes, made notes in the book and sent it to my children. They will try some, make notes and send it to the next child and round they go) I had a really good time doing that, so I’m thinking I might set aside a day a month for new recipes. If I look for healthy, veggie based recipes it will work with other goals.