I’m taking some time off blogging. You may have noticed I’ve not had any new content in the past few weeks…its been hectic. Sharkbait’s been having difficulty transitioning to school, he’s also had ear infections, my asthma has been acting up, the car’s transmission went out and we had to get a new car, we’ve started the IEP process for Sharkbait, Chickadee has been missing her friend since we moved, and I’ve had a ton to do at work lately. On top of that, the Hubby started working out of state two weeks ago on a year-long project, so its just the kids and myself. And, now that I’m working full time again (plus, I don’t have much vacation time built up yet), and the kids are in school (with homework), I just don’t have the time to do everything. Blogging has fallen by the wayside.
I’ve been feeling a bit like I’ve not only been burning the candle at both ends, but the flame has finally met up in the middle, and there’s no more candle.
So, I’m taking some me time. Or fallow time*, as I like to call it. Its the perfect time of year for it. I find that when I have spent some time doing this, I usually get really inspired and finish everything in my drafts, and a dozen other posts to boot…not to mention crafts and cleaning projects and all that sort of thing.
Its time to expend less energy on outward expressions, and to tend to fires of the inner cauldron for a bit.
* I used to call this “being in a funk”, and I’d sort of wallow in it for a bit, and then feel guilty for it, and then finally yank myself out of the rut in a mad frenzy of activity before wearing myself out again. Then I decided to change my view of my funk into something that is more constructive in the long run. Fallow time. The time when farmers allow their fields to be unproductive and renew its nutrients and capabilities. Most of us live in a world that is far removed from the natural rhythms of nature–of fertility and productivity punctuated by rest and renewal. Such an idea is almost…radical (to borrow a phrase). It might be a time for all of our activity to take a break, but seeing as most of us lack the resources for doing that for any real length of time, I choose to think of it more like crop rotation. Fallow time isn’t truly unproductive. Its about giving the soil time to rest, to let it become healthy again. Sometimes we need to do that in our lives, and there is no shame in it.
(I will still be on FB & Twitter & Instagram, because its easy and quick–something I can do during my lunch break or on my phone (and if I don’t my family nags me for pictures of the kids and info), but I probably won’t have another blog post up until after Yule…unless its a post about Yule)
(plus, I’ve been itching to make some changes to the blog in the upcoming year…this gives me a chance to figure out how I want to change things up a bit)
So, the day is mostly over…and my list of what I wanted to do hasn’t changed from last year…
What I would like this Mother’s Day:
To go for a jog on the beach, without kids banging on the door as I walk out of it
To take a long, hot bath without kids banging on the door to get in the bathroom
To take a nap without kids banging on the door to wake me up
A hug, and some original artwork, from the munchkin, a magically clean house and a dinner I didn’t cook
To have Daddy Man magically realize all of this, and make it happen
What will probably happen this Mother’s Day:
I’ll end up taking the kids to the beach so Daddy Man can clean house. He’ll insist that I take a bath and a nap, but both will be interrupted because the kids cause a ruckus trying to color on the walls instead of on paper (or something similar) while he’s trying to cook dinner. And I’ll be the one doing the dishes.
The day started out pretty well…I got a bath, and a back rub. But, as some indication of how the day has progressed, I’ve just finished steam-cleaning after tripping over and spilling an entire glass of fruit juice that a small child left on the floor. Oh, and I’m reading this parenting article, and quite enjoying it.
Oh, well…at least the hubby has taken the kids to the park so I can have the chance to blog! Its been awhile since I’ve done one of these hodge-podge, potpouri style posts, so lets see what I can dig up to chat about!
What’s for dinner: We’ve been continuing our gluten free dining explorations and experimentation. Today, I baked a quick bread from a GF flour mix I mixed and matched today. It was delicious, but I think I need to mess around with the ratios a bit more, and add a wee bit more baking soda next time. I’ve figured out how to make a couple of flours from scratch, which has drastically reduced the cost of GF baking–making your own rice flour, for example, about halves the cost of buying pre-made (more on this to follow at a later date). Here are some of our culinary forays:
Bean burgers with guacamole and greek yogurt in a lettuce wrap
Marshmallow-free “rice crispies” made with puffed rice (gluten free!)–click the pic for the recipe
Strawberry-mango-apple fruit roll-ups in the making
We found a huge patch of wild onions to add to our dinners!
And in other news, we are entirely unpacked in the apartment. We need to pick up another bookshelf or two, and I think its time to bunk the kids beds, but otherwise, its pretty cozy. We can’t just pick up an stroll to the beach whenever we want anymore (now its more of a 15 minute bike ride), but there is a huge park right across the street and a pool here at the apartment (as well as a year-round pool at the park). Chickadee won’t be changing schools til the fall, since there are only 6 weeks left in the school year, and Sharkbait is in the lottery for a spot in pre-K.
And an announcement: I was offered a job at the beginning of April. I haven’t started it yet, and I’m not sure when I will, because I’m awaiting the completion of my security clearance screening. I’m going back to working for the Navy, but as a civilian this time, as an industrial hygienist. The security clearance process takes about 6 weeks, as a minimum, and can take more when there isn’t a rush on it and/or they are backlogged. In one way, its a awesome–the job will make us much more financially comfortable, and it has good advancement potential and pays fairly well in the civilian world as well. In another way, I’m bummed, because I really love my job now…but the part-time thing is barely keeping us afloat financially. Its been a wonderful stop-gap, an amazing learning experience, and I’ve met wonderful people (and I’m not just saying this because my boss reads my blog), but (as my boss told me when I told her about the offer) its an opportunity that’s too good to pass up.
Meanwhile, we’ve changed our altar a bit. It’s all ready for the transition of spring-into-summer. Here’s a couple of pics:
The burn block is a 1oo+ year old piece of teak from the door of a 19th century sailing ship that a friend of mine from work gave to me when I mentioned wanting to find some teak to burn incense on. Teak, if you are not aware, has the some of the densest fibers of any tree and is fire retardant (not fire proof, but the fire has to be pretty darn hot for it to catch–its one of many reasons that it was used on the decks of ships. Magically, teak is a symbol of longevity and resilience.
What (book) I’m reading now: 1493 by Charles C. Mann
Quote for the Week:
“We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
Moment of Zen: Fallow time
I didn’t really get a chance to talk about Beltane, and I’ve been about sparse on the blogging for the past week or so (still have to make up for the I week for the Pagan Blog Project, lol). It wasn’t intentional, and it wasn’t because we haven’t done anything or because I’ve ran out of things to say for the moment… I’ve just needed some time to let things marinate in my brain and germinate below the surface. As a result, blogging has been a bit like a trip to the dentist. Plus its been a bit busy around here.
I used to call this “being in a funk”, and I’d sort of wallow in it for a bit, and then feel guilty for it, and then finally yank myself out of the rut in a mad frenzy of activity before wearing myself out again. Awhile back I decided to change my view of my funk into something that is more constructive in the long run. I’m not the first person to make this connection either (and they’ve said it better than the level at which my brain is functioning right now):
Technically, fallow refers to not planting seed on a field, allowing it to rest, to be unproductive.
These days, being unproductive is a rather radical suggestion.
But it’s one worth considering. Who are you when you’re not doing, producing, creating a future in the present? Is it possible to try, even for a few hours, not to achieve anything? What might happen?
There’s a beautiful image from the ancient texts of a still pond in the middle of the forest where eventually all sorts of animals come to drink. It might be interesting and informative to see what visits you when you’re quiet and still.
Fallow time can be a Sunday afternoon, or it can be an entire phase of one’s life. But it’s important to allow for it and to respect it as part of a process, a part of life. I used to feel anxious in fallow times and it’s only been recently that I’ve been able to consider the possibility that the anxiety is extra, that there’s wisdom and trust in pausing. It’s worth trying out.
It might be a time for all of our activity to take a break, but seeing as most of us lack the resources for doing that for any real length of time, I choose to think of it more like crop rotation. Right now, blogging is my crop being rotated out of high production, and once its phased in, something else with marinate for a bit. Fallow time isn’t truly unproductive. Its about giving the soil time to rest, to let it become healthy again. Sometimes we need to do that in our lives, and there is no shame in it.
Parting Thought (set to music):
(Sweet Honey in the Rock performing “On Children”, the lyrics of which come from the writings of Kahlil Gibran)
P.S. The hubby is nagging me to go to bed (lol, I started writing this around 2 this afternoon, on and off between doing stuff!), so I’m proof-less posting. Please forgive any boo boos on my part!!