My bank account and my to-do list are the best ways to determine if I’m an impulsive little twerp, and I would definitely put myself in that category. I get sudden ideas that I’d love to act on, and then I try hard to go for them. It’s good in some respects, but when money’s been spent and burnout sets in, I have a room full of part-finished projects or things go to rot.
That’s bad for the bank account. And terrible for self-esteem.
It’s like running to stand still, a desperate attempt to feel accomplished, to keep busy, and yet it doesn’t help in the least. It might be something small and an experiment that doesn’t detract too much from what are the “must do” items. Then it’s nothing more than a costly distraction.
I’m impulsive and a procrastinator in shifts. The things that absolutely need to be done (like house cleaning) tend to end up at the bottom of the list, even if I can see dishes stacked all over the counters that need washing or see blonde and gray tumbleweeds of dog hair floating across my floor. They get done with reluctance, or I just let myself get overwhelmed and end up wasting a whole day thinking (or playing video games) rather than doing. I have goals I want to accomplish, but haven’t taken steps to ensure they actually get done.
It’s no wonder my depression hung on so long.
It’s miserably cold outside and is going to stay that way for several days. I did well by finishing most of my seed planting in peat pots yesterday, and started thinking about other things I could be doing. It’s too wet to dig and too cold to work in the yard where I’d probably get pneumonia out in that wind with all the wet ground. That was frustrating.
And I got to thinking: “hey, you want to be self-sufficient? Think about raising chickens for their eggs!”
I watched some YouTube vids and did some reading, and then after a few hours of getting excited about the idea and daydreaming what it would look like, I FINALLY put a lead-booted foot on THOSE brakes fast. Because with all I’m putting on my plate this year, and as strapped as I am for cash, there’s no way in hell I can tackle another pricey start up project outside.
I told myself, “Maybe next year.”
That has always sounded like a cop-out phrase, something said to shut someone up if you don’t want to do something or a “meh, you’ll forget about it” statement. But when you’re an impulsive little twerp like me, it’s needed to put the brakes on.
Now, “Maybe next year” is not a very positive phrase, generally… a close cousin to “maybe later” (which has been the bane of my existence). “Maybe later” usually turned into “never,” like for the biggest things in life:
A change of job? “Maybe next year.”
Moving out? “Maybe next year.”
Gonna try dating again? “Maybe next decade.”
All the big stuff in life that you put off and ends up never happening. And it’s harder as you get older because then it’s like “but what if your health goes downhill” or “what if there is no tomorrow?” That FOMO of another sort coming to bite you in the ass.
But there are other things you could get into, and you HAVE to put the brakes on. Especially if–like me–you overestimate your energy levels and enthusiasm for the project. I lost count the number of hobbies I wanted to try out, and the boxes full of supplies I haven’t used much of yet. I have totes of things that I’ll “get back to” when I have more time: model building, crochet, needlepoint, painting, candle making, puzzles, etc. just to name a few of what I’ve cast aside for a while.
I’d have PLENTY of time if I stuck to a handful of things to get good at and have fun with, instead of wanting to do EVERYTHING!
That’s the trouble: I haven’t allowed myself to slow down and really contemplate whether or not what I wanted to do was a good idea in the long run, and if I really wanted to do it for the long haul. So many times I’ve let myself just walk away, and I’ve felt ashamed of how much money I spent on these things now just collecting dust in a closet, rather than learning new skills and maybe even making money from my handiwork. And that means I left other things part done or not at all.
I’ve become an expert at half-assing it, and I wish like hell I’d never developed such a bad habit.
So, gardening is a big one because I want to grow my own food, take responsibility for my own health, and it’s just a fascinating lifestyle to get into. It’s not some hobby for me anymore: I did my first attempt last year and made tons of mistakes. Now this year I want to do it right and for real. I know it will take a lot of work, and I’m prepared for it. I just want to do my best and keep going strong, even when it feels like things aren’t so good or the weather’s making it difficult.
I’m already working on my garden, and that’s enough. I did make plans to expand a bit, and once I’ve gotten the main beds taken care of, I do have some galvanized ones coming that I can build and I’m going to make an arch to connect them (I have fruit bushes I can’t plant yet because there’s no room… and don’t want to give the grapes a head start if there’s no trellis for them).
And those metal beds aren’t coming in til the end of this week, so I have time to add to my plans and get more supplies set up. I have to prep the ground those beds will sit above, anyway, and check my spacing and measurements when they finally do come in. I’ll also need to cut more wood from those fallen trees (must be drier first) to put in the bottom of the beds for an early start on decomp and saving space in them.
Fruits and vegetables in the garden. Playing music. Writing. That’s about all I can handle right now, with a few scattered ideas for boring or bad-weather days. That’s all this impatient twerp can handle. No way I can add more ideas, like learning how to raise chickens, or planning a fence, protecting against vermin, dogs, predators, etc. There’s too much to learn and I don’t have the time or energy.
Yes, let’s learn how to keep rooted plants alive first before adding running noisemakers with oodles of predators to the list, please.
Hell, I also have two boxes full of seeds that I’m not planning to plant this year. I would be letting them die before I could harvest them, or mistreat them, or have to make several more garden beds to get anything out of them. Last year was the year of experimentation and going too far too fast because I was so eager to learn. I barely had anything I could eat from my garden the whole year for my efforts.
Not this year. I intend to live off of what I produce (or learn how to do so). But I don’t know how to cook or prep all the stuff I bought to raise. I have never tried half of what I have in those pouches, either. I just knew I wanted to try them and bought them. So, it makes more sense to stick with what I know and grow from there (pun intended).
I had to remind myself, “You’re still learning. Maybe next year.”
I have to learn that when you’re impulsive, it helps to step back and really, REALLY think about whether you can get it done and how much time, energy, money it will take. Granted, some things are worth the money, but if you can’t dedicate enough time to learn properly, or energy to do it yourself, how else will things get done. My impulsiveness has cost me a LOT the past few years, and led to arguments about money when my dad was alive. He’d likely throw a fit at how much I’d spent just on the garden and setting it up. I’d like to think once he knew how serious I was about it and how dedicated, the complaints would stop.
So, a promise to myself that I must curb my impulsiveness. “Maybe next year” doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If anything, it could lead to a sense of hope, that things are ongoing and I have plans in the future.
They may require some tweaking thanks to time and reality, but they’re out there. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” should be my new mantra. It actually pairs nicely with “Maybe next year,” because some projects never end, anyway. They’re always going on, and improving. It’s like my testing out eco-friendly shampoo bars and such.
Am I self-sufficient in any way yet? Hells no!
Am I close? No.
Will I ever get to where I feel satisfied at my efforts in that way? Maybe next year.