I have been working to snap myself out of the funk I have been in since the beginning of August. Things that have helped:
(1) Getting out of the house every day, even when the intense heat makes it feel easier to hunker down indoors. Most days we have just gone to the local park or splash pad, but even that small break from the house helps to break up the day and re-energizes us.
(2) Making regular social plans outside of the house. I am such a homebody and am usually content to hang out with Henry and read in the evenings. That's fine to a point, but then the lack of social connection sneaks up on me and crushes me with a wave of loneliness.
(3) Reading fiction. It restores me and connects me to humanity in a way nothing else does. I love social media and television as much as the next person, but those pastimes often sink me deeper into the swampland of depression. Reading pulls me out.
(4) Working toward making our home a unit of production rather than consumption (a la Radical Homemakers). Over the last week I have harvested okra, red ripper beans, black eyed peas, cantaloupe, and squash from the garden, made 12 half pints of peach jam, and baked three loaves of bread from scratch.
Since I HP was born, I made excuses as to why I was not actively working toward creating a productive homestead--I was tired, taking care of HP took all of my energy, just putting food on the table and keeping our son alive felt productive enough, HP's naps were inconsistent and/or required a lot of parental assistance to go down, etc. But something clicked and made me see that now is the moment I have been waiting for. We have land and own our house, I do not work outside of the home, we only have one child, and that child now plays independently for large stretches of the day and naps without assistance. I do have time to can and garden and knit--I just need to step away from the computer and make it happen.
Last Tuesday for dinner we had okra and cantaloupe from the garden,
fresh baked bread with peach preserves, and eggs from a friend's
chickens (whose coop I helped build two years ago). The next morning I
made french toast with the leftover bread and eggs and topped it with the peach preserves. The simple
act on dining on food so close to home made me feel like I am living the
dream I described two years ago, cheesy as that may sound.
Things may not be perfect (when are they ever?), but the tide is receding and I am feeling like myself again.
What a relief.