Monday, August 4, 2008

Balancing Act

Every since I first caught on to the notion of urban homesteading I have been wary of the time and commitment involved in adding more tasks to my life.  Yes, most of it is a joy but growing and preserving your own food and making your cheese and hanging out the clothes to try and buying in bulk and on and on and on takes time.  And not just on Monday between 2-4 but constantly, commitedly and separate from my own larger, longer and socially cramped schedule.

That I live so fully in this modern, summer-of-fun world with it's visits from friends, vacations, barbeques and competing outdoor events by the bushel, I find tending to the task of urban homesteading can be out of sync with the rest of my world.  

Not that I do not understand or am faltering in my commitment only I think this will be the conversation more folks will be having - how to make this new life mesh with my old.

And the old has lots of pull and barbs - good and bad.  Well, we all know the bad, or sorta know the bad as we individually define them.  And whatever they may be for us individually, they offer some sort of motivation to move forward in defining better solutions.  Speaking personally the bad of global economics and ruinous systems has caste me into this world of uber-local.  But that does not make it easier all the time.  I still find myself feeling overwhelmed at times and that is just the truth.

I think part of the problem is that my effort is not a family effort.  I do not have a husband or son or large extended community that works to this end.  I do not fault them.  My husband rather play golf.  I know, I can have an attitude about that but I'm careful not to because he liked to play golf before I chose to rip up all the lawns to grow food.  I have changed - not him.  And it would be lovely if he worked with me in the yard doing all the pruning and planting and harvesting and......but he wants to go swimming and that is his right.  And the kids??? Oh yeah. That's a joke.

So I march forward and do what I do while the neighbors party with their friends and have bad-ass parties every weekend which I always secretly long to be invited to but I'm afraid I'll like it too much and chuck it all in for a chance to stay up all night and sleep in all day and go, bleary eyed, to breakfast with all the other urbanites who seem perfectly content to leave the growing and preparing of their food to someone else.  

Of course I'm 55 or nearing it and I have had my share of all nighters which makes this commitment a little easier - in reality I know I'm not really missing anything.  Only it occasionally feels like a stoic march to a better world rather then a joyful leap into the haystack with the cute farm boy (sorry husband - only kidding).

Which brings me to our need to find fellowship and party and have community and dance at the revolution and glean and harvest and get bleary eyed on the opportunity to leave our children a world and soil in much better shape then it will be without us. 

So I leave you know to make some yogurt and pick the never ending beans and get ready for this week's tomato canning class.  And I am grateful that the 1/8 beef I ordered from a local farm is coming wrapped and frozen and that the raw milk I got comes in a bottle and not directly out the teat only because I probably wouldn't be writing this at 7:00 am but rather coming in from my morning chores for a second cup a coffee.  Ah, the modern world.  The good with the bad. 

No comments: