I recently realised that is just what has happened to many things, among them the laying chickens. When we moved here there was a lot to do. This property was a mess, and as well as filling more skips than I care to keep track of, there was all of the fencing to do, yards to build, chickens pens and sheds to put up....I could go on. The point is that life got pretty hectic, and at times stressful, as we added cows, sheep and pigs to our little patch. There was a veggie garden to establish (still working on that one!), fruit trees to put in and a cow to learn to milk.
As chickens were really the only thing we were experienced with when we moved here, they got shifted out of focus as we tried to learn all these new skills. I want that to change now. I want to allow myself the time to love and nurture the chickens like I used to. They may be fed sprouted grains, but there is so much more that I used to do. They used to all have names, their individual personalities were known, their likes and dislikes. I even knew which egg came from which hen. I know things can never go back to the way they were. I've got so much more to do these days and I love doing them. But I want to teach myself to slow down.
We're supposed to be living the Good Life and I want to keep that in mind. It's ok to dawdle whilst doing the chores. Peak production doesn't matter, so if I have to spend two days making herbal teas for a chicken with a cold I will.
The last two days I've taken my collies and knitting up to the chicken pen, sat next to the two year old peach tree and let the Silkie flock out to forage on the short green grass. Sitting there, ignoring the washing on the line, the dishwasher that needs unpacking and re-stacking and the lawn that needs mowing has been great. These things will still be there tomorrow and I can simply add them to tomorrow's to-do list (or do things like the dishwasher after the sun has gone down). There is only so much I can achieve in a day and just because I work from home doesn't mean I can't schedule down-time in the afternoon, or what ever time of day suits me.
I need to embrace the quiet times and not fill them. Because there are times when I have no choice but to run flat stick (like lambing!). But rushing through everything, even if not physically but mentally, is exhausting. It turns everything into a chore and completely defeats the point of this chosen lifestyle.
It's time to get back on the simple living path. And keep it simple.
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