Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Waiting

There are many challenges in life I've never had to face; a luxury for which I am incredibly grateful. And there are some challenges I've been forced to face and handled in my usual, graceless fashion. But the ones that have stumped me the most every time are, without question, the waiting times.

I'm not your run-of-the-mill "laid back" type of person to begin with. Let's just get that out in the open and acknowledge who we're dealing with. I'm also not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type either. This isn't to say I'm completely joyless, but I really don't ever see the point in twiddling my thumbs to see how things "pan out." Nor do I like to take things "one day at a time." In my opinion stuff works better when you make a plan, execute said plan, proceed with life.

Lately, I've been getting tripped up with that third step, especially when there's very little control over the execution of plans. There is a lot that we're waiting for at the moment. Primarily this has to do with hearing from the bank to better understand our building options and timeline. Just getting to this point required heroic levels of patience, determination, organization, research, sheer will power (not to toot my own horn but, in a nutshell, I am awesome). But where did it get us? Maybe not very far, maybe far, maybe...? Millions of scenarios are possible and none of them are tragic but none of them are certain. That's tough. It's difficult to "proceed with life" without knowing what's next.

This isn't limited to the house. It also has someting to do with the reality of getting out there and doing what we want while also leading somewhat conventional, professional lives. That's really tough. We're waiting on some changes in that respect, too.

The waiting is all-consuming for me, in particular. Up at night, as soon as my eyes open in the morning, while feeding the animals, sitting in traffic - waiting has become a physical presence in my mind. When some of these questions are resolved I worry how the waiting space in my head will be filled. But I don't worry if I'll miss it.

This weekend was, well, glorious. The first few pristine days of spring before humidity and mosquitos move in, and just a slight chill in the air to require pants with the flip flops. I spent some time filling a bucket with composted manure and hay for our garden at home. Sounds like smelly work, but it wasn't. Each time I dug the pitchfork into the pile I pulled out coal-black crumbles of lovely dirt created by the animals, the hay, the rain. My view was the front pasture and of the of the neighbor's rolling pasture beyond. A hawk called and circled above and the robins jumped in the brush nearby. I think a bee buzzed - then a slight breeze through the trees. The dogs, wet from the pond, snoozed at my feet.

Idyllic, in my opinion, and worthy of a pause under a tall elm with some Lonestar.

It's hard during the week to remember those moments sitting in stillness and in quiet calm at the land. Monday is a quick return to the waiting and the distinct feeling of leading a split existence. The fact is - I can't be there right now all the time. And even if I could, I couldn't spend all my time staring at leaves budding in the trees. So the waiting is what it is and it ends, it always does. Questions are answered, adjustments are made, life moves. But for now - I'm suspended in anticipation - between things. Trying hard to remember that the hammock in the forest will be hung up again next weekend, beer will be chilled, gloves will be worn, chainsaw started. Despite the waiting, there's work to do.


WeldrBrat said...

Amazing how this type of interest can show you how much in common you have with some people! Our schedule runs on a 4 on - 4 off that rolls. We never have the same days off. And the commute can be insane. And we deal with the waiting - especially during the season when all the rain shows up during days off. uugghhh.... But not to worry. July will soon be here and you'll look around and ask - " How'd this all happen so fast? "

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. We did a whole lot of waiting before we found what we were looking for. And we entertained all sorts of scenarios in the process. I, too, felt ill at ease not knowing how it would all pan out. I have no advice for you except to say that it WILL eventually work itself out. In the meantime, you have the land and the chance to go work on it which is a step ahead of many who dream the same dream. :)

jennakl said...

Thanks to both of you for the comments! WeldrBrat, you're right, the time flies even when it feels like it's standing still - but it can be hard to remember in the rainy, chilly days of winter :)

Ruralaspirations - I've been following your progress - congratulations! It's true that we're incredibly lucky for the land and to already be well on our way, but I'm still a naturally impatient person!! At least we get to enjoy some time out there, even if it is only 2 days of every week.