It is way past 11 pm.
I have just returned from my evening routine of checking the animals and putting the goat kids in their overnight pen, locked away from their mum for a few hours, so that I can milk her early tomorrow morning, before reuniting them. Mum seems to enjoy the peace and the kids sleep.
It is a clear, still night.
The gusty wind, that has blown hard all day long, has finally put itself to bed, leaving behind a silky silence, draped seductively beneath a velvet night sky. It is deliciously beautiful and I absorb the chill stillness before heading inside.
I am tired. But as I lay in bed, pondering my life here at Riverside now, I realise how happily tired I am. Exhausted even..but it is a good exhausted ..if that makes any sense?
My life once consisted of doing school runs, doing lunch, doing make-up and hair, choosing the most flattering clothes or trendiest/sexiest shoes, texting boyfriends/ girlfriends to arrange dates or nights out, worrying if my home was tidy enough for visitors, worrying about my weight, my height, my stretchmarks, my wobbly tummy, my grey hairs…Just worrying about things that truly do not matter, not in the grand scale of things!
I worried and fretted a lot. I tried hard to be something I wasn’t and it WAS exhausting but not a good exhausting. Not at all.
I grew tired of it, of trying to fit in, of trying to be accepted, or desired … It bored me.
I spent my spare time working in schools, watching rubbish TV, straightening the tassels on rugs, plumping cushions, hoovering floors, listening to chart music (eek!) …and shopping! Shopping for crap that I didn’t ‘need’ but that temporarily filled a void in my life.
This all seems such a long time ago.. and thank goodness!
Throughout my life right back to my childhood, the common thread that has made me feel extremely happy ( apart from my three beautiful children) has always been animals/ wildlife/ the countryside/nature, but even so, there have been extended periods in my life when those things played a lesser role.. due to peer pressure, marriage / divorce, child-rearing, low self-esteem, health scares and being single for the first time in yonks and not knowing how to handle it. Amongst others.
I look back now and realise that it was all essential to me getting to where I am now. It was part of the process of me getting to know myself (as cheesy as that sounds) and of becoming confident enough to follow a path in life, a path that is far less trodden.
Of becoming ME rather than just a mum, wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister etc.
I gained an identity that was not linked to a relationship with anyone. It was just about who I was.
I think the trials and tribulations of a rollercoaster life, of the ups and downs, be they health related, relationship related, money related …..or all three!…can help us to grow as individuals…… and in comparison a life lacking, in these often hard and painful life lessons, can be one lacking in personal growth, ambition or adventure. It is often one lacking in empathy too.
The safe path is easy. It is secure. You know what to expect each day.
But is it REALLY all you want from life? Truly? Does hair and fashion really matter THAT much? Will people truly like you less if you do not own the newest TV/ car/ phone etc? I can now look back and see that at the time these things did matter.. but why? I still haven’t totally figured that out. I think I needed to be liked and by fitting in with social expectations, I thought I’d be liked more. Daft huh! After all people who only like you because you have nice clothes or money to lend them, tend not to be true friends!
I have made many, many mistakes in my life.
Some of the mistakes I made were relationships that failed..and some failed because of me not because of them. I have met some wonderful people, who, through no fault of their own, were just wrong for me and my, by now, growing plans for my future……. and I have met some not so wonderful people, who hurt me badly, but who I have forgiven totally. They too were probably lost and finding their way and simply hadn’t got to where they needed to be, when I met them. I was part of their journey and hurting me was possibly their way of showing that they were struggling with their own issues. Or maybe they were just jerks haha! Either way, I have forgiven them.
So I have made mistakes, fallen down, messed up again.. and finally learnt from it!< That last bit is the important bit. Then I brushed myself down and started again. Stronger! Although I certainly didn’t feel stronger during those hard times.
My family was wonderful! They supported me when I was an emotional wreck and kept me going when things got really tough. They even let me live with them, when I had no place to go.
Now, aged 45, I am back to being me. After a few years here n there, lost and searching for my place in this Earth I seem to have found it… and once you have found it, THEN you can look back and laugh at yourself.
I realise now that I didn’t need someone new in my life to make me feel whole and happy.
I needed to re-find myself and get back to my roots. Grey ones at that! 😉 ha!
So here I am.. I no longer need new shoes, holidays, phones or even much money to be happy.
As long as I can get by and pay the bills, then that’ll do for me. I have my wonderful children, my health and a whopping big bag of optimism. Would you like some?
I may not own much, in the traditional sense, but I have time. Time to do things I love. Time to teach and to learn. Time to read. Time to be with my family. To nurture my children. To offer caring homes to animals. To write. To help people. To take photographs and to paint. To work. To make things. To grow food. To forage. ……To blog haha!
……Time is valuable! It is priceless, I am rich!
Yes…This ‘simple’ sustainable life IS tiring. It is physical and involves hard graft and long hours… but it is that ‘good’ tired feeling again.
I have my family, my animals, my tiny rented cottage, no need for a TV, or car….no holidays, no new clothes, no fancy gadgets like dishwashers or microwaves or smartphones …….Just a very simple life…….A life connected to nature.
Simple it may be…..
…………….but it was a darn complicated journey getting here! 😉
Here is to all you lost souls.
May your journey be shorter and faster than mine. Never give up hope. Keep your eye on the destination. For you too can one day lay happily exhausted in bed, looking out of your window at a velvety night sky.
(Take that whichever way you wish lol)
Alarm set for 5:45 am..
Goodnight world xx