I don’t think that I have touched on this subject before so I thought I would discuss it now.
For the last few days or so I have tried to be motivated to work on the property. My normal routine is that I come home from work and (after changing and a quick chat with Kitty) go outside to start my work at home, yet lately I have been paralysed with inaction. I feed my animals, water my plants and that is pretty much it. I look around my property and I just feel despondent, as though the work I have to do is much more than I can contemplate. I look at my garden and feel that I have failed to do anything, that the work I have done is not enough. When you factor in freak incidents, it makes it all feel worse.
For example, the Greenhouse which I built… the structure that I sweated and bled to make… has been damaged by a Possum. It appears that a Possum fell from the tree that is growing over the greenhouse and landed on the roof. The roof is bent inwards and some of the metal frame is broken/bent. I found this the other day, when I decided I might do a little filming of the structure to show you all more of the improvements I had to make to ensure it was useful. I was pretty crestfallen… all that hard work, only to be undone by an wild animal. To be honest, the damage is pretty minimal… considering all the extra work I put into strengthening the structure, and it is still usable. It is just the point that it is damaged is detrimental to my morale.
I often walk around the property and take stock of all the work I have yet to complete. I see the work I have yet to do, rather than the work I have already done. I also see the many projects that I start and move on from before completion. The many plants that fail to produce food, the trees that have had all their fruit eaten by birds, the failures sometimes mount and make the work seem impossible… some sort of Sisyphean task. I talked to my father about this, he relayed to me that he also suffers from this feeling. He said that at times, he looks at his garden and feels that the task before him (of planting or maintaining a garden) is too much and he wants to give up. This was a huge surprise to me, as my father is marvellous gardener. He has always produced amazing gardens that provide more food than we could eat. To learn that he has felt like a failure (when he was so obviously not) was a wakeup call to me. It showed me that perhaps I was making progress and I could not see it (as my father felt).
It can be hard to break out of this apathy. I have found that completing a task can help, as the feeling of accomplishment will counteract the lethargy and depression. On the weekend I completed my second Chicken Tractor. It was a slightly new design… an improvement on the original model. Forcing myself into finishing this made it easier to break out of the feeling of failing. It showed me that completing a task can be a great motivator. It is easy to grow despondent when dealing with trying to improve your life, as I am doing. Sometimes, it feels like it would be easier to forgo all the work I am doing to improve my families position and just relax when I come home. I was talking to a colleague today about our weekend activities. He asked what I got up to on the weekend… I told him about my work on the Chicken Tractor, starting work on another rabbit hutch. I told him about the home grown peaches I ate, the food I harvested, and playing with the kids at the park. I asked him about his weekend. He stayed home all three days, he read the paper each day and did nothing else… no tv, nothing. I was shocked to hear this, yet it also ignited a spark in me. I may feel like I am doing nothing, having little impact on the world, yet when I consider how little I could be doing I should be happy that at least I have a direction to move towards.
Has anyone of you felt this way? If so, what did you do to break free from the feeling?