Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Do You Actually Do?

It wasn't until I decided to hike with The Barracuda that I thought much about what my life entailed. When you have to consider yourself completely gone from your environment you tend to hone in on the things you actually do and what preparation is needed.

When someone asked me, I had many titles to what my roles in our life were. I was a mom, a radical homemaker, a homeschooler, a writer, a spouse....As much as that seems to suffice for people who ask, it doesn't really say all that much about what I actually do. When I had to think about what wouldn't get done when I was gone, my life evaluation got a bit more interesting.

When it comes right down to it, I have no idea what day it is right now. I think it is a Saturday, but I'm probably wrong. I also have no idea of the actual date, sometime in mid January. I don't know the time either, late enough that I should be in bed.

What I do know is that I need to put in our seed order in about 2 weeks. I need to do laundry tomorrow because Jules is out of work pants. I need rake the remainder of the debris from the yard and reseed. I need to cook the cottage cheese which is culturing on the refrigerator because it is now sharp enough. I know the cherry tree in the backyard has 5 inches of new growth this year and that is the best in a long time. I know the pear trees and apple are hanging on, but not doing as well as we'd hoped. I know one of the Rhododendrons appears to have a fungal infection that was aggravated by all the rains this year. I know that something had died in the refrigerator. I know The Barracuda needs to start back with his math book tomorrow because he is getting squirrelly without schoolwork, we need to finish up the book Hatchet, begin Call of the Wild, and practice his Cha-Cha dancing. I know the garlic is going gang busters and the Spring bulbs have already started coming up with the mild winter.

In leaving for two weeks to hike, it really hit me just how much my life has changed from a year ago when I was working.

Two weeks is half a cord of wood. It's 15 jars of food, two pints of jam, and 56 gallons of filtered water. It's 10 math pages, countless hours of discussion, 10 units of Spanish, and 7 hours of living room dance practice. Two weeks is 5 designated dog walks and 8 cans of tuna for the cat. It's two missed skating trips and 6 missed outings with homeschool friends. It's three loads of laundry, 4 changes of sheets, 8 trips to Goodwill and 2 books. It's 5 blog posts. This is the way I now measure my life.

Not once in my thinking about getting the house ready for me to leave did I consider how much money it was. Before when I would take a vacation from work, things were always scaled across how much money would be lost and how many days I would have to cover for those who were covering my shifts. Now I just write whenever. If articles are available I write them. If I need to leave, I leave. When I return, I will write some more. It doesn't matter what day or what time or even how many (for the most part).

As I stuffed The Barracuda and my packs, it was even more blatant how simple our lives had become. Two weeks is 2 sets of pants, 4 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of undies, 6 torso layers, a hat, gloves, a water filter, 14 pounds of food, and a tent. We don't need much more than that.

Sometimes it is good to remember.

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