This Little Organic Farmer Has Been Enjoying Her Winter!
Updated: Mar 24, 2020
It's mid-March, and I'm sitting in my living room staring out the window at snow-covered fields, thinking about the past few months and dreaming about the summer. Taking the winter off was probably - no scratch that - it was the best gift I've given myself in a really long time. I'm not saying it was easy. On the contrary, it has been quite the roller coaster ride! How do I share with you what these past few months have looked like?
The two most popular questions people asked me were:
"Have you traveled anywhere?"
"What exciting adventures have you had?"
and my response is often the same:
No, this time off wasn't really a vacation. I did have more time and space than ever before, but this winter wasn't so much about new exciting adventures. It was kind of a necessity.
After we wrapped the farm up in December, I celebrated the holidays with family and friends and then gave myself a full week-long silent retreat at La Solitude in Memramcooke. I made sure to give myself those full three weeks before I started tackling any house renos or little projects that I'd been waiting for so long to get done. Quite honestly, I was itching to get shit done! And so after those nice long three weeks off, I started powering through soooo many tasks. My mind raced with excitement at the possibility of crossing off task after task on my to-do list. This time 'off' was going to be amazing!.
But then after two full days of gettin' er done, that third morning rolled in and my body, mind and heart were utterly exhausted. I simply couldn't get myself off the couch and couldn't understand why.
I thought to myself: But I gave myself 3 weeks off! That's more time than I've given myself off at any point in that 12 years. That should have been plenty of time to recuperate. So why did I feel so tired?
It took another week and a few more crashes on the couch before I finally self diagnosed myself as being severely burnt out. It was a hard pill to swallow. Doing research helped a little. There's a lot online about how one becomes burnt out and what signs to watch for, but there really wasn't much on how to best heal my body, my mind and my heart. It was hard to come to terms with my diagnosis and changing my way of life seemed almost impossible. I found myself pretty comfortable in some deeply entrenched habits.
Being burnt out made me realize that somewhere along the line, I had lost my sense of self. It got all wrapped up in the farm, and what I was doing rather than who I was as a beautiful being. And so - slowly, carefully and thoughtfully - I've started taking care of myself. I literally had no other choice. I turned to food and community - cooking delicious meals for myself and my loved ones. I now have a well-established daily practice that includes two non-negotiables: (1) a nice walk outside and (2) a quiet meditation. I've also enjoyed pots of hot tea, my woodstove, long sleeps, and loads of good books. My to-do list is just as long as before, but for the first time in a very, very long time, I'm returning to my old silly self. I'm also excited to once again bury my fingers deep into the garden's rich soil and grow some delectable delights for myself and my community!