A significant crossroads on the horizon is looming for me, and all this year I have set a toe in the water to explore a livelihood closer to my heart. What this has meant for now is pushing myself a bit to an edge, because the total of 10 hours each week I volunteer on farms and knitting/teaching I need to make up late into nights with paid work. Amazingly, household bills and winter heat cannot be paid in yarn and vegetables.
I am thrilled with working on farms because it’s a definite “yes” to work around hard-working people connected to Earth. I would like to have more understanding of all it takes to create healthy soil and irrigation and more botany, but even without classroom learning, I am amazed how subtly, bit by bit, harvesting various plants teaches me without words what to look for, how a ripe something or other feels or looks when ready.
My most significant insight this week is around duty. We all may have many life purposes, but duty can be part of that purpose. Even as I look forward to writing a new chapter in my life as my only child moves onward to her next chapter, I had some unrealistic idea in my head of starting all over as a 20-year-old in a leap from the nest moment. News flash. I am not 20-something, and the biggest commitment half of my adult life is to this child and nothing will change that. Even if she wants little to do with me at the moment (appropriate to her growth).
In short, I resolved for myself that some fantasy of finally freeing myself of the binds of my past continual work to support two people and move toward creating a life with more freedom, getting rid of all belongings and living a nomadic lifestyle to live on farms is not okay when my duty is to my child as well as myself.
I suddenly thought of myself as a young adult and how I would feel emotionally if my stable parent and home base evaporated. It may not even be a choice I can make financially to maintain a home base for her to visit in the same area she grew up since rents have tripled, but at least a space to visit is my goal for the next few years. This week, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in years who has a pet-free (essential for me), mother-in-law apartment with separate entrance I can afford, so I will hope something like this is available when my time comes to move.
Meantime, I will keep on creating windows on a new life into my work schedule and see how far that takes me.