I’ll tell you, this little experiment on the prairie has been quite the endeavor. Should anyone else be inclined to attempt such a thing my best advice to you is this:
Hold on to the victories.
There is so much to do and then redo (because you did it the first time in such a hurry that it later failed and had to be redone) that sometimes you can get lost in the forest. You can get to the point where you would like to admit defeat, find a small apartment, cash in your chips and chalk it up to a learning experience . It’s important to hold on to the little victories – even if they’re temporary.
The last time I wrote I was finishing up the bus, cleaning and installing floors and painting and staining. As daunting as all of that seemed at the time, it turned out to actually be the easy part. Little did I know what was in store once we got to the land (which in itself was an interesting journey). Since then, there have been good days and bad days: I have found that the difference is in the mindset.
Work is work. It has no motive, no will of its own. It’s just things that need doing. It’s how I approach it that gives it teeth. There are days where I let it beat me: – I give it fangs and like clockwork one thing after another is a failure and more difficult than it needs to be. Some days, though, I am able to take control.
Saturday afternoon was a great reminder of this. Sarah was going to be gone for the afternoon, which left me with the tribe by myself. This is normally not a problem, except that particular day I had black water to dispose of, water lines to fix and errands to run. I woke up looking at the menacing mouthful of fangs the day was already baring.
I was short and stressed and a little frustrated, especially after the timing for Sarah’s plans immediately started getting out of whack (leaving at noon stretched out to two in the afternoon). After I got the black water tanks into the truck only to find that it wouldn’t start, I could see where this day was going.
Thankfully, all that was needed a was a wiggle of the battery cable and we were back online, the truck rumbling with all of it’s Dodge V8 goodness. The radio had reset and it started playing the cd that was currently loaded: a mix that my sister had made a long time ago. The first track was a Nappy Roots song that begins:
“Ya know today, I just woke up, and I said, instead of waitin’ on a good day, waitin’ around through ups and downs, waitin’ on somthin to happen, I just said, ‘I’m gonna have a good day…'”
-Nappy Roots (Good Day)
I decided to give it a shot. To merrily dispose of septic waste, to happily fix water leaks, to joyfully chase the kids around out of fun instead of frustration. To have a good day.
You know what? It worked. I was able to keep that thought in my head and everything went more smoothly than I had originally expected. The kids didn’t get cranky and feel neglected and when Sarah made it home safe everyone was all tucked in and asleep. I won.
Over the next few days – as I fixed, broke and eventually replaced the toilet in the bus – I had my victory and it kept me going. There is always work that HAS to be done and sometimes I get caught up in the negatives and ruin the day for myself.
But sometimes, despite the failures, I have damn good days.