Friday, 15 July 2016

Self-sufficiency?

Did you know you could be too self-sufficient??
No? I didn't either.
But you can.

My husband and I have been exactly that; too self-sufficient.
With building works going on since last year August, illness and bereavement in the family and a garden to run, we kind of lost track of each other.
We used to joke we worked 6,5 day per week with only Sunday afternoon (from 3pm) off.
We tried to be as efficient as possible, saying to each other: "If you paint this wall then I can weed that vegetable bed." Or "If you bottle the wine, then I can clean the hen house."
In the end we weren't doing anything together any longer and every job became an unpleasant chore.
And when my mother-in-law became very ill, my husband, understandably, went back to the Netherlands to be with her in her last days.
There are things in life you can't change, but when he came back and we both felt we were strangers to each other, we had to rethink our way of life.

Why had we come to Scotland? Why did we want to grow our own vegetables and keep chickens? What are the more important things in life?
So, we decided that from then on we would be together-sufficient!
Just what we wanted (and did!) in the first place when we came to Scotland.
It's much more fun to pick fruits, make wine and bottle it together or to weed the garden together.
You're sharing these experiences and enjoying it more (like we did here doing voluntary work for wwoof).



We also decided that we really need at least one day off.
Religious people aren't that wrong when they say you have to have at least one day off. Whether that is Sunday or not is up to yourself, but you have to have time to relax and do things you enjoy.
Sunday is a suitable day, however, with most people not working, so we are trying to take the Sunday off.
It's really hard though, with so much still to do.
And, okay, I admit, we have agreed to only clean the hen house (together) on Sunday morning.

To cope with the pressure we have also decided to finish some projects first, before starting new ones.
I'm glad to say that we have now very nearly finished buildings works indoors and are looking forward to spending a bit more time in the garden (if the weather improves that is).
The garden, although planted full with vegetables, is in a bit of a state. But it's remarkable how well plants grow without any attention from our side. I suppose that's how they do it in the wild too!

So, once we've finished painting etc. it's time to spend some time together making wine, jam, pickles and everything what comes with being self (uh, together-) sufficient!

And Sundays we'll have a bit more of we-time!


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