Like: Not a thought in my head. For hours on end I can drift through the farm chores, talking to the dogs, directing cows, checking for weight gain and health, inspecting pigs and sorting chickens – all without a single useful thought. The interesting thing I have discovered is that if I do not mentally attach a word to an action my memory loses touch with it as well. I become a slow moving runaway train on a mono rail.
I think you have to know many good words to have good thoughts. But sometimes as I work on the farm alone I find I have no words at all. No language. There is not a word in my head so I have no thoughts. I make decision after decision, going through my list for the day in a kind of fog. I was having trouble with retention, and found myself standing quite still looking at an animal or a gate wondering what I was doing next.
This lack of thought was leading me into a vague kind of depression. But I could not identify it because I had no words. All I had were feelings. Too full. Too slow. Holding hard to my temper. Getting fractious about things not going right. Empty. Homesick. Tired. Tired. Tired.
So, yesterday I tried to wake my brain back up by challenging myself to do two things at once as often as possible. Like boiling the kettle, while I filled the buckets, eating my only breakfast (no second breakfast when I work alone) while writing, having laundry washing itself while I did the milking, filling the hay feeders while I milked the cow, running the waters while I mowed the lawns. But that was all too easy, I do that anyway.
So I tried combining two jobs. Creating the new piglet creep one bale at a time as I went to and fro feeding the pigs. As I carried dirty straw from Molly’s pen to dump in her garden I had to uproot one dead weed before picking up my fork and going back for another scoop. Cutting and carrying armloads of willow to the pigs as I cleared under their electric fence. And I decided I had to finish both tasks at the same time before moving to the next two jobs. This was interesting because I had to plan the two tasks then focus hard on not rushing away to do something else just for a moment then losing the thread.
I did find that my day was faster and more awake. But mostly doing two things at once meant that my day was jerky and harried and a little anxious as I asked myself is the water barrel filled, is the washing machine still, what is my next job. Why can’t I find one decent pair of secateurs. How did I do. Fail or succeed?
And it is hard to review myself when i have no words.
Though I don’t mind a fail grade when I am only grading myself. If I fail and know it, it is easier for me to do it better. Though I need my words to come back so I can make my plan for success.
But still I feel muddled. Out of focus. No extra thoughts. Just slow reactions. This fog is not lifting. Like I can’t see clearly. I keep mentally squinting then wondering what I am looking for. I feel like Alex standing in a bucket of water – my head down and softly drifting from side to side. Hoof up, foot down, Left hoof up, foot down. First hoof up, hoof down. Making the water plop and gently splash.
I really am thinking like a cow.
Maybe I need more sleep. More water and more sleep.
However today I am going to continue with my challenge. Combining jobs. Even thinking of which jobs to combine is a good mental exercise. Trying to break the pause that is opening up in my head.
This day last year – Poppy is the lady in waiting
The year before that – Look at this corn in 2015
And here is 2014. That was a rough fall.
One more – 2013 Trying to take a decent photograph
We could go on but I have work to do. Talk soon. I will answer your comments while I drink my coffee!! The perfect combination.
I hope you have a lovely day.
WEATHER: Still warm. Still clear.
Waxing Crescent, 35% visiblepm pm