I talked on my last post about feeling fed up and frustrated. Perhaps this is just the January blues, but it feels more than that.
Warning: This is a rather mopey, self indulgent post as a method of catharsis. If you’re after a Northerner moaning about tourists and writing book reviews, choose a different post.
Recently I’ve been feeling increasingly unfulfilled. We all need a purpose in life and our own personal motivation to carry on day by day and to make us feel satisfied and happy.
Mine has always been animals. Looking after and spending time with them. I’ve had my shihtzu for 9 years now and he’s been a constant source of amusement, exercise, adventure and compassion.
Through having him, I’ve also developed a passion for walking and photography. My perfect day would be spent going on an adventure, hiking a trail whilst taking photos of my dog (he’s very photogenic). I love the feeling of accomplishment, feeling nicely tired from getting fit, being outdoors and exploring new terrains.
I haven’t done as much walking since I moved to the Derbyshire Dales and got involved in farming. Most of my energy is taken up with tough, physical farm work. I still walk my dog four times a day (I don’t have a garden) but seeing as it’s just endless fields around us, the routes are limited and sometimes rather boring.
Plus my little dog is getting older now and he can’t handle the mountain hikes like he used to. I know he’s a shihtzu but he’s been up Kinder, explored the moorlands of the pennies and trekked all over Wales. Breed is not a limiting factor to walkies.
So the walking has taken a backseat. I used to take my dogs (I’ve had two “second dogs” over the years while I’ve had the shihtzu) and my mum’s collies to my local National Trust country estate three times per week for a good adventure. I do miss those days, but now that cows and farming are in my life, I enjoy that too.
Now my hobby of photography revolves around taking photos of the cows in fields.
I also enjoy other farm work like tractor driving, silaging, muck spreading, cleaning and going to markets and auctions. I love a bit of hard graft and adore spending time with the cows. However I still feel restricted.
The farm is my other half’s parents. They live there and we live half a mile away. So we have limited control over what happens on the farm.
I love ‘upcycling’ old junk and there’s endless available on the farm. I have had a go at dry stone walling (my mum has done all her own walls around her property) and I feel pride in adapting and improving handling systems, storage and general management systems.
But it’s not my farm.
I have to stop myself from being too invasive and tidying up my in-laws stuff and moving things, But in my mind there’s so much to do. That I have the energy to do. And long to do.
So while I enjoy farming, I wish I could do more. I feel held back.
Also last year I had so many trips and days out. I visited four new countries and traveled around England. We were so busy all year with trips out, family things and showing cows that we never stopped.
So this year feels like everything’s ground to a halt.
I find pleasure in planning things and I love to organise. However I feel restricted there. I do have a trip planned for Spring, which I’m looking forward to, but there’s not much more to plan or arrange.
Otherwise I always look forward to my big holiday of the year in Autumn. I live to travel, I adore it. I save as much money as I can all year to go on a big exotic holiday. Its what I look forward to and what motivates me to go to work each day.
This year my in-laws have booked to go away twice, on the only times we can also go away. As someone has to look after the farm, this means we can’t go away at the same time.
Also my mum has planned a family thing at the only other time we could possibly go away.
So I feel so frustrated that the thing I most look forward to all year looks impossible.
I know this probably sounds incredibly selfish and privileged. You’re probably right.
From my perspective I’m very well traveled. I’ve been all over the world throughout my childhood and into my adult life. I work hard and earn my own money. I pay for my other half’s holidays as he can’t afford to. Why can’t I spend my own money on what I want?
So that’s frustrating.
With all this spare physical and emotional energy, my body clock has started nagging me. I’m reaching thirty and starting to feel broody.
It feels anti-feminist and anti-career woman to say so, but I do.
I want kids. I think I’d make a decent mother. I love caring for other things and people and am desperate to do more.
I’ve gently, over the past few months let my other half know that I would be ready to start that journey. Because it is a journey into the unknown. I have been on the contraceptive pill for ten years now and have no clue if I’m fertile or not.
My other half says he’s not ready for kids for a few years yet.
So what am I to do with myself?!
Learn to ride a motorcycle? Take up lion taming? Run a marathon?
I need more focus in life. Something to aim for. Something that gets me excited and something to look forward to.
Any suggestions are welcome…!