Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Finding Your Normal

Isn't it interesting what we all get used to as our "normal"? As I sat at the kitchen table, knitting away on my Clara Bow Sweater whilst waiting for my pot of cheese to set and keeping Rocket company while he snoozed today, I started thinking about how everyone's everyday is different.
I don't know anyone else who has a lamb in their living room at the moment, but over the course of the week Rocket has become another part of our normal. He's slotted in around our activities and we've had to slot in around him too.

It struck me whilst I was milking Missy this morning that I was actually milking my own cow. Oh my gosh, I'm milking a cow were the words that literally went through my brain. I wonder what it is that makes us all of a sudden realise what is truly happening in a moment, as though we didn't quite realise it before?
Since Missy calved, milking has just become part of the everyday once again. It's almost like we never stopped (aside from my aching arms and hands that for the first 5 or so days told how used to not milking they had once again become).
As I warmed the large pot of milk for my first batch of cheese for the year, I realised how relaxed I was about it this time. After milking just once, this second time around feels so easy. There's no wondering if I'm doing it right, if I'm milking out her udder properly. There's no race to finish before Missy finishes her food. I'm the one waiting for her to finish.
I was surprised and so pleased that first afternoon I sat down to milk to discover that my hands hadn't forgotten what to do. Milk went shooting into the bucket with that familiar zing against the metal and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

Freshly pressed raw milk Haloumi waiting for the final stage of the process - cooking in very hot whey for 45 minutes
Now, I realise the beginning of this post kind of makes it sound like my normal is a peaceful existence between feeding lambs, knitting jumpers and making raw milk cheese. Gosh that all sounds so dreamy, doesn't it?
Today has been the first calm day I've had in over a week. Last week we lost chickens to predators (I've never lost birds until recently for the whole 8+ years we've had them), I lost lots of time to the care of Rocket (and a night or two of sleep), I didn't get breakfast until after midday most days and to top it off one of my 6 month old ewes decided to become a mother, even though I wouldn't have bred her until the very end of the year. (She broke in to the paddock with the ram and even though we split them up pretty quickly I'm afraid it might be too late....I guess I'll find out in about 5 months time).
I'm not complaining, or maybe I am, but when I re-read the beginning of this post I realised it sounded really wonderful and I don't like giving others dreaming of this life false impressions. It can be lovely and it can be awful.
I've wanted to wash my hands of the whole lot this past week. And at the same time I've felt so satisfied when I fill bottles with fresh milk and watch Rocket skipping around the yard.

I guess what it all boils down to is that whatever life you chose to lead, it's going to have it's ups and downs. There's going to be seasons of calm and seasons of chaos. Some things you'll do for a little while and love and then they just won't fit in any more, and you'll find new things along the way too.

It's just the ebb and flow of life, and we've just got to roll with it.

I'd love to know what's part of your normal.
Happy new week,

Sarah x

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  1. Our normal's not a normal I hope to get used to, but I certainly understand what you mean. I was working in the city up until recently - two hours away, how's that for normal - and my colleague were marvelling at how much I do and fit into my days and the honest truth was that when we choose these things, we can't complain. They're our normal. We've chosen them and want to do them. I could never complain about that. I love the choices I've made.

    1. That's wonderful that you've been able to make good choices Katie.
      And a two hour commute? That must have been exhausting! x

  2. One of the things I love about reading blogs is realising how different everyone's "normal" is. This morning as I looked through a window I pass every day, noticing how the landscape is changing as we come into May, I realised that the view I take for granted and normal is very different from many people's view.
    Your life did sound dreamy, until I remembered the last post.

    1. I'm aware that I take the view here (and the space!) for granted. Only sometimes do I remember that not everyone has this much space to call their own x

  3. Lovely, thoughtful post Sarah. It got me thinking about my normal. You could say my life looks dreamy and full of baking, outdoor picnics, horses riding etc. But, in there is also the constant school juggle, chunks of semi-single parenting, long days, drought etc etc. We all make choices and of course everything has it ups and downs. I think we need to include a bit of the tougher stuff in our blogs to keep them real. But, on the flip side I hate to complain online. Complaining tends to make us more vulnerable. Tricky isn't it?

    I am in awe of your fresh milk and cheese. I have seen a lot of lambs in my time (thousands!) but Rocket is very cute.

    Keep writing, it is wonderful x

    1. Thank-you so much Jane.
      Oh the drought is a huge one isn't it? It's dried out here too, whilst we're not full on feeding yet we're not far off. I'm starting to get tired of hoping for rain. But I am grateful that we're not as dry as some parts of Australia, and we have the option to irrigate some of our land.

      You're right, complaining does feel more vulnerable, I think because it means putting yourself out there more and what's really going on in your life. I like to keep this space positive, because writing about negative things or everything that's gone wrong doesn't often make me feel good, but sometimes I have no other words to share and feel I just need to get it out there. It is definitely tricky to strike that balance!

      Sarah x

  4. I agree! At the end of the day you have to do what needs to be done and you adapt to it. I think it's wonderful.

  5. I was thinking something similar to this this morning. My normal is starting work in my home office as soon as I possibly can after my partner takes our daughter to school. But today I had to do the school run, so I dropped into town to the library and to have a chat and do socials, and it was really nice to break out of my normal for a change. The weather is lovely, we've had some rain so everything's green - so it was great to hit a bump in my normal road today. I really would like to be making my own cheese though, I'm drooling over your Halloumi. Cathy.

  6. Such a gorgeous post Sarah. You're right, everyone's days are so different and that's what makes them even more lovely, right!

    Jodie xx


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