Stealing Time in “the Country”

Between running a landscaping business, free-lancing as a grantwriter / grants administrator, tending personal gardens of a certain dimension, housekeeping, tending to 46 ducks and 30 chickens (and too many quail), preparing meals, trying to maintain contact with family and friends, trying to maintain two blogs (Andrew’s and mine), I find little time to do the things that give me a sense of personal achievement and pleasure, ( making good, interesting art and connecting with like-minded people).  Drinking wine and smoking cigarettes doesn’t count as achievement (although the pleasure aspect is there, this would be significantly increased if I were to learn that smoking is a healthy activity and good wine was only $4.00 per bottle.)

My background would label me as an aesthete and an intellectual. Alas, very little of those interests come in to play in my world.  This disturbs me more than I’m prepared to admit to myself.  I know that I waste a lot of time trying to compartmentalize all of the mundane things that I’ve listed above. My baby brother Neal, aged 42, and a Special Ed teacher, believes that we all possess an element of autism, and that it drives how we learn and process everyday living. I believe it! Of course I would like to think that I’m a flexible, open person and yet I know I’m not. I’m disappointingly rigid (with myself) and somewhat rigid people like myself struggle with this.  I nearly lost it tonight, for example, because I couldn’t get the ducks into their respective lodgings and Andrew was at a meeting and I thought of getting in the car and driving back to NYC and camping out on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum. (Really, no kidding). (I’m distracted; the powerful and distinctive smell of celery has been with me for over an hour and there’s no explaining it. It doesn’t go away. What IS that?  Do I smell like celery? ).

On the other hand, and a more cheerful note, the gardens are looking, embracing. The roses are exceptional, the poppies are doing their bursting forth thing, the vegetable garden (no celery) is performing moderately well and, eventually, I will feel that this, too, is an art-form and not just manual labor. In time, I will learn to see the art and aesthetics of what we’re doing here… time.