Tag Archives: worry

Worrying about the future

This morning for the first time I went back to bed after taking the chickens outside (they’re still staying in a cardboard box in the house overnight). I wished I could have slept right through instead.

I started worrying. The chickens will need to be let out of their chook house every morning – early in the morning, every morning. And they’ll need to be shut in every night. Their pen will need to be moved around the backyard every day, and maybe more often than that. Every morning, every night, every day, for years.

Every day! Even the days when it’s raining after it’s already been raining for a week and is expected to go on raining for a week more. There won’t be room for an umbrella in the chook pen; even if there was, I’d need both hands free to move the pen.

And how will I move the chook house inside the pen while the chickens are also inside the pen? When the house is rolling, I probably won’t be able to see where the chickens are. They might get crushed.

And what if one of the chickens is a rooster, as I suspect. What will I do? I don’t want to do anything, I don’t want to split them up, but I can’t take a rooster into a backyard pen. How could I find him another home when he’s not even mine to give away, and I don’t know what breed he is? Would I have to kill him? If so, how? It would be cruel to do anything at all, and I don’t want to have to.

And what if I do take the chickens to a new home and backyard, but then I get sick? What if I want to go away, or can’t get home, and there’s no one to let the chickens in or out of their house, or clean their water dishes, or make sure they’ve got water and food? Will I suddenly feel free to ask neighbours for help? Will I trust anyone enough to believe they’d look after the chickens properly? What if I don’t know anyone and don’t ask anyone and then die: who would find the chickens and rescue them?

Should I try to make the chickens go home to the neighbours’ place now, instead, before this goes any further, before I sink any more money and time into the pen, before I sign up to a future that possibly every morning I’m not going to want?

…But then I go outside and the chickens run over to stand near my feet – they run over, helter-skelter, waddling as fast as their fat little bodies can take them. They’re probably hoping for some grain or bread, but also I think they just feel a bit safer when I’m around. I stand there like a tree and watch them and listen to their squeaky peep-peeping voices and feel the sun on my head. When that happens – when everything seems right with the world – it feels like I’m doing the right thing.

It’s good to be a tree for little chickens. There’s nothing better. I’d make a great tree. I could probably live happily as a tree for centuries.

I need more sleep. I don’t want the future. I like the chickens.

Even if I owned some land and had unlimited money to build whatever chook structures and pens I could dream up, I still wouldn’t know what to do about the chickens right now. Because that’s how it is, probably. It’s complicated. Life is complicated. Everything is complicated. I wish it wasn’t, and it is.


All day I go around writing blog posts in my head, taking photos, thinking about things I should record, and then at night I get back to the computer and don’t write them. It feels like too much effort and I’m tired.

But I should make that effort more often than I’m currently doing. It’s good to read the posts afterwards and to see the photos, and the process of assembling a post helps me step out of my head and become more sensible.

The sensible part of me. What a wankery thing to say. But there is a sensible part of me, and it re-emerges when I calm down and look at things slowly, one step at a time – as is necessary when writing things down.

Calm down.
This is not a crisis.
One step. Next step. Next step.

That’s the benefit of writing things down and reading them over. I can start to look at what’s happening from another point of view. Slowly.

Anyway: I’m sitting here writing a blog post this morning because I can’t get the water pump to move water from the tank to the house, and I was starting to get frazzled trying.

The water has been fine for a few weeks, and it only started stopping again on Saturday, just when the weather started getting hot and humid. It’s a hot and humid day already today, Monday, 08:30, and I’ve been standing in the sun out at the pump, sweating, trying to get the water working again, and it wasn’t happening.

So, I’m taking a break. Being sensible. One step at a time, and a cup of tea. (There’s water on hand in old Berri ‘Apple Mango Banana’ juice bottles – the best juice in the land. I ran out of the juice weeks ago, but the bottles just go on and on.)

I expect the water supply will be fixable again when I go back to it; that’s the way it usually goes. There’s nothing wrong with the pump itself, it just needs to build up pressure long enough to lift the water out of the tank, then things will be fine. Usually it just takes ten or fifteen minutes of fiddling about and it starts again. I don’t know why that hasn’t worked today. That’s basically the way it went yesterday, three times. And three times the day before.

The problem is the foot valve. Weeks ago when I said I was going to go to town and buy a new one, I fixed the old one instead – by trying to fix the faulty washer and then discovering that if I just removed the washer, the valve would work, which made me laugh. What’s the point of the washer if the valve works better without it? I have no idea. But maybe there’s a condition when the washer is needed; maybe that condition kicks in when the weather gets hot.

I’ll buy a new valve as soon as I get to a suitable shop, but that won’t be today. Today I have to finish the mowing down the road, because last week the ground was still too wet, and twice, on two separate days, the mower nearly got stuck in mud. Half the property is still unmowed, and by now the grass will probably be knee-high.

I was thinking about this while trying to fix the water problems here at the house, standing at the pump feeling increasingly panicked about all the things I’ve been meaning to do and haven’t, all the things I have to do and don’t want to do, all the things, all the things.

That wasn’t helping. So, here I am in front of a blog post, thinking slowly.

One step. Next step. Next step.

Now it’s 09:30, and I’m de-frazzled and cool and ready to go back out there again, into the day. Thank you, WordPress! Thank you, Berri bottles of water! Thank you, Dilmah tea! And a good day to you, Reader. Let’s be careful out there. (Am I quoting ‘Hill Street Blues’ now? Probably. I’m the only person in the entire universe who’s old enough to remember that show.)

Hot day, storms, sky

Yesterday was a hellishly hot day. Then, in the afternoon, two half-hearted storms blew through – the second of which looked like it might be quite dramatic:

dark clouds rolling over a house and trees

storm clouds high above trees

But the storm was pretty non-eventful: hardly any lightning, hardly any thunder, and just a tiny drop of rain (2mm).

After that, it suddenly got humid. And then the lowest rainbow I’ve ever seen appeared in the eastern valley. It’s hard to see in the photo, but really, it was there! The top appears at the same level as the top of the far hill (and what you can’t see is that the valley extends quite a long way below the foreground paddock):

a shallow rainbow over the valley

By the time the sun was going down, the clouds were really beautiful:

sky and clouds

And that made me sad, stupidly. Whenever I know something is going to end I get sad before it happens, as though it’s going to innoculate me for later.

I love the sky when it’s like this. I love being able to wander around outside and stare up and stare up and stare up like an idiot. Doing that yesterday just reminded me that when I move from the farm I’ll probably need to live in a town, and that will mean being surrounded by houses and walls and fences and roads and structures and buildings and people. I won’t be able to wander around outside any more without feeling that I might be observed, and when that happens I may as well just stay inside. I can’t get outside myself when there are other people around. And it won’t be my sky any more; it’ll be theirs.

I’m going to miss the sky more than anything. And I don’t want to go.

sky and clouds

sky and clouds

sky and clouds

Rise and shine a light on those worries

Woke up at 05:00 because of a headache. I took some tablets and then couldn’t go back to sleep, worried the tablets wouldn’t kick in, and wondering how I’m ever going to handle working for someone else again. If it was now, would I take a day off sick, rendered stupid by calmative headache tablets? How would I get to and from work if I couldn’t drive? What if the headache came back during the day and it was the sort of job involving customer service and I ended up puking? What if the business only had a few employees and couldn’t stay open unless I was working? What if all this happened in my first week of work?

The tablets took 40 minutes to start working. Then the sun came up, about 05:55 – which is nice to know; lately I’d been wondering how early it was now.

And I’ve already been through my feed-reader’s overnight updates and it’s not even 07:00 yet.