***This was a post written while we were still living in Nevada, however I really feel like this is relevant.***
Raise your hand if you're on Pinterest! Lord knows I am, religiously even. And how many of us have seen the beautiful pictures of well-manicured farm yards with not a crumb or piece of straw out of place? Please tell me you know that's a joke, and not how real life works...
Beautiful fields full of lush green plants. Perfectly clean animal pens with perfectly clean animals. Well-manicured lawns with lines in the grass like a golf course. Kitchens with not a dirty dish in the sink. Flowerbeds with not a single weed. Rubber boots that shine in the sunlight. Jeans without holes and shirts without spots. For some people out there, things like this *might* be possible (I'm going to really emphasize the MIGHT there). However, for us, there are only so many hours in the day, and we have things to do and only so many hours to do them in.
The pictures here, are of my "garden," and I'm going to use that word loosely in this instance. Less than 5 days before these pictures were taken Mr. Smivie and I were in there with weed whackers and a push mower, plus I weeded out every single one of my beds. After some rain, I have weeds once again taller than I am, thank you Southern Nevada desert and the fact that a drop of water can make a hell of a mess. Our onions, garlic, sweet peas, kale, and other veggies are doing fantastic (from what I can see anyway). But good Lord you can't even find the beds some days!
Two of our three pigs live in a pen, which I clean on a regular basis, but they're pigs. There's gonna be a smell. Our chicken coop gets cleaned religiously, but once it starts warming up, there's gonna be a little bit of a smell here too. There are dirty dishes in our sink as I type, and a pile of laundry waiting to be folded in the bedroom. There are piles of lumber we just can't make ourselves part with, because you never know when you just may need that 4 ft section of 2x6. There are empty feed sacks in the bottom of the cans we keep feed in that just haven't made it to the dumpster yet. My jeans have holes I haven't had time to patch, and most of the shirts I do chores in have stains on them from only who knows where.
So, what's my point? No, I'm not trying to tell you how messy we are, or how much I hate doing housework (even though I really do, but mainly because there aren't enough hours in the day). My point is this, and it's something I feel really strong about. Life in itself is messy. When you're raising animals, there's messes. There's bedding, and feed, and waterers, and poop (good gravy is there poop), and there's going to be deaths and illnesses and injuries. There's going to be things that are just going to have to wait for another day because something more pressing is needing to be done right now. There's always going to be a few weeds in the mix, because it's just not always going to be sunshine and rainbows.
Don't look at these beautiful pictures you find on the internet of "perfect" and think you're failing because your version of perfect isn't exactly like someone else's. Don't look around your property and stress yourself out because it just doesn't look the way you expect it to. You're not as far along as you want to be, you haven't mastered that skill perfectly yet, or you're still trying to figure out your YOU. A life like this requires a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day there's only so much you can do at a time. It's not always going to be perfect, but that's not the end of the world. Your life is real, your animals are real, your gardens are real, and it's not all staged for these pretty pictures. Take what you can in stride. Do the best you possibly can for yourself, your family, your animals, and we'll call that a win. A simple life is an ever-learning experience, an ever growing experience, and always a work in progress. Our objective here, isn't keeping up with the Jones' remember (who would have a coronary if they saw the state of our side yard full of random materials right now)? Instead, our objective is doing what makes YOU happy and finding your own little version of happy in this crazy ass world.
So go out there, man your shovels with a smile. Do as much as you can. Give the Jones' the finger (unless your last name or your friend's last name is Jones than I don't mean it I swear)! And get to gettin' on! There's always going to be another day, there's always going to be more dishes or laundry, and Lord knows there's always going to be more POOP.