Thank you everyone for all the incredibly detailed, thoughtful, helpful replies. I will have to read back through this and take notes -- so much hard-won wisdom here.
I am humbled and inspired to hear all of the tremendous challenges that you all have faced and found ways to work around. Puts things in perspective.
One of the most helpful things one of my mentors once told me was "If it isn't working for the amount of time/energy/resources you are able to put into it, it's a design flaw, not a character flaw." It's so easy to pounce on ourselves with comparisons to what others are capable of or what we "should" be able to do. But really, our own unique selves are just as much a factor we must observe through the seasons and design around. Admire how so many of you have found ways to do that.
Seems the other key thing, whenever possible, is to not try to do it alone. I know for me, living in a small intentional community (currently 9 adults and 3 kids on our off-grid homestead) where I am appreciated for other aspects of who I am and ways I contribute besides how fast or hard I can work/how much I get done, our different strengths and interests can help balance each other out, and we can also support each other to an extent if someone is having an off day and make sure the essentials still happen. I honestly can't imagine trying to farm all on my own.
Blessings to all of you.
I wish I could give you all apples.
Four years ago I labeled myself an Unstoppable Farm Machine! Today, not so much.
Ryan, I believe the hardest part of living with chronic problems is explaining them to your provider. I got an MS diagnosed last year but the truth is I’ve had it for years. So when the doctor ask how my legs are I say “Good.” Definitely not good for someone else but good for me. I’m not trying to be misleading but that’s my gut response. I have found it very helpful to have my wife join me at my visits. She knows me better than anybody and can fill in the blanks when I say I’m doing fine. I don’t feel like I’m in denial about any of this but our norms are very different from others. I don’t feel like I’m different or suffering but she tells me that I may want to reconsider.
I also know the feeling of frustration. I have big plans and want to get things done. Even though everyone else is impressed I feel like a bum.
Take care brother. This thread has been a blessing to me.
Nothing makes sense until I venture outside
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