Ugh: something else to can. The plums are ripe.
I got an email from a friend recently. He’d started reading this blog and was letting me know he liked it. He said something that made me pause, though. He pointed out I don’t do much complaining about this life.
I was puzzled by this. I have chosen this life, we have chosen this life. How in the world could I complain about it? Yes it’s lots of work to be a subsistence farmer, or a subsistence gardener-slash-bird rancher, or whatever little pigeonhole you wish to stick me in as someone who raises 95% of what she eats. Yes I do work for a living, putting in my 40-50 hours a week, mostly working from home. Yes I do cook from scratch, relying only rarely on the occasional bag of pasta. Yes to the laundry on the line, yes to the nightly canning sessions, yes to the mornings pulling a weed or two. Yes to parenting, that full-time job.
So much of this life of ours is one based upon complaining. Yes, I do readily complain about the not-terribly-smart man occupying the White House, and yes, I do think we’ve soiled our planet beyond easy repair with a lifestyle based upon buying things. Yes, I do wish for certain things, like world peace and marital peace. But when has complaining really done any good? I suppose it acts as a social lubricant: by complaining about how horrible my child or my husband is, I have truck with all the other whining mothers out there. But here’s my point: didn’t you plan to have that child, didn’t you marry that man on purpose? Why complain?
Maybe it’s not complaining that I am getting to: maybe it’s follow through, it’s the consequences of your actions. Yes, moving from the city and taking up with 5 acres of land meant I would be outside a lot more than I had been. That was the point! And unplugging the dryer does mean it will take longer to dry the clothes, and yes, as my neighbor claims, one quick way to make it rain is to have El hang out her laundry. And children are work, whether you have one or a dozen. So are husbands, not that I would want a dozen of those.
I guess what I am saying in this long-winded whining-about-not-whining thing is this: if you live to your ideals, you’ve got no right to complain.