Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Spilled Milk

The tow truck arrived around noon and left with my pickup. I am crossing my fingers that the repairs are simple, cheap, and fast. It's a prayer I'm sure many 1989 F150 owners have made before, but a girl can hope luck is on her side, can't she?

Big Red hasn't started since before New Years and I am hoping to both get it fixed and home soon. Not having a truck in winter is tough. Good friends like Patty Wesner make it easier, though. She delivered hay this weekend and let me pay for it through paypal (making the trip into town for an ATM not needed). She came by again yesterday and took me into town. I was able to buy feed, some provisions, and the kind of simple comforts that make life easier when you wake up to a 39-degree house. Half and Half, for example...

I can drink my coffee black and will say thank you if you hand me a cup of such—but in these cold months with rough work outdoors—I want creamy coffee. I want my coffee to become soup, frankly, and that elixir of morning caffeine and heat is rocket fuel for this farm. I had been without it a few days and missed it so. In town I bought a whole quart.

This morning I had been franticly working to catch up on work from feeling ill over the weekend. Emails from several logo clients and my part time job were swallowing my sanity whole. The house felt cold, even after hours of fire from the -4 degree morning. The place was silent. No music was playing. Did I live in a friggin' morgue? I was about to put on a new record but instead went to the kitchen to get more coffee. It would aid in my music selection to have that hot mug in my hand. Strolling into the kitchen, I saw that my cats had jumped on the counter and spilled half and half, the entire quart, all over my counter and the paperwork and files beside it. There was no way to go pick up more. I sure as hell wasn't going to put out a distress call for creamer either. I called the cats many horrible things through gritted teeth as I scrubbed. I meant them.

Part of being a woman is dealing with hormones on the lam once a month, and that was also adding to the day's stress. The ladies out there will understand why I held it together just fine as the tow truck left with my only vehicle and then cried over discovering the milk. Yes, I actually cried over spilled milk.

For, like maybe, one minute.

I snapped out of it, fast. It was ridiculous. I cleaned up the mess and threw the spoiled design sketches in the trash and started pulling it together. Within minutes I took some deep breaths, changed into a heavier sweater, put a record on, gave the cats the finger and enjoyed a cup of black fucking coffee. I felt better pretty soon. These things were not real problems. I have real problems, I know.

My emotions don't get to choose what happens to me. I choose how I happen to my emotions.  I can't relate to people who are constantly reacting instead of acting.  I would have crumpled into a wretched ball of nerves and failure long ago if I let that happen. Sure, I have some fleeting moments like the aforementioned milkisode, but there would be no Cold Antler if I punched under water like that for long.  If you want to run a farm, or just run your own life, you need to be the boss and not a victim of your feelings. That is what children do. That is what a tantrum is. If you haven't figured that out yet, get it together.

If you are the kind of person who lets emotions drive the car while you're in the passenger seat with handcuffs and a blindfold, you need to grab the wheel. That is a recipe for disastrous relationships and unfair burdens on friends and family. People will not put up with it. Those who do, will resent it.

Listen, I'm guilty of feeling sad, angry, depressed, and scared as much as anyone but I refuse to wallow in those feelings or allow them to get in the way of real work or my self respect. If you're sad, upset, angry... it's your own job to change those feelings and become a productive human being again.  Don't know how? Do what I do. Start controlling the situation starting with your own breath. Tell yourself to get it together and take the wheel. Change your actual surroundings with music, comforts, walking your dog, going for a run, dancing in the living room, putting in the Pitch Perfect DVD for the 67th time. Whatever it takes to force a change in mood. If you don't all you do is push that responsibility onto other people or consumptions. Asking human beings or a dozen donuts or a bottle of wine to make it all better, fix things, take the blame, point fingers... Or you can just clean up the milk and get back to work with some good music and Brittany Snow. Works for me!

So I am back to work now. Getting this post out about milk and then heading outside to check on the animals. Water is freezing fast, firewood is burning fast, too. I still have a long day ahead of office work but it will get done. When it is done I will know that instead of feeling defeated by a busted up truck and black coffee, I fought it instead. I did the work despite bullshit and hormones. I sent out the emails, the hours, the projects and the bags of grain. Before dark everything with feathers, hooves, paws and credit scores will be sated. I will pour myself a stiff drink and know I have won.

And I'll watch Pitch Perfect for the 68th Time. I haven't seen it more times than Braveheart, yet, but by summer we'll have a horse race.


Blogger aart said...

Good post.
A good cry can be a great tool to dull the sharp points off the hormone highs, and lows.
It actually can change the chemistry of how they affect your brain....
...but of course, like any other coping mechanism, overindulging can be detrimental in the long run. BTDT, don't miss it. Onward, thru the fogs!

January 5, 2016 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger rebecca allers said...

Good for you, Jenna. I'm sorry things are crazy hard right now, but your attitude could not be better. I hope you have an upswing soon!

January 5, 2016 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Jenna, Oh yeah...I get it...that last nerve is standing on end! It is just like falling off a horse...get up, brush off the dirt....and get right back on. It is just what living is, and you know how to care for yourself. I hope that the truck comes back soon, and with only a small bill.

January 5, 2016 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger T. Crockett said...

I think you could use this anthem about now. Fight Song played by the Piano Guys with gorgeous Scotland (and bagpipers) as backdrop.


January 6, 2016 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

"I can't relate to people who are constantly reacting instead of acting."

Last night, I was telling someone that I couldn't relate to the main character in a very trendy book because she was too pathetic. I don't relate well to pathetic people. Your way of saying it is much nicer. I really don't relate well to myself when I'm the one being pathetic - the inner critic being far more harsh. But I'm kind of glad for it - it keeps me moving, gets things done. Sometimes we need to be assholes (to ourselves). Sometimes cats are assholes. Sometimes we need a two minute cry to hit the reset button. Sometimes cats are still assholes.

We are complex creatures. Balance in all things. Good luck with the truck.

January 6, 2016 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

Thank you Jenna. Just wanted to thank you for helping me get through my day. That post was awesome.
Blessings to you.

January 6, 2016 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger hart said...

I watch this guy on his Cyr wheel to 'Turn My ship Around' when I need a boost.--hart

January 6, 2016 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

*Fist pump!*

January 6, 2016 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You really rung a bell with me on this one. I admire what you do and your writings.

January 10, 2016 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger NVMS 6th Grade said...

Just so you know...when we get back in town cream for your coffee is just across the road whenever you need. Linda

January 12, 2016 at 11:11 AM  

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