Friday, March 1, 2013

You Do Too Much

You do too much. I am told this all the time. I am told I have too many hobbies, too many obligations, too many animals holding me down on this farm. Sometimes I believe them. Sometimes I think about quitting TKD, selling animals, throwing in the falconry towel, and just keeping a few chickens and some raised beds with a couple or three sheep. Life would be easier. They are right.

And I would be miserable.

I do what I do because it is what fills my mind, body, and spirit. I live in this frenzy of activity not as a victim but as a celebrant. It's important not to compare your life to others, something all of us do (me too), but important to be mindful we shouldn't. What is too much to me may be not enough for someone else. What is too much for another person might make me run into walls just to hear my heart beat from sheer boredom. Comparing yourself to others is a trap. Don't do it.

Some days like today are overwhelming, and scary and those words "too much" become ghosts. They keep me up at night. But every morning I know what I am capable of, and what this farm stands for. What feels like fear today is inspiration tomorrow and nostalgia around the fireside in a season. I'll figure out the mortgage, the freelance, the bills, the manuscripts and the workshops. I'll deliver the kids and the lambs. I know bright spring is just around the corner....Yet it's this in-between time that makes me jumpy and makes me doubt myself. It's not what I have taken on that scares me, it's that I'm not doing enough. Not doing enough to make this farm work, to make myself healthy, to make mistakes disappear.

You know what I think? I think wasted potential is a lot scarier than feeling overwhelmed. There is no monster greater than regret. I wouldn't wish it on any one.

Yes, I do too much. It's what I do.


Blogger Melissa said...

Yes, you do "do too much". Now I have to go set up my rabbit cages for my new rabbits that I am getting tomorrow and finish the quilt that I am making. As soon as the weather breaks I have to get my hive equipment ready for the 5 new packages of bees that will be here in 4 to 5 weeks. Looking for a place to lease so I can have a bigger garden this year and get broiler and laying hens. Partly thanks to YOU, I am doing too much too. Hope everyone else is with us.

March 1, 2013 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Jenna, you have just explained clearly to me what has been troubling - believing my children 'do too much' - to their detriment - take on too many activities. Now I see why they do what they do and it is a happy understanding. Thanks.

March 1, 2013 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sometimes it's easy to sucked into those comparisons. While kids need "down time" to be kids and not be so over-scheduled (IMO), adults hopefully love to do what they do. If it brings you joy, then it's worth it. If it's a drudge, and exhausting and you're burning out, cut back. It all depends...

March 1, 2013 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Beth said...


March 1, 2013 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger SHJeffers said...

Abso-freaking-lutely! You're awesome, and that's just their fear talking.

March 1, 2013 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sheesh, anyone who has listened to you for more than a week knows that you know yourself very well, do what you want, and admit when you need to change, made a poor choice, etc. You allowed a dog and a goat to go to homes that were more appropriate for them. You skipped a day at a fair which could have brought you opportunity in order to get home and care for your animals. Just because one person can't do what you do doesn't make it impossible.

(And, geez, I sound like a stalker I prefer the term "blog follower".)

March 1, 2013 at 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone else who does too much and who often feels like she isn't doing enough because there's just so much out there, I completely agree. There are moments when things are hard, sure, but better to try things, see what happens, and find out what works for you.

March 1, 2013 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

This is the quote I think about when others tell me I'm doing too much:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Henry David Thoreau

I first came across this quote when I was 19. A few months later I moved to Alaska, knowing no one and never having been there before. I don't remember ever being so apprehensive as I was when I boarded that plane with a one way ticket.

That quote means something different to me today. But it started me on the journey to where I am today. And when others tell me "you do too much" I think to myself, "at least when I die I'll know that I have truly lived."

March 1, 2013 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger Thistledog said...

Amen, sister. Me too, and for all the same reasons, with all the same scariness, and all the blessings that go with it. Rock on, Jenna!

March 1, 2013 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

BTDT - got the T-shirt....If I had a dime for every time I heard those words, I wouldn't have to work six jobs. It is what I am. And I know it is what you are. And I'm really, really happy. So, let them say what they want. You seem really happy too! And I think a lot of your readers are the same way!!

As Beth said above - AMEN!

March 1, 2013 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

But what you do makes you happy! Your heart and soul are full. :) Empty? Restless? Bored? Who wants those things. And you're right. Regret is toxic. There's no going back. You have a beautiful life you love. That's the best feeling ever. Even when you're exhausted after doing too much!

March 1, 2013 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I really dislike it when people say things like that. It is rude...only you are able what is right for you. You have good friends who will help you in an emergency, as you will help them.

March 1, 2013 at 11:05 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

I've always just thought that you really know how to LIVE! No one can do too much of that ;)

March 2, 2013 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

Do what you love, take care of yourself and the ones you love and last but not least don't be afraid to make mistakes. Words you most certainly have taken to heart and I hope I can say the same of my life.

March 2, 2013 at 4:19 AM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Better to be "doing too much" things you want to do than crap you hate doing.

March 2, 2013 at 5:08 AM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

If it makes you unhappy, you do too much.

If it makes others feel so inadequate they have to tell you this to make themselves feel better, maybe they don't do enough.

You're happy and fulfilled. You're doing it just right.

March 2, 2013 at 5:50 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Spot on! Only you can be the judge of when you're doing too much. As long as you love what you're doing, it's never too much. Unless it's eating chocolate. No, never mind-that's not right. :)

March 2, 2013 at 6:08 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

If you are happy with what others feel is too much, so be it! My friends say similar things when I decline a day of shopping to work in the garden or clean the coop. I get twitchy on shopping trips, because I feel like I'm wasting time that could be spent on more productive planning the bee hives. And my money could be better spent...on lumber, broiler chicks and seeds!!

March 2, 2013 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

If you are happy with what others feel is too much, so be it! My friends say similar things when I decline a day of shopping to work in the garden or clean the coop. I get twitchy on shopping trips, because I feel like I'm wasting time that could be spent on more productive planning the bee hives. And my money could be better spent...on lumber, broiler chicks and seeds!!

March 2, 2013 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Patti said...

Everyone is different. I would be so unhappy with so many things that I need to do. We've both structured our lives to make ourselves happy. That is the important thing. I can't wait to see what new animals, hobbies, sports, books and blogs you'll get/do this year. I'll read about them as I have my morning coffee or afternoon tea (following my afternoon nap). Happy March :)

March 2, 2013 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger just.a.girl said...

I can not get over how in synch your writing is with what's on my mind. I read your comments and have the urge to yell, "hell yah". You write from your heart and I think that is why so many feel a connection to you. In our own hearts we too are dreamers and you poetically give our thoughts a voice. Thank you. As winter seems to hang on here in central Wisconsin, with an icey grip, I keep reminding myself it will melt and I will be free.

March 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Perhaps you are doing too much for them, not for you. I believe that you know your limits and will not push yourself to excess. You put yourself out there and we as dedicated readers feel the need to comment because some of us are lacking in our own lives and feel the need to make ourselves feel better by downing on you. No worries, keep on doing what you do. As my daughter says, they are bucket spillers. Keep your bucket as full as you want it. Anyway, it's all in the name of research!

March 2, 2013 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger 3 Dogs Barking Farms said...

if it feels right then it is right.

March 2, 2013 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Jenna, sweets, I have always thought you wise beyond your years. You have an old soul, and I value your wisdom in my life greatly. - Diana Carlin

March 2, 2013 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Oh goodness I echo this post! I am also A Do Too Much and it IS what I do, what I am! its ME!

Sometimes people voice what is in THEIR hearts, they voice concern over something they wish they were doing.I can accept thats a figuring things out process for THEM, it doesnt mean that their comments are actually how it is with me, does that make sense?

My beloved says at least once a week, you never sit still do you.Nope I laugh and wave an arm around, because look, all this needs doing! Doing is a joy, not always a chore. And I believe anyone that has a love of reading will always have a little slot in their day,even if its at the days end when they 'still' themselves.

Go with it. We are the people that change things.
GTM x x x

March 3, 2013 at 6:39 AM  
Blogger just.a.girl said...

Jenna your an inspiration. Every morning I usually make my two children breakfast and sometimes my husband as well. On the weekends we sometimes eat breakfast together, but for the most part we take breakfast one by one. Sometimes I cook myself something during this time but more often than not I am getting ready for work myself while I'm cooking. Mix up some pancakes, through a load of wash in, pack my lunch, take a drink of juice, flip the pancakes, inspect my clothes for pet hair (damn there is too much of it), serve the pancakes etc. you get the picture. Anyway I wanted to tell you today I made myself breakfast. Bacon, hashbrowns and an egg. The potatoes from my garden are long gone and my eggs are store bought, but spring is on the way. I'm trying my hand at chickens (thank you for the encouragement) and I'm planting potatoes in two cycles to hopefully make my supply last longer. As I cooked I dreamed of my garden, smiled, and thought of you and your readers out there all "doing too much" like me. We got to stick togther.

March 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Lindy and Paul said...

You explained this very well, not that you have to justify it, but self-reflection is a healthy thing from time to time.... As long as you are not neglecting those in your care (including yourself), how can it be too much if you are happy?! I have heard the same thing... And have had to adjust for family needs to be the priority, or when the number of critters or hobbies or whatever don't make sense....that comes with experience. Don't you sometimes wonder how some people lead dull lives, lol?!!!

March 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM  

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