Friday, June 25, 2010

Doldrums in the Desert

Not the kind of doldrums you get along the equator on a boat - but the same effect as if you were sailing across it.  Dead still at a standstill.  The wind is howling here and before the wind came up, the sun was too hot.  I've been waiting all week to get the final coat of paint on the coop and put together the entrance door and mount it.  I tried getting out today to paint as soon as I got home from my ritual "half day Friday" and was fired up.  About 5 minutes into painting I noticed the paint in the tray was starting to curdle due to the heat.  Okay, I said, there must be some pieces of wood I have to cut?  I cut a while and then convinced myself I could probably paint the trim pieces.  I laid them out, and started brushing them and the wind was swirling dirt and debris all in and around.  I threw a little childhood tantrum no one could see, kicked some sand and admitted defeat for the day.  So, I'm at a standstill.  These are the days that try me the hardest.  I read a great blog entry a couple days ago by Jenna Woginrich where she described my and others' condition flawlessly as "Barnheart".  Although written with humor, there is a strong seriousness in her entry.  She describes Barnheart as:

"It’s a dreamer’s disease: a mix of hope, determination, and grit. Specifically targeted at those of us who wish to god we were outside with our flocks, feed bags, or harnesses and instead are sitting in front of computer screens. When a severe attack hits, it’s all you can do to sit still. The room gets smaller, your mind wanders, and you are overcome with the desire to be tagging cattle ears or feeding pigs instead of taking conference calls. People at the water cooler will stare if you say these things aloud. If this happens, just segue into sports and you’ll be fine."

So, I often get through my week waiting for my weekend projects such as painting the chicken coop, canning, reading up on homesteading and tending to my barely surviving desert garden.  When I get to my long awaited enterprise and I can't proceed,  I'm left with an uncomfortable stillness, void and space.  No, it's not chronic anxiety or depression - I'm a professional psychotherapist and know what that is - instead, it's the deep yearning and passion that won't stop touting its message.  That's okay - I listen to the message, but it's the days I'm prevented from feeling a bit closer to my future through my hands-on engagements when it gets unbearable. 

Today, I was driving home from work midday along a neighborhood road doing the speed limit.   A couple of young men in a truck were behind me and tailgating.  That in itself wasn't bothering me as I would be home in a few minutes.  Suddenly, a covey of Quail were crossing the road and I braked and turned toward the shoulder so I wouldn't hit them.  The men were incensed - waving their arms out their window, yelling, flipping me off and as they drove by me to pass yelled loud obscenities.  I just sank.  I really long to live in a small town where there is accountability, and therefore community.  I thought the High Desert would be a tight community, but people stay to themselves and at almost 10,000 people, there is really no accountability or closeness.  Too big for me.  Another stab in the heart and Barnheart got greater. 

So, it's a day of desert doldrums.  I'll take in what I can and listen to the emotional messages and hopefully use them to propel me forward toward my dream.  Although a day of frustration and discontent, I feel every discomfort is a message to be used towards growth.  My dream will come true.  And, it's days like this that solidify my quest.  Hopefully, tomorrow I'll get the chicken coop painted.


  1. You have to know I admire you for how you live your life & what you are working towards. I certainly understand your frustrations on many levels…I hope most of us do. Chin up & move forward as I’m sure you will.


  2. GR - thanks so much for the comment. It's sentiments such as yours that make it easier! Take care and thanks for reading.


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