Friday, March 2, 2012

Changing Your Stars

I put on A Knight's Tale tonight because I wanted to jam out while I did the dishes.  I needed motivation.  While scrubbing, rinsing, and stacking, I started thinking hard about one of the lines from the movie:  "A man can always change his stars."

image from wikipedia

Can one really "change one's stars?"  Can a peasant become a knight?  Can a town/city girl become a farmer?  The more I think about it, it's not about changing your stars, it's about finding your own constellation.

I've always loved archaeology.  I enjoy exploring ancient civilizations and cultures and seriously thought I'd make a career out of it one day.  Still, the money in archaeology isn't quite family-friendly, and I have a family now.  That became a hobby.  I still love to break out my trusty trowel and go sifting, but, well, time is a problem.

I always did well in biology.  I understand genetics.  I bred parakeets for color for quite a few years.  They were cute, they were fun, they taught me a lot.  I think that now, I prefer chickens--they're cute, fun, they teach me a lot, AND they give me edible eggs in return for kitchen scraps.  Much easier and cheaper.  I love the fact that I haven't bought eggs at a store for 6 months.

When we moved out here to the farm, I developed some health problems.  With the health problems came depression--I felt like crap, I felt like I was isolated from almost everyone I knew, the kids were driving me bonkers, and I didn't know how to reach out and reconnect with adults.  I hit an all time low, even living the dream that I'd wanted for so long.  It was bad enough that a dear friend (Tracee, who came to stay with us for a while) got seriously worried.  She said if she didn't know me better, she'd swear I was on drugs (which I am definitely not)--I had lost about 30 lbs in a matter of months.  You should have seen her hovering over me like a mother hen, making sure I ate something.

I'm back on track now.  Yes, I'm still in size 6 jeans, and I rather like it (unless I put on an old pair and they sag down around my butt so I'm always hitching them up and trying to find a belt).  I eat until I'm full then stop.  Now I'm busier than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  Did I change my stars?  NO.  I just found my particular constellation.

It all started because I wanted to build a base to market my eggs and produce, and possibly get my childrens' books published.  I put myself out there and stepped up farther than I ever thought I could. 
Through blogging and writing my newspaper column, I've discovered my true niche.  My parents might be disappointed that I never graduated college, but they've been SO supportive of my writing.  Folks, every word you read here is catharsis for me.  I can get my feelings out, and that feels amazing.  Even being a horse addict and a crazy chicken lady is fulfilling.  Was this what I had planned?  NO.  Did I ever think I could have this or do this?  NO.

But just because I didn't think I could or would doesn't mean it wasn't written "in the stars."  If you look south to find Polaris (the North Star), you'll spend a lot of time, get frustrated, and never find true direction.  When you orient yourself to your own personal "true North" or find your own Big Dipper (aka Ursa Major) to point the way . . .you're not changing the stars, you're just finding yours.

The movie just got to the point where the chick demands that Sir William LOSE to prove his love for her.  This is my least favorite part--this, ladies, gives us a bad name.  This does NOT help anyone find our own constellations, it's just selfish pleasure.  Yeah, I know, it's a movie.  It's fiction.  But if any of you had ever seen a real joust (not just a ren-faire replication), you'd know what a load of crap that is.  Please, get killed to prove your love.  What a load of crap.  Folks, we need to ask ourselves:  How much of what I WANT is a load of crap?  Yeah, I'd like another tattoo.  I'd like to have someone put feathers in my hair (but now I can do it myself, heehee!)  What's better for me:  a Twinkie or a handful of dried tomatoes?  Would I rather pay for a tattoo or spend the same amount of money on seeds to grow that will keep my family in food for the winter?  What in my life amounts to a load of crap?

A load of crap is something that doesn't give something back.  My husband goes without saying.  He ROCKS.  My kids (trying as they can be sometimes) give awesome hugs.  Chickens aren't just fun and pretty, they're egg machines (and healthier eggs than you'll buy at the store), recyclers and fertilizers.  Horses aren't just fun to ride, they give me wonderful manure for my gardens--and replenish the soil.  Dogs give me snuggles, kisses, and alerts when there's a stranger around.  Cats (both indoor and outdoor) are there for scritches and they have done an excellent job of keeping mice, rats, and snakes away.  Heck, I'd be a load of crap too if I didn't figure out how to give something back--to my family, my friends, my critters, and my land. 

That's my constellation.  I'm not sure where to tell you where to look for the Fearless Farm Frau set of stars, but anyway, you shouldn't be looking for mine.  You should find YOURS.  You don't need to change your stars, you just need to find the ones that belong to you.  I wish you smooth star-sailing.

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