It’s mid-mfckin August!!!! Fall is almost upon us.. It’s still hot during the day, but the evenings have been foreshadowing the upcoming journey to winter.
I can’t believe the summer is almost over. And not in the way where I can’t believe it because I don’t want it to be true, but more so in the way that I can’t believe I survived it all!
Between selling the home in Washington, purchasing the cabin in Tres Piedras, all the packing and selling and throwing away it took to get out of Spokane, the harrowing road trip to physically transport the remainder of my life multiple states away, and the immediate launch into necessary projects around the new Goat Outpost — all whilst trying to orient myself and my things into a much smaller living space — has left me feeling extremely overwhelmed.
Around the cabin, I have been experiencing some disillusionment with my progress in organizing my space, decorating, my significant lack of handyman skills or handyman, and the general disarray that has come with having many balls in the air at once.
The goat barn build has finally started, and until finished, the goats have been and will continue to be living in the atrium room of the cabin at night. The atrium currently has only a dirt floor, and I crate the boys at night to contain their bodily functions and general destruction; nevertheless, having goats indoors has certainly not helped to foster an overall feeling of order in our new life.
In this vein, I’ve received some external feedback that I’ve been a bit hard on my home: a reflection of myself. With several visiting parties, observation holds that I have consistently pointed out: 1. The Mess; 2. What projects still need to be done (a lot); and 3. The things I don’t like about the cabin/property that I want to change. It has been suggested that I might benefit from taking more of a gratitude-based approach to the current status of my home and life. Although this was hard to hear, I couldn’t agree more. So now, I have the blessing of adding this psycho-spiritual work to the to-do list!
In all seriousness, I couldn’t be more thankful to have people in my life who can perceive and respond to my inherent tendency to look at everything through a critical lens. Yes, I like to envision what could be better: for me, this is both a liberating and a creative act. At the same time, I understand how this could translate as a lack of gratitude, and that focusing on improvements really can be a total distraction from appreciating what is good in the present moment.
I also have to acknowledge that much of my self-critique comes from a feeling of external necessity. Understanding how my lack of steady and socially-conforming employment might cause some to perceive me as lazy, spoiled, etc., I fear the judgements of others. I am therefore quick to criticize myself and my various (unpaid yet still quite intensive) labor harshly, before anyone else can. At least if I recognize my own lack of achievement, I can’t be caught off-guard by a snide remark or an unfavorable review.
So in making disparaging remarks about my home, I’ve been told, I am looking for assurances from others. And valuing myself and my work is not the responsibility of others; it is primarily the responsibility of myself.
Therefore, I thought it might be nice to compile a list of all the things I’ve achieved this summer, in one place. I’m hoping this will help me recognize the worth of my own efforts — and, of course, dispel rumors that I am sitting around in hammocks smoking weed all day every day (I do this of course, but truthfully in fair moderation).
So, here’s the rundown of what I’ve tackled in the ~3 months since I closed on and arrived at The Little Goat Outpost in Tres Piedras:
- Unloaded + unpacked all belongings
- Completed construction of 5-ft tall, roughly 600 sq. ft outdoor enclosure for the goat boys
- Completed tree trimming + mulching of 1.25 acre lot
- Completed interior staining + trimming on cabin
- Contracted with local woodworker for fall kitchen renovation project
- Ordered new kitchen window
- Completed total interior repaint
- Removed or replaced all ugly light fixtures
- Hung about ½ the art
- Created workable makeshift sleep space for goats in sun room
- Fixed gutters
- Organized shed
- Sold Scamp camper trailer
- Designed barn build plan and contracted with neighbor to complete project
- Installed new rain shower head
- Purchased sandstone + completed outdoor patio
- Applied for an internet quote for the cabin (!)
- Started cooking regularly and learning to make new meals
- Started writing a children’s book
- Completed design and creation of new brand assets for Tres Piedras Social Club, and finally,
- Secured an upcoming, paid, and extremely flexible j-o-b!
Unfortunately, capitalism doesn’t validate the psycho-social-spiritual endeavors as valuable work. But everything we do takes energy, and expending energy is work!
With this perspective in mind, some of the most important labor I’ve done this summer has involved hosting ~20 personal guests at my new property, meeting and befriending a majority of my neighbors, and exploring the Tres Piedras/Taos County/Carson National Forest areas: including hiking peaks, driving forest roads, visiting undeveloped hot springs, capturing photographs, visiting sand dunes, mountain biking, camping out, and showing friends around.
I receive so much positive feedback on my ability to nurture and grow relationships, and I believe that this is truly my gift! Sometimes, I think that it would be nice if I could receive monetary compensation for this: because putting people up in your home, making them feel physically and emotionally comfortable and safe, and taking them on epic adventures, can be a lot of work! But the dearth of deep, loyal, and mutually empowering relationships I have cultivated is far more valuable to me than money. I am just thankful that I am privileged with this luxury.
To all ya’ll out there who are hard on yourselves — be nice! You deserve it!
Til next time,
David Cashman says
You don’t need me to tell you you’re a fine writer, and I really enjoy these updates on your adventure. You’ve accomplished a lot in a short time, and it’s clear you’re working on a vision that goes back to before you made the change to NM. I’m sorry that you have times when you feel like you’re falling short or spread too thin. It’s familiar territory to all your readers, I’m sure. Does it help that, when you’re engaged, when you’re actually at work, that your mind doesn’t have as big an opportunity to dwell on the negatives? Meanwhile, best wishes!
Tanya Savas says
Thanks Mr. Cashman — yes, it absolutely helps when I’m physically or mentally engaged in working on something!! Hey, I’m not sure if you know this, but I actually edited a business consulting book called “Evergreen Talent” that was published last year! Now, I’m working on editing a children’s book! I love the editing work, and have been enjoying working on my own writing, as well. I think I’d like to do a low-res MFA in creative nonfiction, at some point. I’ve been considering the program at Naropa.
The physical endeavors are great, too. They really take you out of it! Once fall is in full swing, it will be easier to do the yard work that needs to be done. Right now in the mid-80s and 90s temperature-wise, I struggle a little with tackling the outdoor labor. Best wishes to you, too!