A couple of days ago I made a successful batch of lavender-honey-oatmeal soap, and it turned out great.
I am not writing this to boast, instead I am telling you this because I am actually pretty amazed. I make soap. I am a soap-maker. I am also a beekeeper, writer, and, somehow, have become a go to person in our community for advice on raising chickens.
People ask me all the time, "How do you do all this all with four kids?
I know sometimes some people may think that people like me have it all together all of the time. That my days flow seamlessly with happy children in tow as I craft my utopian life and effortlessly produce homegrown meals, soap and cheese, and knit my children underwear.
You may feel judged or inadequate, just as I sometimes do, looking at other peoples' blogs and snapshots of sugar-coated lives.
I want to remind you of a little secret.
No one is perfect. No one.
Do you want to know how I do this? Well here are my answers:
::I make time::
The truth is I just really want to do all this stuff. Whether it is tending to bees, chickens, making soap, writing, getting outdoors with my kids, whatever I happen to be doing, I just act on it. I love to learn, and I try to make mindful choices of how I use my time.
::I make mistakes:
I have baked many bricks of bread and failed lots of recipes. Many of my many well thought-out lessons and activities both at home and at school have absolutely flopped. I have received several hard rejections with my writing and I admit that I loose my patience, yell, and cry.
::I work hard::
This house in which I live did not build itself. My husband and I built it with our own hands! We have been very lucky and blessed as a family, but we have also worked our tails off in the process. Making conscious choices on what and where we spend our money and we make a lot of compromises.
I also work hard to learn from my mistakes. If there is something I really want to do, I work hard to stick with it. I have found that more often than not, from every failed attempt, there is something of value to take away.
::I am real::
If you really know me you know I have no super powers. This lifestyle and all of these extra-curriculars are healthy creative outlets for me.
Some mom's do drugs, I make soap.
Most everything I do helps me stay balanced and connected - and also brings me joy.
We work to incorporate elements of simplicity into the life of our family. But we also buy and eat store-bought cookies and macaroni and cheese, and I do not knit my children underwear.
One thing that I know for sure is that I love to learn. The more I learn the more I want to know, and the more I know, the more I to want to learn.
And that is how I got to the place I am right now in my life. A soap-maker, mama, beekeeper, chicken-tender, kindergarten teacher with high hopes to inspire others to live their best lives.
I welcome you to tag along on this journey.