So I made an Instagram post a few days ago that seemed to prompt questions about how I do all I do and why I do all of the farm stuff by myself..... I realized maybe some public explanation would be helpful for folks that may not have kept up with the ol' blog.
I have often joked that I feel like I have a souped up and perfected form of ADD where I can start a million things at once but because I also have the souped up version of OCD and am able to complete them all to keep my sanity. I swear I mean no offense to those that truly struggle with these debilitating disorders, I’ve just never been able to explain to others how I actually do get it all done. I’m a very meticulous planner, which makes me great at time management. Each day I wake up, I plan what I am going to be doing after work that day. For example yesterday I was planning on cutting 1/4 of our land, but we had a real gully washer, so indulged in my favorite guilty pleasure - watching The Real Housewives of NYC bahahahaha! I never get upset when things don’t work out because of something I can’t control like the weather, but had it been a human created speedbump, and I’d be a little upset.
Well, last weekend while soaking in a long, hot bath, I decided to take an enneagram test. I am an Eight. This explains a LOT. Eights are strong willed, hard headed, and super independent. They want to prove to others how so very independent they are. This is their protection - they can do anything at all and never need another person to help them achieve it. They call Eights "The Challengers". At first glance, it isn't desirable at all to be an Eight... Basically this just confirms that I am a control freak. Waaaaaay back 20+ years ago when Christian and I were still newly dating, I told him that one day I was gonna have a farm. Now my version that I spoke of back then is slightly different in that I told him I wanted a farm with a blonde cow and an elephant….. I was 23, tee hee. Twelve years later I rescued my first goats. Three years after that I bought this farm. Literally I am such an Eight, only my name is on the deed.
“Eights are the true “rugged individualists” of the Enneagram. More than any other type, they stand alone. They want to be independent, and resist being indebted to anyone. They often refuse to “give in” to social convention, and they can defy fear, shame, and concern about the consequences of their actions. Although they are usually aware of what people think of them, they do not let the opinions of others sway them. They go about their business with a steely determination that can be awe inspiring, even intimidating to others."
I also realize that it takes a really special person to do life with me, and Christian has managed to stick around 22 years.... He has allowed me to be me - to grow and relish in the gratification of being in a position to be completely independent if I ever want to be, yet he knows my heart well enough to know I’m in this for the long haul. I set out to have a farm and worked towards that goal. I convinced Christian this was what I wanted and that I could do it with or without him.
He loves me and I love him, so I am happy he decided to come along for the ride... I was still determined to learn how to do it all. Clear land, move piles of brush, fill holes, grow food, build fencing, build structures, weld, care for livestock animals, and how to get better at being a steward of this beautiful farm as time goes on.
Yes he offers to help me do anything when he's home (back in 2015, I stayed for several months with my sister while he took care of the land and animals). This house and it’s 9 acres is certainly is a ton of work, but I have the unwavering, bull-headed drive and it grounds me… can you imagine how hard it must be to live with and love a person that hardly ever allows you to help?
I have always had a very strong urge to be in control, which often makes me appear tough and "streetwise" - an 'all or nothing' type personality, however Eights are also drawn to innocence - found most always in animals instantly. My menagerie surrounds me with that innocence. Advocating for pitbulls - same. It unlocks our own innocence and vulnerability which we keep so protected under our 'armor'. It allows us to finally be soft and live moment to moment, because at the end of the day the safest, most unconditional, non-judgemental love is from animals. See how that came around full circle? Head-strong, tough, proving to myself all the things I can do, just so I can be surrounded by the purest form of love so that I can really authentically be free....
In further reading about Eights (honestly because I was a little insulted the the first glance descriptions :/ ), the whole ‘tough’ thing is a protection of what we value the most - our hearts. Valued like a precious diamond, we put layers and layers of protection and armor over it, most likely because at some point in our lives we were betrayed by a nurturing figure.
When people reveal something super personal about themselves, pretty quickly I let my guard down. If a stranger cries to me, same. This is where the ‘attracted to innocence’ comes into play. I have made of my closest friends fairly early on when acquainting because of this.
Yeah, I am a weirdo, but I love my life, my guy, my farm, and my crazy menagerie that being an Eight has afforded me and I do realize how extremely lucky I am. I hope you guys and gals have a lovely weekend. I’m gearing up for an action packed day- imagine that! First we have a walk on the firefly trail, then driving up to a friends lake house to see how Miss Poptart likes a real swim, then later I have to prep a desk for painting (it’s been commissioned and paid for!), and later a friends bday hang. Then back to the farm for a little time with my horses and goats….