Here's what my thoughts boil down to:
- There are only two of us to get things done around this little place here (as compared to when the kids lived here and helped with tasks either mundane or monumental).
- I'm not as strong as I used to be. This bugs me a lot, as I'm used to my body doing whatever I call upon it to do. The fact that I struggle to carry a 40 pound chicken waterer (a full 5 gallons), and that even carrying a full hamper of clothes up or down the stairs gets me out of breath, really really irritates me. Not sure if this decrease in strength is due to my ongoing anemia (something else I find frustrating) or the fact that I am 45 years old, or a combination of both.
- DH is super busy at work. He is, literally, doing the work of 1.5-2 people there (for the same one-man paycheck, of course. That's the way it goes when you are salaried--no overtime, no bonus for taking on extra work). His 'group' lost a person last summer, and that person's work was split between DH and another guy--in addition to each all ready having their own programs--with the assurance that it was only for a few months; that a replacement person would be hired in around November 1st. It's now mid-December, that 'replacement' person has not been hired, and there seems to be no actual job posting for the position. In other words, probably ain't gonna happen any time soon. So, DH is juggling his own work, half the work of the 'lost' person, plus doing crisis management on the half that the other guy got assigned and can't seem to keep up with. Even when DH isn't at work, his mind is often still on work. It's not uncommon for him to sit on the couch until 10:30 p.m. with his work laptop open analyzing data, creating reports, reading and sending emails or filling out test request forms. He even dreams about work--probably 2-3 weekday mornings when our alarm clock goes off, he groggily asks me questions about stuff I know nothing about (this particular test, or that fuel economy data, or what transmission calibration is in this car, or what the axle ratio is, or where such and such prototype can be located) before he becomes fully awake. Even when he's physically home, he's not really here, not fully available to work on the things that need to be done to take care of our home.
- Therefore, life at this little place here needs to be revamped. We need to scale back some things, cancel some things, and really focus on what our main priorities are.
In light of that, I've decided to get rid of my flock of chickens. They aren't laying eggs now, being the cold dark part of the year, and foreseeably won't lay any for about three months (historically, they slowly get back into production in mid to late February). So, rather than buy and lug feed to the coop for the next several months, plus haul a waterer out in the mornings and back (to my basement to thaw) in the evenings, plus feed them and let them out in the morning and shut them in again at night in return for zero, zip, zilch eggs to eat, I'm just going to be chicken-less. In February I'll look into getting some chicks and restart my flock.
Even after spring comes, I don't think I will get broiler chicks to raise into meat for the freezer. That's rather a lot of work too, once they get about half grown and eat like starving teenagers (and smell just as bad). Rather, I will purchase some ready for the freezer from a friend who has gotten into raising birds to sell. It will help her business, and leave me free to use my somewhat lessened energy in other, more critical areas.
There are other changes to be made too, but they are still disjointed thoughts that I need to work out fully before deciding what actions to take.