Are you losing your passion? Feel like you want to quit? Why not take a break, and change things?

Being an outside guy it’s pretty hard to trek up the stairs to a dreary dark sky, granted the weather in my stretch of the woods is not typically challenging as it is in most of the country lately. One blog I wrote explained my belief that the weather on the West Coast is more of a rolling event taking place all year long. Rain creates mud which results in mudslides, followed by a spring when all of nature goes crazy growing, summer dries out the newly grown weeds which starts burning and the cycle goes on. Wet is all it is now it is accepted when the rain stops the sun will emerge bringing spring to us, no slush or ice melting off of the lakes.

The rewards of being outdoors.

Having to remain indoors allows me to complete other tasks saved for completion on rainy days. Late Saturday night my wife was attempting to print a document from her laptop. I had been working on it the day prior resetting it to the original parameters. We have all had computer problems, hers is no exception. We bought a new laptop for her to replace a relatively old one she used in her business, I wrestled with that one as well for a long time. I’m OK with the technical side of the things, not close to being a pro it’s more like knowing enough to be dangerous. I have at times created more problems than I solved causing an extended period of studying to repair the mess I created. Well, I was unable to completely solve her printer problem, it prints MS word documents but nothing else, it must be a software problem, I tossed in the towel. Today was not the rainy day I was planning on to continue messing with it, buy a new computer I told her in frustration.

Six months ago I laid my guitar down and hadn’t picked it up until a few days ago, I’m not sure if it’s typical of musicians or not but I on occasion take extended breaks. Playing music is not entirely out of my thoughts during these periods thinking of chords, and fingerstyle patterns occupy a part of my thoughts every day. Normally when I start playing again nothing is forgotten my hands, fingers, and brain jump right back into the mix. Amazingly it seems I come back stronger after playing for an hour or so new ideas flow adding to my routine. I am by no means a professional I play for my own pleasure, it is one of those activities best described as the more I learn, the more I find there is to learn. There is no end to the possibilities of playing the guitar, ukelele, or even the piano.
I’m back into playing deciding to practice bar chords for 1/2 hour a day, my arthritic hands make it difficult but it helps keep my fingers and hands from hurting so much. My favorite guitar, (I can’t say it out loud because the others may hear me) is a Cedar nylon string, I have a steel string also which is hard on my fingertips. Three of my fingers on the left hand were cut off in an industrial accident making them rather tender callouses do not form on them. Depending upon what tension strings are on a guitar rules the irritation level, I employ low tension.

Self-Reliance, Self-Awareness, and accepting responsibility for my actions is the basis of my beliefs, my mom would tell me “blessed is he who helps himself.” Little did she know to tell me that would make up a large part of who I am, I only ask for help when I cannot do something myself.

Likewise having plenty of things to do is in itself a great way to stay mentally and physically healthy. The only time I am idle is by my own choice, (read laziness perhaps) there are plenty of inside chores to perform. Inside activities are not reserved for rainy days alone we have some summer days that are so hot being in the weather is out of the question. During nice days I will normally work in the garden early in the morning then siesta from noon until 7 in the afternoon returning to tend to water the garden. We’re connected to a common well system of 4 wells servicing 20 homes demanding the need to create a water company, our own small utility. We are fortunate to have several dedicated people on the board who are also qualified for the positions they hold. We have a few rules, the one everyone pays the most attention to is the watering hours, 9 am – 7 pm none watering hours. I would not water during the heat of the day anyway but some people leave their lawn sprinklers on all day and night.

Staying busy creates moments like this, build an Owl nesting box.

Due to the hot dry weather during the summer my earthworm farm must be watched more diligently than during the winter months. The worms don’t hibernate in the cool weather they merely slow way down not eating as much they are lethargic. I study them while I am servicing their bins, on occasion, I feel like making a pot of warm oatmeal during the winter to warm them up. During the summer the opposite is true the biggest concern is keeping the moisture content of the bedding correct. Left in a breeze the dry air rapidly depletes the moisture level which is vital to their survival as they breathe through their skin and must be kept moist, not wet.

Upon completion of feeding and cleaning the farm, I will continue making walking canes or I may decide to make firestarters. Before starting a new project, (I make rustic garden tables, Owl nesting boxes, and take videos for my Youtube channel), I make sure I can dedicate enough time to complete it. I am the type of person who is unable to “multi-task”, I am a “uni-tasker”, one thing at a time from start to finish. I don’t like it when I have a partially completed job on the shop floor having to move it out of the way continuously.

There are enough projects lined up to allow me to pick and choose if I want something to do for the remainder of the day I may make fire starters for three hours. Making canes is a task that is open to spending as much or little time as I please on unless if I have to fire up the steam chest which takes several hours as I place 20 shafts at a time in it. They must soak in steam 15 minutes for each 1/4 inch of thickness to make them pliable enough to straighten or bend.

Leaving time to experiment with “stuff” (I like that word) is important as well, last summer I came across a pile of Bamboo a neighbor had trimmed off a monstrous growth. He looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him if I could have some, he was open to me taking all of it my answer to him was I would if I could dream up a use for it. True to form I have, Bamboo is a unique plant. Naturally hollowed tubes the small diameter may be made into Bee houses, I made a cane fishing pole, and I am planning on constructing supports for my tomato and pepper plants this year.

Build a home for Solitary Bees, Honey Bees aren’t the only pollinators. 

I blog as well every other day I post a new original one, on the occasion, I re-post someone else’s I will create a new one for publication according to schedule. I have adopted a new strategy blogging, to be a successful blogger it is pertinent to read those written by others. I made a decision since I revamped my online presence to follow only the number of blogs I am capable of reading every time they are posted. I read them from start to finish leaving a comment or at the very least a “like”, as I have mentioned in other articles a “read” button would be nice to show it was read by me. That button would be a signal of indifference not dislike, face it some blogs are not in my wheelhouse but that doesn’t mean that every-one a person writes isn’t. Just that one would most likely be an exception to the rule when reading someone else’s work I attempt to place myself in the authors’ position. I pay attention to style, how many comments, how many likes, and how the flow of the story moves through the article. I don’t pay much attention to grammar, at least not enough to comment on it because few of us are professionals we just like to write.

The inspiration for this blog came from one I read earlier today, I read them while having coffee, in it the writer told a tale of laying off blogging for a while. He had entered the “no-zone” that is thinking “no one reads it, and no one cares”, I wanted to leave a comment but he sounded a bit depressed. That is a situation I do not know how to handle or give advice for, it is a terrible spot to be in for a person. He answered his own dilemma by deciding to change things up a bit, his blog was dedicated to book reviews only. That is a common trap to paint ourselves into a corner with the declaration that my blog is going to deal with this subject only, it’s taught in the how to blog and get wealthy quick courses offered online. His decision was to change it and write about general life, it sounds much like what I write about all framed around Self-Reliance, Self-Awareness, and Accepting Personal Responsibility. He hit the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned by changing his blog he is changing his online presence and it will do him a world of good. Taking a break from blogging may be like taking a break from playing the guitar, we may come back stronger, one thing is for sure he took a break and decided to change things around exactly what happens to me when I pick that old friend of mine up again.

Sometimes it may as well be glued to the floor.

Take a break and don’t feel guilty no matter what passion we are working on when we return to it new ideas will flow inspiring us to change things around, but either way, we will return stronger. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog, I appreciate the time you took to read and share it, thanks again.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self-Reliance.

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