When my three months of working remotely while helping our neighbour set up his property on PEI turned into three months of unpaid leave while helping my neighbour, blah, blah, blah, I thought, “This is great; I’m going to have so much TIME!!!”
Within a month of my arrival, however, I became acutely aware that I may have failed to consider some of the challenges of country living and setting up a new build.
My daily to-do list looked more like this:
- Chase contractors
- Water trees
- Water grass seed
- Stress about why grass seed isn’t growing
- Chase contractors some more
- Drive to Canadian Tire, buy up some home shit
- Give up on grass seed and call seven places looking for sod
- Gasp at outrageous sod prices; drive to nursery and buy more grass seed (the fast growing blend)
- Buy sod after all
- Call grass cutters for help laying sod (it’s HEAVY!!!)
- Realize I don’t have enough sod, and fill in the gaps with newly purchased, fast-growing (haha) grass seed
- Water sod and seed
- Water trees some more
- Chase contractors again
- Download full season of Switched at Birth
- Drive to Canadian Tire, buy up some more household crap
- Cook supper
- Update AirBnB listings and respond to potential guests who have clearly not read through the entire listing
- Binge watch five episodes of Switched at Birth until 2 am while shivering under four blankets with warm dog body in tent
- Get up with the sunrise, marvel at sunrise, make breakfast for old man and Airbnb guests
- Deal with plumber after Airbnb guests’ kids shove 3/4 roll of toilet paper down the crapper
And that doesn’t include all the bickering with the elderly neighbour I’m supposed to be helping (turns out he’s not only old and cranky, but also super slow and indecisive, so that minor things I had not even built into the schedule, like “would you like soup, or pasta, for lunch?” turn into 20 minute debates requiring examination from all sides). Choosing meals, restaurants, where and how to walk, and what goes into which recycling bin all takes a lot longer and has to be done more frequently than I expected.
Also, we ended up buying a manual push mower, so I added about 4-5 hours a week of manual grass cutting I had not planned for, as I am now cutting the back 1/4 acre of my neighbour’s property, which is good exercise but takes a lot longer and has to be done more frequently than I expected.
And then there is the dog... one of the main goals while out here has been to train our dog-aggressive rescue mutt. We are working with a highly regarded trainer, and it’s going well, but all the exercises and homework take a lot longer and have to be done more frequently than I expected.
You get the idea.
So needless to say, my brilliant schedule has not come to fruition. Instead, I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to learn about flexibility and boundaries.
I also got to participate in the inaugural lighthouse beach bonfire, to celebrate the lighting of the recently restored local lighthouse lamp!
And I have been volunteering at the local library (developing and facilitating a course on how to use instagram to connect with friends and family and promote your small business).
Finally, I have availed myself of the opportunity to take a few Argentinian tango lessons in town. Milonga!
The yoga plan has NOT yet come to fruition. But, I plan to attend a weekly beach yoga class at the lighthouse starting Tuesday night.
Very annoying and distracting. But at least I’m finally reading.
Sitting out front of the music cabin, writing this blog post, I finally have time to consciously enjoy the beauty around me. I’ve been doing a bit of that mornings in the tent, when the bird and the sunshine wake me up around 5 a.m. and I lie around dozing for another few hours listening to the sounds of the breeze in the leaves, the twittering of the birds, the roll of the waves in the distance... but gazing out at the fields of lupin is a little more of what I had been hoping to do, and it’s nice to finally do so!
I’m amazed... shocked, really, by how quickly a gift of three months can evaporate.