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General ponderings

Happy New Year everybody!

Among other things the turn of the year means that there is some paper work to be done. Like the book-keeping of my massage & programming business. To get the fiscal figures exactly right, I've written down notes of driving my car. I made a little database application for myself, entering all my driving notes into the database gives me an overall calculation of the yearly total - how many kilometres did I drive altogether, and what was the ratio of work-related driving to casual driving. I need to know that, because all the costs associated with work-related driving gets counted as costs of my business. But since a certain portion of driving costs is because of my personal life, I can't just dump all the driving costs into the business book-keeping. Well, personally I'm not very interested in doing that kind of detailed notes - and in the previous years, lacking the notes, I have just (under)estimated my company driving costs. But this year I managed to keep up with a regular habit of writing notes and entering them into the database.

Just for the fun of it, I made the database application also to sort out my UrW-related driving. And here are the statistics for the year 2015:

Total driving: 17 260 km.
Work-related driving: 10 440 km.
Private driving: 6 820 km - this includes four trips to Sami's, which is 2 426 km.

So, about 35% of my private driving is UrW-related. Sometimes I think that it would be superb to live next to Sami and his girl-friend. There have been a couple of days when I've felt rather tired with running my household all alone, and at such times I always consider abandoning this place and moving to live right next to Sami's. As, currently they rent a cosy apartment in an old village school, and if I understand correctly, there is one vacant room in the side building of the school. A single room would be enough for me to live in. Yeah, those considerations aren't that realistic, they are more like day-dreaming to remind myself that in case everything seems to fail, it wouldn't be the end since there always are other options available. And, on the other hand, no matter how much I like my current place, and no matter how much I pour my work and devotion into renovating the house and getting the yard nice, I don't want this place to be any kind of permanent prison for myself - I also remind myself that it is good to be open for any future possibilities the mysterious flow of life might offer. Well, but realistic decision aside, maybe the turn of the year is also a good time for some general ponderings of the basic decisions of my life. So, for a moment, let's imagine a scenario of living next to Sami's:

Having your best friends living on the other side of the yard would mean a bunch of things. I like cooking food, and most of the days I start with pure unprocessed basic ingredients and cook food out of them. And eat the food alone. Well, it would take nearly the same amount of time to cook for three people. So, if we were living around the same yard, most of the days we could easily share cooking and eating. Yeah sometimes I do miss the good tribal feeling of eating together with close friends, it contributes towards all the positive energies of life. Also, if driving to customers for massage wouldn't be my main source of income, then we could share a car, too. That, certainly, would be wise. The less there would be car maintenance costs, the less there is need to spend time working for money. And then, naturally, it would be so much easier to keep on regularly working together with Sami. Both with the coding and all the related Enormous Elk art. For example, doing the Enormous Elk videos has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of my life, and it wouldn't hurt if that happened more often =)

Sure, it wouldn't be very wise to abandon a house I've bought, and to go back to renting a room. It is only those moments of exhaustion, when I feel depression creeping up my spine, when I comfort myself with that kind of "emergency exit"-plan. Thinking of it, I'd like to finish the house renovation project - which will probably take me at least two or three years. And life is mysterious, a lot of unpredictable things can happen in the course of two or three years, so I don't feel like making too detailed plans. Anyhow, the thing is that at the moment I'd better concentrate on the house renovation, as that is also a good therapeutic process for myself, and then just be curious to see how the life flows. For example, some unpredictable changes in my own business and income could mean that I will have more free time and more opportunities to visit at Sami's, so that there wouldn't be a need to pack my stuff and move next to them.

Well, but all in all, my current situation involves a bunch of decisions which also affect the way my life is. For example, I like the fact that a lot of stuff at my household runs on burning firewood. Most of the house is heated by the warmth of the stove, and I'd like to build a proper fire-place. In the winter the drinking water for horses is kept warm by burning a fire under the water container. I wash up at the sauna, and I burn firewood to heat up the sauna. Similarly, to get hot water for washing the dishes and the laundry, I have big kettles on top of the kitchen stove. Now, all this firewood usage means that the firewood has to come from somewhere. Either I could buy it ready-made, which would save me some time, but cost me a considerable amount of money. Or then I can make it myself, which is meditative work and sometimes also a good physical exercise - and takes some time. So I'd better arrange my life so that I regularly have enough time for cutting, dragging and chopping wood.

Since I quit my sheep rearing, I've felt that I have a bit more time for other things. For this holiday season I unfroze a shoulder cut of mutton and cooked it for food. I still have one chunk of meat in the freezer, but I'd guess that will satisfy my desire to eat meat until it's the pike mating season again. So that I could go to more fish-based diet, without returning to buying meat. But what about the horses? Sure, having the horses costs some money, taking care of them requires daily work, and every time I leave my home I have to arrange someone to look after the horses. Seen from a purely practical point of view, I'd need less money and have less routinely duties if I didn't have the horses. But then, on the other hand, they've been of invaluable therapeutic value to me.

As I mentioned, sometimes there are those lousy mornings when it feels almost unbearable to get out of the bed. Such a moments when it feels that "oh, why do I need to take care of anything? It all feels too much." But then I always know that this is still some kind of post-depression symptom, and what I really do need isn't less things to be taken care of, but more inner energy to take care of things (myself included). And the horses provide an immediate reason to get up and to face the world. I do admit that for most of the autumn it was just that. Deep down in my mind I kept on hoping that the time will come when I'm again more energetic and feel like actually doing something with the horses, instead of just having them as nice pets to talk with and to pat. Well, during this holiday season I've experienced a better phase in that regard. I've spent time actively working with Raiku's training (it was better that I thought) and I hope that this better trend will continue.

Well well. Then there is also the programming project for the milling company. They need a bunch of new features which should be up and running at mid-January. Yesterday I spent most of the day coding those features, and I'd guess today I will do the same. So, it is time to just post this entry and to go back to coding.

The first morning of 2016
The first morning of 2016
tags: 
depression
diary
homesteading
horses
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Comments

I think that sometimes some distance can make a friendship better, too.

Like, when you see someone every day, the friendship is kind of taken for granted, and that can make it weaker. But when you only see someone every now and then, the friendship is more concentrated. Or something like that? I don't know, hehe.

Depression tries to get me sometimes too. I think it is a symptom of living alone. But I interact with people on the internet, mostly through YouTube, and that seems to make some of it go away. And keeping busy with various projects staves off the rest of it. So I get along ok.

Hehe, yes - things like friendship, they are complicated chemistry with a lot of variables included =)

Also, living next to Sami's would also mean living farther away from my son. And in my current situation one of the good things is that it is relatively easy to see my son. Many of my best friends also live in Tampere, so I have nothing to complain in this sense - in so many ways there is both a necessary and a healthy amount of good social interaction in my life.

But, yes, I do think that just like hunger in a symptom of not eating enough, similarly certain unpleasant emotions are symptoms of not having enough meaningful social interaction. Put this way, it sounds way too simple, so maybe I need to clarify that I think that people have huge personal variation in what counts as "enough" and "meaningful" when it comes to social interaction. Some people seem to depend on having company around all the time, and personally I'm more towards the hermit side =)

Well, that is the good side of the internet - it allows a nice way of social interaction which is not limited to physical presence. That way it is also easier to connect with people who, so to say, speak your language, or are tuned on the same frequency - which contributes towards the 'meaningful' aspect of the said 'meaningful social interaction'. (Personally, I find it rather exhausting to interact with people who seem to constantly misinterpret and misunderstand all of my messages. In such situations I switch into an internal 'auto-translate' mode: I speak them the language they understand, keeping the interaction smooth. That happens a lot in my work-related interaction with my customers.)

One of the other things that I like most about interacting with people on the internet is that the social interaction occurs in manageable chunks, at appropriate times.

I am an introvert (INTJ, if you are into that MBTI thing or whatever it is), and social interaction tends to exhaust me a lot. But the internet is cool for that specific dose of socialization, without over-doing it, and then I can go back to being a hermit and doing hermit things. Lol.

I remotely know that personality test, but I have never taken in myself. Anyhow, I totally share that "at appropriate times" aspect. I prefer SMS over calling. I'm active at facebook, but I always have the chat option disabled. And with some of my friends I exchange pen-and-paper letters, I like the slow-paced personal touch there is with real mail. But, yes, all of this comes with the aspect that both the sender and the receiver maintain the freedom to decide when they feel like reading & replying.

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