This year we are not making a list of specific things that we want to accomplish. Instead, we are adopting a theme that will help to keep up focused on our main goals. This year we are striving to do less and be more.
We want to do less so that we can enjoy those things that we are doing and be our best at them. In the past we have stretched ourselves too thinly. We go from one day to the next and one job after the other. Our focus becomes just crossing something off of our list so that we can move on to the next thing. In the process, we are just going through the motions and not savoring the moments.
Our calendar is still full, but we are trying to be very deliberate with each obligation and more focused on our overall goals.
Does this benefit all of us as a family?
Does this get us closer to our goals?
Is it right for us at this time?
Will we truly enjoy this or just go through the motions?
With those questions in mind, we have added a few items to our calendar.
Daniel needs to take a class to learn how to artificially inseminate our cows. This year we had to call upon a friend to help out since we don't have the training. This will simplify the process, keep us from imposing on friends and eliminate emergency phone calls because a cow is in heat right now. This should also help us to get back on a Spring calving schedule (we royally messed things up this year) and shorten our sleep deprivation due to calving season. Ultimately, one class should free up our time and minds to focus on other things.
TEACH ISAAC TO RAKE
Isaac loves anything to do with tractors and has been begging Daniel to teach him how to rake the hay. Whenever it comes time to bale, Daniel is always under the gun and doesn't have the time to stop and teach. This year we are going to make it a priority for Isaac to ride along with Daniel as he rakes so that he can learn the process. It may look simple, but you have to get the rows and corners just right to make baling go smoothly. Taking the time to teach, will save us countless hours and stress later. Our goal is for Isaac to begin raking while Daniel is still at work so that baling can begin as soon as he gets home. Anyone that has baled knows how important one hour can be when the thunderclouds start rolling in. Time is money and it doesn't make sense for Daniel to take off of work to make money baling hay. Hay time means all hands on deck, and this is one time that we are grateful for our boys growing up so quickly.
TAKE A VACATION
The past four summers have been an absolute zoo around here. We have jumped from one all-consuming event to the next. We may travel, but it is always for a show or another volunteer opportunity, and we usually come home more exhausted than when we left. While those things aren't bad, and we have had some great opportunities, we are overdue for some pure relaxation.
For the kids...for us as a family...we need to mentally re-fuel.
I want a stay in a hotel with no cleaning, no cooking, no chores, no 8-5 jobs and no volunteer jobs.
IMPROVE MY PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS
Taking pictures is something that I enjoy and would love to learn more about. I have so much to learn about my new camera and I am saving for a new computer and editing program. I have challenged myself to take 10 pictures on the 10th of each month to force myself to improve my skills, learn an editing program and capture life on the farm. It will also force me to stop what I am doing and look at new perspectives and the little details around me...the parts of life that we have been racing by.
We are a printed picture kind of family. I am several years behind in my printing, but I love to flip through actual pictures and reminisce. This week we were moving some bookcases and spent hours just leafing through the photo albums.
I want to capture these moments for myself and my family. These are treasured times and I don't want to forget them.
CONTINUE TO GROW OUR HERD
We are having more babies this year and they are spread out all year long. It is not our preferred situation, but it is what it is. Since we have such limited acreage, we have to be very selective in which cows we keep. We want to continually improve the quality or our herd.
The past two years we have bought heifers to bring different breeding and elements to our program. This year we are looking to buy another heifer. There are two reasons for this. One, we have two kids showing in the BEST program and we will not have two heifers born in time to pull from our own herd. Secondly, we still want to diversify our breeding and we have some very specific features that we want to improve in our herd. The fastest way to do this is to bring a heifer into our herd that already has the specific qualities we are looking for. Last year we said that it was the last year we were going to buy. I am standing firm and this will be the last year that we buy for a while.
Our family loves the stock show life. We certainly do not have any plans of giving that up, but we are going to be more selective about what shows we attend. We are going to be attending some new shows this year and will probably not go to some shows that we attended last year. We want each show to be fun and not just another duty that we have to fulfill. There is nothing like wishing you were home before you have even left. This has nothing to do with the shows themselves, but just what is best for us.
Is this show the best thing for us right now?
How does this show benefit our farm?
How does it fit into our schedule?
This does not mean that we will not attend some of those shows in future years. This year is just about focusing on our goals and that means that some things have to give.
By doing less we will be able to be more of who we want to be. I hate doing something half way because I am too exhausted or don't have the time to give it my all. We are striving to do less and narrow our focus so that we can be the best that we can be, enjoy the process and savor the moments as individuals and as a family.
We are learning how important it is for us to recharge ourselves. We want to have more Sunday afternoon naps so that we can rest physically and mentally and be ready to push ahead again on Monday. We are slowly learning that we don't have to be busy and moving all the time. Sometimes being still is far more productive than finishing a list.
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.