By Amelia Kent
In a conversation with a good friend, he used a description I hadn’t heard before: “... running from can ‘til can’t.” Initially I didn’t hear what he said, but on the second saying it made perfect sense. It is so applicable to my life presently, and likely yours, as well.
Our wet, rainy summer hindered much of our hay production, and any other weather-sensitive chores. When the pattern finally changed, we were at least ten weeks behind our approximate schedule. That time frame also coincided with when we plant most of our ryegrass. The result? Let’s cram ten weeks’ worth of hay and planting over 500 acres of ryegrass into about four weeks! We’ve diligently been working non-stop for two months, and our hay is baled and grass is planted. I know what I’m describing is nothing new to you, nor us. We are all dependent upon Mother Nature as one of the major influencers on our livelihoods – that’s been the case throughout history, and likely won’t change.
But lately, it seems most of the people I’ve talked to share a common theme: frustrated and fatigued. I am exhausted, and have recently been at my wit’s end more that I’d like to admit. Whereas I’m usually incredibly optimistic, I’ve found it hard to stay remotely positive. My fog of exhaustion has multiplied the regular weight of our routine responsibilities, to the point that overwhelmed has become a standard. Now that we’ve checked the biggest hurdles off our list and are moving onto the endless list of smaller chores, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of our crunch-time tunnel. Plus, it’s now calving season, which is one of my favorite times of our production cycle.
Another friend and I observed that a certain neighbor is always boisterous and jubilant, regardless of how busy, overwhelmed and scattered he is. This friend and I seem to have been stuck in the same rut the past few months, and in a half-joking and mostly-serious manner, we mutually wish we could maintain that same chipper spirit that outwardly appears to be a constant for our neighbor. From this conversation stemmed another saying: “just keep eating the elephant, one bite at a time.”
We all face busy times of production cycles, sometimes battle with the weather, and have to fight our way through exhaustion because time is of the essence. This is the language we speak and the blood that courses through our veins. In challenging times such as my past few months, we persevere even when we don’t think we are – I promise! My words here serve as a reminder, mostly to myself. But maybe these thoughts will resonate with you too.