Friday, April 9, 2010

The Sky Will Stay Where it Is, Regardless of What My To Do List Looks Like!

After receiving a nasty cat bite from a feral cat that was setting up shop on top of our brooder I had to table my plans for the new chicken yard until I can use my right hand again. It's still going to happen...oh yes, it will...but just not right away.

Which brings me to today's lesson in nonattachment, or as I like to call it, "shit happens." I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about everything going to plan, on time, and perfectly. Reality is somewhat different, however, in that none of those three things ever come to fruition. There's an old saying that applies here: If you want something done, it can be done quickly, cheaply, or well. You can pick any two.

After getting myself completely worked up into a frazzle about all of the projects that I need to get done but for one reason or another are not yet done, I had a bit of a revelation. There's only two of us here on the farm, and on any given day one of us is unable to work on the farm due to illness, other duties or any other of the myriad ways that things can pop up that need our immediate attention. There's enough work out here that we could have a staff on ten and still not get everything done. Yet I berate myself on an almost daily basis for not doing just that. This is illogical and it's not something I can maintain emotionally. Contrary to my neurotic belief, the sky is not going to fall if something doesn't get done absolutely perfectly and immediately. Farm life is not a good life for we list crosser-offer types. Things come up, weather changes, a cat bites the shit out of me. All of these things are out of my control, and getting myself worked up does nothing but make matters worse. So my  new strategy is to try to let go of this psychotic need for perfection, re-prioritize my projects into what's most important and time sensitive, and celebrate the successes I do have.

What I do have is happy chickens who score off the charts according to the laying hen welfare assessment study I've been using as a guide. My priority is to keep it that way. All other projects will just have to be done next year, or partially done as I have time or inclination. It's not easy to walk by a moonscape of a front yard because I don't have time to plant something pretty, but it's just mud and it's not the end of the world to have an ugly yard. It's not easy to walk by the vegetable garden that begs to be planted despite the rows of standing water in it due to heavy rains. But we are not going to starve to death if we don't get veggies in the ground, and seeds can keep until next year.

Will I immediately breathe a sigh of relief and never obsess about my inability to on my own get the work of ten young men done in about ten minutes? Most likely no. But at least maybe now I will have moments of clarity and perspective.


  1. Claire,
    As my Mom constantly reminds me, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." Hang in there. The farm will prioritize for you.