Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take it From Me: Lessons Learned 3

I guess this is starting to become a little series, but I think that is a good thing. Not only does it hopefully help others that are beginning or are contemplating beginning a farm, but it also helps me put things into perspective. Sometimes I need a little reminder of the lessons I have learned and what I need to do to apply those things. Today's lesson is, "knowing when to say when," and it is one that I continually need to be working on. The people pleasing side and the dreamer side of me don't like to say no.

It doesn't matter if you have left your job and thrown yourself completely into the farm or if you are like us and you are combining your town job and your farm job the skill to know when to say enough is a very important thing. When you make the decision to begin a farm it is something that you need to recognize will take a lot of time, effort, passion, and energy. If you are constantly saying yes to things that take away from your main farm goals (whether they are farm related things or otherwise) you are putting yourself in a difficult situation.

Some of you may know that in the spring for the past five years I have coached varsity girl's soccer at the high school. This is something that I absolutely love! I love the interaction with the players, the parents, and the school staff. I also love the job of coaching and teaching these girl's about the game (and even life). The problem is a high school varsity sport takes quite a bit of commitment. Five days of practice or games each week for ten weeks, and when there are games I'm usually gone all day (until around 9:30 PM). I need to be able to objectively evaluate things like this and seen where I should be spending my time.

But, learning to say no isn't just about off farm activities. On the farm there are a LOT of things that I would like to do. There are different livestock options I would like to add, projects I would like to do, and things I would like to take on. For example, as badly as I would like to add some broiler chickens right now (or four weeks ago) I need to stick to my "no" guns and realize that now is just not the time. There are other things that need to take priority.

For a guy like me that loves to dream and look towards the future learning to say no is a difficult thing, but it is a thing that I need to do!

1 comment:

Suz said...

Hear, hear. Thanks for your list. This one rings so true for me it makes my head hurt. My husb and I started our farm last year with a few chickens and two goats. Now we have a bzillion chickens, 17 adult goats, 8 babies this spring, and a bunch of turkeys.
This is actually too much right now, as we (mostly he) are scrambling to make poultry shelters and keep animals healthy. At times it is making us want to run away.. but I JUST KNOW it will be so much easier as soon as the right structures are in the right places.. right? BTW, I'm FT at a day job and husband tends to home and our two sons.

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