Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: Perks of a socially distant profession
Well, it has been an interesting couple weeks, hasn’t it?
Hand washing, social distancing, maintaining a stock of necessary items in your home without losing your mind, parenting and/or educating your children while working have all come to the forefront.
Anyone else think this all sounds pretty normal? For most of us in ag, this is by and large just life in general. Several of us are calving or lambing, and a lot of us live in areas that would make the current average social distancing resemble a night club. Most parents are thrilled to have the unexpected extra help in the form of their kids.
Honestly, how blessed are we? This whole Coronavirus pandemic has certainly put that in perspective for me. Yes, there are inconveniences, challenges and frustrations, but not many in a relative sense.
We, like so many others, continue to drag our kids along to work day in and day out, educating them on countless topics in the process, naturally socially distanced by the nature of our work. Those same kids wash their hands before we sit down to say grace and eat a home-cooked supper, somewhere between 6 and 9 p.m.
If you don’t see the value in our lifestyle right now, you probably never will.
I liken the vast majority of people to a bunch of first calf heifers, and the first calf just hit the ground. They’re all going nuts, bellering and running around. Some run off, others get in the way, and most just stand in a circle and make noise. They don’t have a clue what to do, what’s going on, or when it will end. Then the calf does that first wobbly attempt to stand, only to flop back down again, and they all go berserk. They’re terribly worked up, but they don’t know why. Don’t know how to fix it. Don’t even know what it is.
Not that any of us have answers at this time, either. Nor are we perfect. But, we’ve all been taught from birth to be prepared for the unexpected. We’re well stocked in food and other household essentials. We’ve watched our annual income disappear in under a week before. We still have a family structure within our homes, and we can all not only coexist together, but work and accomplish much together. Our heads are still screwed on straight and our independence is intact.
Society has largely lost those things. I pray this helps reinstate at least some of the incredibly important aspects of life. Family time and structure, prayer time, cooking and eating meals together, critical thinking. The list can easily go on and on.
I also pray for all the people who are sincerely hurting and struggling. There are a lot of folks who do not have the luxury of an operating line of credit, the ability to personally cash flow, or even something of value they could sell, or afford to sell, to get through a hard time financially.
Cows and 18-percent moisture corn aren’t worth much, but they’re worth a whole lot more than what a lot of people are sitting on at the moment.
Hopefully the current state of affairs will remind all of us, myself included, to focus on the silver lining in the oft-overlooked aspects of our life, to see beyond the minor inconveniences at the bigger blessings, and to realize joy in both our work, and in having work.
May we all know we were not put on earth at this time, in our given profession, by accident. And, like all things, the outcome of this is already determined. We just have to live day by day to see what it is.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the May 28, 2022, edition of Tri-State Livestock News.