Like a Weight was Lifted

I went to bed last night feeling a little bit unsure. It was harder than I imagined bidding the feed store farewell. I knew it was the right decision but it can be hard to let go of ideas, hopes, and dreams for something – especially something that I envisioned being part of my life for the next 30, 40, 50 years.

Then I slept. Sleep is refreshing. I think it is some important to remember that how we are feeling when we are tired and depleted is not an accurate picture of a situation.

I woke up earlier than usual, refreshed, ready, and making plans for our family, our home, our farm, and our journey forward. I feel the creative brewing and the drive to write once again.

I was measuring my success against someone else’s and in the comparison game, I always come up short. But this morning I see it around me, the success we’ve had, the joy we’ve experienced, all of the growth individually and as a family. I am ready for what’s to come.

The Mister and I are spending our morning deciding what direction to take the farm, what our farm goals are, and then comes business planning for his business. We have our work cut out for us this weekend setting goals and creating a path and plan to achieve those goals.

Have you set goals for this year? I would love to hear what they are!

Until next time,
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Realistic Expectations

We were watching an episode of Bob the Builder (a long time favorite in my book), when some of the characters decided to go snow boarding. Bob starts off thinking that snowboarding was going to be easy, and that he would just stand up and take off on the board. He realizes quickly that it is difficult to snowboard, and at one point he asks the lady giving him a lesson, “Is it supposed to hurt this bad?”

One of my favorite things about Bob the Builder is that they showcase realistic expectations. Sure it’s a cartoon, but messes and mistakes abound, and so does grace. The idea of being able to just stand up and ride off on a snowboard is silly – but as someone who grew up in Colorado, and thought snowboarding would be a breeze when I first tried it, I can attest to the fact that it’s a real challenge. While the pros make it look like they are floating down the slope, the truth is, it takes a great deal of strength, skill, and coordination to actually make it down the hill.

Throughout Bob the Builder episodes, the characters face challenges, sometimes the challenges they face are made worse by thinking something isn’t a challenge, or by actions or mistakes of the character facing the challenge. Nonetheless, Bob and Wendy give the equipment room to make mistakes, and help them recover when a mistake does happen. (Maybe it isn’t totally realistic that all of the equipment is self driving and capable of mistake making, but it’s still such a sweet picture of making a mistake, and being helped through it.)

Funny, I always thought I put this cartoon on so my kids could watch something equally entertaining and educational, seems I might put it on so I can be reminded to shout less and offer more grace, a chance to re-do or fix a mess, a chance to grow from a screw up instead of acting like a screw up is the end of the world (which we all know, most the time when a kid screws up, it’s far from the end of the world).

Thanks, Bob the Builder, for giving us something worth watching, for giving us realistic expectations, for embracing the mess and muck that is life, and for showing us to keep trying.

I Didn’t Get to be in Drama!

I got the opportunity to read this fantastic blog about a homeschool theatre group, and I really loved hearing about all the things the kids and parents are learning together. Not only are they having fun and engaging in a creative activity, they are also learning responsibility, dedication, and hard work. The work didn’t end when the play did, either.

I felt a sudden sense of loss while reading this post, however. I grew up homeschooled, and I suddenly wondered why I never got to learn such great things in such a fantastic way. I feel compelled to add that acting/drama were never interests of mine growing up, but suddenly I felt like I had missed out on something so amazing.

My mom was available to chat, and I was getting ready to ask her something like, “Why didn’t we ever ….???” You know, cause that sounds so grown up and mature, right? A 20 something woman and mother, whining to her mom about years past?

I paused though, and realized suddenly that my mom gave me something similar. To be honest, for me, it was so much better than a drama club ever would have been. (No, wait, before you get offended… Drama club is GREAT, especially if that is you or your child’s interest!! I just wasn’t the drama club type as a kid…or even now.)

Mom put me in 4-H, where someone other than Mom had expectations for me. We always had a horse project going, as well as lamb projects, rabbits (one year), and judging. I loved being in 4-H, I loved showing, growing, and learning. And guess what? The hard work wasn’t over, even when the last show was finished. I learned to work with a team, to work independently, to be resourceful, to ask and answer questions, and to keep detailed records. I learned to take care of myself, and someone other than myself. I learned what it meant to depend on someone and to be depended on.

I learned to discern information for myself, question things that were out of place, and accept that rules must be followed. I learned to compete respectfully, to always get back on and try again, and to accept that not every opportunity ends successfully. I learned what success feels like and that one success isn’t an excuse to stop reaching for the next one.

I learned that people aren’t always fair, things don’t always end well, and our plans can be altered in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, I had to learn these things with a very sour ending to my 4-H career, one that wasn’t fair, or right. One that altered everything I thought I’d do with my life, changed the plans for my future, and made me angry at the world. That ending taught me just as much as all of the pleasant and enjoyable memories, and I am 1000 times better for the time I spent in 4-H.

So, maybe my mom didn’t give me drama club, but she did give me what I needed, in a way that I wanted it and learned best from. Now, on this side of life, as the grown up, as the mom, I hope and pray that I give my kids the same thing. I pray that I find that “thing” for each of them, and that they learn as much from their “thing” as I did from mine!