I am a pretty organized person. I live by my fat planner/calendar. I make plans, and I keep them. When something happens that throws a wrench in the plan, I tend to overreact. But, since becoming a mother and even more recently, a farmer, I'm getting a lot better about rolling with the punches. Unless I want to spend my entire life in a constant state of hyperventilation, I pretty much HAVE to because the punches are SURE to keep on rolling.
Any parent can tell you that life with children is unpredictable. Multiply that by however many farm animals you've got under your care (because they're all basically children, too) and you can begin to understand the unpredictability that constantly surrounds us.
I'm frequently asked what a typical day is like for us here on the farm. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure that any day yet has been exactly like the one before it. I have a binder that I keep in the barn that has daily farm care instructions typed out. I do this in case the unimaginable occurs and some tragedy prevents one of us from being at the farm to care for our critters. Someone could step in and read up to know what to do. The problem is that this document needs to be constantly updated. Animals' diets vary by season. One goat is taking a special vitamin this week. Another one needs her healing salve applied to the scrape on her side. The eggs need to be gathered three times today because yesterday's heavy rain means that the eggs will be dirtier than we'd like if we leave them in the nests until noon. You see the problem.
Indeed every day is different. Yesterday, for example, began with a soggy, nasty morning. The Ranger, that we've come to depend on and that I get into more times in a day than I do my van, wouldn't go. And, some awful predator had eaten his fill of five of our precious pullets and left several other little ones injured and terrified. This was not what I had penciled in on my calendar for the day.
But, each day is a new one. THIS morning is gorgeous and sun-soaked. And, the live trap that I set last night outside the pullet pen had the offending possum inside. And, the Ranger (thanks to some phone calls, manual reading, and elbow grease) is back in working order. Things are looking up.
Today, I could not even begin to tell you what tomorrow may look like. I am learning, though, to allow plenty of wiggle room in the schedule for each day and to breathe deeply and try to appreciate each day for what it is -- for every day is indeed a gift.