If you’re in agriculture, this is a busy time of year. Actually, even if you’re not in agriculture, it’s a busy time of year. Summertime is when you do all those things you just dream about in the winter, and summer gives you all those extra daylight hours to do it.
But sometimes that is a double-edged sword. It’s great to get lots done each day. When a person puts in 12-, 14-, 16-hour days, you can really accomplish a lot. On the other hand, a person only has so much energy. Sometimes you get so busy working that you forget to live.
If you find yourself going so hard that you forget where you’re going, stop for a minute. Take a breath and smell the alfalfa. There are lots of things to be thankful for. There are lots of things to smile about. But just in case you can’t think of anything at the moment, here are a few reminders.
Things that make farmers smile:
1. Even though you have a million things to do, you drop everything to go to a little girl’s softball game. You see her hit a home run.
2. You get check in the mail, much bigger than expected and almost enough to pay for a new irrigation pump.
3. You go out to load up an old open cow to take to the sale and find that she has a healthy calf. You realize that cows can grin.
4. After you ranted and cussed and kicked yourself for not selling that bin full of corn before the price went down, corn prices jump again, even higher than before. This time you sell.
5. After spring planting, you notice that your rows are just as straight as your neighbor’s but he has GPS and you don’t.
6. After a big rain, you realize you didn’t pull the dams out of the big irrigation ditch. Sick, you go there expecting to find the grand canyon. Instead you find that the dams were pulled and everything is fine. You learn that your kid took care of it but forgot to tell you.
7. Your neighbor stops by and gives you the $60 wrench that you special ordered and then lost. You left it in his pickup.
8. You think you had a bad day until your kid shows you a clip on YouTube about someone turning a tractor upside down in a bog. You decide you had a pretty good day after all.
In farming, as in life, there will always be things that test us, but there will also be things that make us smile. Work hard this summer, but don’t forget to smile.