Do you ever have those times in your life when everything is going According To Plan but yet you can’t shake that feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop?
That’s me right now.
Although we sent our kidlets to preschool this week (which I’m still reeling from, believe me), life in general has been relatively smooth. So naturally, I’m awaiting Armageddon.
Sure, it’s been super hot up until about 17 hours ago. In case you’re wondering (it is Farm Friday, after all), extreme heat and humidity have an adverse effect on cows, not to mention their milk production. But because of our “new” barn (new, meaning just under two years new) and the tunnel ventilation system we decided on, there was/is a constant breeze flowing throughout it to keep the cows comfortable. Based on these last two summers, it seems to be working well. I say this because during previous hot spells like the one Ontario just came out of, we would actually risk losing a cow to heat exhaustion. Because sometimes, no matter how many fans you have going, it just isn’t enough to keep their temperatures down.
Losing a cow is never easy no matter what the circumstances are. But losing her to heat is just plain sad. It’s one of those moments when you question what you do for a living because what you’ve done – which is anything and everything you could think of – wasn’t enough to save her. So yeah, not a great feeling overall.
But, as I was saying, we (knock on wood) have not had this happen for a long time and especially not since we put up the new barn. What we have experienced during this most recent heat wave is an influx of heifer calves.
This is a good thing. At this point in our dairy business, we keep our heifer calves and raise them up into our milking herd. This means lots of new cows coming up the ladder and also means that we can spend money raising a cow of our own instead of spending it to buy a cow from another herd that we’re not as sure of (regarding her genetics, calving record, personality and ease of milking, etc. All of this matters greatly to us when considering buying a cow). Some dairy operations will sell their new heifers to other farmers who need them but, at this point, we are keeping all of ours. Which means we have a LOT of baby girls to feed and raise up. Again, a good thing.
Harvest has gone really well so far, too (although we are not done. Not by a long shot). This spring, we were fortunate enough to get a new tractor as well as purchase our own round baler. The tractor was necessary because our other one was (really, really) old and unreliable. Buying the round baler meant we didn’t have to hire someone else and work around that person’s schedule to determine when we could bale our hay. This year, Andrew and my FIL had great fun baling, especially because they used the new tractor (yay! New tractor smell!) with the new baler and double especially because the new tractor has a buddy seat, a.k.a. the kids got to go in the tractor, too!
There’s nothing like riding in the tractor with Grampa!
We’ve also had a great summer. The kids have been healthy and growing and basically awesome. Andrew and I have been healthy and feeling good, too. Same with my in-laws and extended family. Well, okay, I think there was a summer cold in there somewhere. But that’s it. Another wicked summer, in the books (well technically, I can say that on Sept. 23rd).
On top of all this, both my business and Andrew’s are doing well. I’ve been lucky enough to take on some new clients, resulting in slow(er than I’d like) but steady growth. Andrew is even off to Mexico later this fall to speak at a cattle conference, which is a definitely first.
So, life is good. Great, even. And yet, here I am, flinching up at the sky, waiting for that other farm boot, er, shoe to come hurdling down at me.
Why is this? Does anyone else do this, too? Or is it just me? Because I would love to know I can share this small, ever-present feeling of anxiety with someone, anyone else.
But I’d also love to learn how to just go with life, as this is something I’ve been working on within myself. No matter what we do for a living, whether it’s running a huge conglomerate in NYC, growing thousands of acres of wheat in Saskatchewan or something else in between, I think there’s always a chance that we feel like what we have isn’t enough or (worse, in my opinion) that what we have won’t remain. And since that thought process sucks, I’d like to finally learn how to change it.
So this is me, starting that change. Should that boot come shooting out of nowhere, I’ll simply step aside before it hits me, then put it on and keep walking.