30×30: Lesson 6: A life without cows

As I wrote a few days ago, both my farming and non-farming lives hold harvest times — seasons in which one must push forward, plunge in, and pull through. (At Kathy’s Deli in Shippensburg, we knew the same phenomena by another name: “the lunch rush”). I find such times as exhilarating as they are exhausting, for there’s a special connection that binds communities united by similar tensions and a particular satisfaction of falling asleep at night after the tangible completion of a day. You might call me an adrenaline junkie. You may say that I seek out such harvest times on purpose.

But an equally powerful lesson is knowing when the harvest time is just an empty field. Even in grad school, deadlines — self-imposed or otherwise — are often relative. Does my self-worth decrease if my to-do list isn’t done? Can I sleep at night if the day didn’t go as I had planned?

On such days (today is one), my boyfriend Jon will listen to me complain about my shortcomings and help me describe how I will better tackle goals in the future, and then remind me that I have no cows to milk.

Unlike a life with cows, whatever I had wanted to do today can wait.

Find an introduction on this series here.  Dig into other life lessons here.


4 thoughts on “30×30: Lesson 6: A life without cows

  1. Lovely, timely, thank you.

    Anne L. Parmer @annelparmer @IWIWProject http://www.iwiwproject.com 717.503.2040

    1. Yes. I find this lesson harder than the advice about harvesting.

  2. For me, the great lesson of working on the farm in France: There is always so much to do that you could work from sun-up to sundown and never get catch up. So you always have time for a cup of coffee.

    1. I like this. It’s the weird contradiction that exists is when you have so much to do that it’s actually freeing. (If you choose the cup of coffee, that is.)

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