Welcome 2017 and the month of New Year’s Resolutions! According to a recent news release, the top seven resolutions for 2017, compiled via Google searches, are:
- Get healthy.
- Get organized.
- Live life to the fullest.
- Learn new hobbies.
- Spend less/save more.
- Read more.
I usually look forward to the New Year. However, I’m not one to make resolutions. Perhaps it is because they rarely seem to fit our lifestyle. Maybe what we need are Resolutions, Ranch Style.
Top 7 Resolutions, Ranch-a-fied:
- Get more healthy=Get more zzz’s. Sleep equates to getting healthy for ranchers because we know cattle producers get exercise: forking hay, moving snow, running fence lines, riding horses, moving pipe, just to name a few. (My friend refers to her lifestyle as “rancherobics”.) We eat what we produce, so our diets are fine. BUT, we could use a few more minutes of shut-eye. Black-out dates include calving season, planting season, harvest time, summer grazing, and most major holidays. (See number four.)
- Get organized=Remember where we left supplies. Ranch families tend to be “organized”. Tools are in the shop, tack is in the barn, files are in the house–what I could benefit from is remembering what truck I left the wire cutters in, which kid used the wrench last, and what pasture I left my favorite shovel in. I try to stick to the adage of put it back where you found it, but sometimes it seems better to leave them where you used them because you’ll probably need them there again.
- Live life to the fullest= Live life. I feel like ag folks live life to the fullest. After all, what other profession and lifestyle allows you to witness the miracle of birth, the wonder of seeds producing crops, and has you connected to animals and nature on a regular basis?
- Learn new hobbies=Rekindle past hobbies. Ranch work often moves around the clock leaving little free time. Yet, past generations knew how to pick up a fiddle or guitar, or throw a neighborhood shindig. We tend to be too tired at the end of our day to feel like picking up an instrument or inviting the neighbors over. I know I tend to click on the TV or browse Facebook before dusting my piano or even cranking up the tunes. I need to remember what I loved to do as kid and make time for those things that fuel my heart. However, there aren’t many spare minutes in a day, so it usually cuts into sleep. We may need to alternate our focus on number 1 and number 4.
- Spend less/save more. This is a good one, so I didn’t alter it. It was in reference to money on the news, but ranchers are always trying to spend less and save more. It’s just that there are so many things to spend money on: equipment, feed, cattle, horses, fuel, etc. These are not tiny expenses. Cutting out a cup of coffee from the local coffee hut isn’t going to fill the account for tractor repairs, although every little bit helps. Instead, I’m referencing it to time. Spend less time doing things that don’t pull me forward and save more time for things that do.
- Travel=Go somewhere other than a different pasture. Sure it’d be nice to travel to Hawaii or go overseas, but it’s hard to leave animals or land. It’s not like asking the neighbor to feed your dog. There are bovines out there! Yet, we could take a deep breath and visit local sights or make arrangements to get away when it’s convenient.
- Read more. This is a good one all around. Whether it’s trade magazines, books, on-line or off-line, reading does everything from educate us to help us escape our current reality.
If we wanted to really fine-tune resolutions, we could count things like move the shovel before we run it over and fix fence after we find the fence stretchers, but I’m pretty sure those can appear under “Ranching Common Sense”. Not that I’ve ever needed any extra common sense…
Happy New Year!