WHO AM I? Confronting the ME I want to be…

 Sept. 2017 moving cows to Cramp Springs 021

Recently I’ve felt uncertain of myself.

More than likely, it’s because I’ve been out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to do things in the past six months that I’ve never done. I’ve even had to pretend I was stronger than I really am.

Here’s the deal: I am a ranch wife and there are things that happen here that don’t happen anywhere else. There is laundry that needs to be washed, re-washed, and the machine disinfected. There are bizarre injuries, land issues that couldn’t be dreamed of, and I…

I…

Well, I feel inadequate. I’ve seen other ranch wives who take pictures of solutions they thought of in less than one second. I’ve tasted perfect dishes that when I ask for the recipe I hear, “Oh, a little of this and a little of that…” As if they never had to try. I’ve seen ranch wives throw on their husband’s flannel shirt and a pair of jeans first thing in the morning and look like they could be ready for a cover shoot. I’ve watched amazing women saddle up and outride their men.

I… Ugh.

That’s not me. Google and Pinterest are my resource solutions. I use recipes with real measurements. And if you see me first thing in the morning, well, I may need to identify myself, let alone be ready for any kind of picture. As for riding, my mount usually has a motor and four wheels.

Maybe I just need to get all this off my chest so I don’t give you any false impressions.

Or, maybe I’m writing this because in church yesterday I heard this phrase: “We live according to who we think we are.”

Insecurity says, “What’s wrong with me?” and you live trying to make something happen. Some things you can make happen–others you can’t. Trying to force things though is controlling and it really doesn’t help anything.

Ranching is tough. So is life. Things don’t always turn out how we think they should. BUT…that isn’t all life is. It’s beautiful and hopeful.

Last week I watched my oldest daughter ride some rough country with a bunch of old guys. Her perseverance and tenacity made me proud. Beautiful.

She inspired me: To try new things. To quit letting myself feel “less-than”, especially when it comes to ranch wifery. I even “dumped” supper in the crock pot.

Inferiority and insecurity aren’t new; but they are downers. Someone is always going to be better than me. There are going to be things that take me longer than someone else.

But someone isn’t living in my house. Someone isn’t occupying my thoughts. I am.

Maybe you’ve never struggled with knowing what it’s like to not measure up. Maybe you’ve been invited to every party. Maybe you’re at the top. However, I bet we all have areas where we feel “less-than”. Perhaps bad circumstances scar our identities. I could rattle off a few. However, if we live out of those thoughts of hurt and failure, we never begin to live out of who we really are. I’m imperfect, but still a ranch wife. Not a shiny buckle cowgirl, just regular ‘ol me. But I’ve learned a lot. I can cook for a crew. I can vaccinate cattle. I can irrigate. I can run a house and a four-wheeler. I love animals. I help my husband who is a full-on rancher. I have a passion for agriculture. So, maybe I can’t quilt. Maybe I won’t break any colts…

I’m still a ranch wife. A cowboy wife.

I think Dr. Seuss’s words may be timeless on this subject:

Image result for dr seuss quotes be the best you can be

 

Who Am I? They say I’m a ranch wife…

one sunset, marci on horse 015

Here’s who I want to be: I want to be an amazing horseback rider, cattle entrapenuer, business woman, writer, friend, and encourager. I want to rope and drag without missing, load every shot gun with vaccine in record time, and have strength to wrestle calves. In my wild imagination, I’m Annie Oakley, Martha Stewart, and Sacagawea. I climb rough terrain, wrangle every last cow, and know exactly when to buy and when to sell.

Enter reality.

I’m really good at dreaming.

I’ve never roped and dragged anything. My riding skills are currently nil due to trepidation after a mishap awhile ago. My husband is the brains, brawn, and bravo behind most business deals. (I’m super proud of him; this is not said with angst.) The last calf I attempted to wrestle laughed at me. I haven’t shot a shotgun in years and my vaccine shotgun sticks frequently. My home is my peaceful refuge, but nothing Martha would endorse. My exploratory and navigational skills are top-notch–but only to scout out my kids or a good deal.

We recently watched “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. In the film, a man finds adventure only in his daydreams until circumstances arise that excite him to a point of actually embarking on adventure.

To some extent, I’m completely happy in my daydream land. I’m somewhat quiet and reserved, especially in agricultural circles. What if I say the wrong thing?

This is why I loved the idea of this ranch wife blog, but sometimes find it difficult to write it. I admire you Annie Oakleys, Martha Stewarts, and Sacagaweas of the west. I’m amazed by the skill of you women who ride and rope.

I enjoy cooking and studying market trends. I like giving vaccines. Although it sounds weird, my favorite thing in agriculture is to pray blessings over the land and cattle–mine and yours. I don’t rope. I don’t ride anything with more kick than a carousel horse.

For this, I’ve always felt inferior. Afraid to step out.

Then we moved to Idaho for a couple years. No one knew me, so I tried to put my best self forward. The only thing was I was afraid someone would find out my secret that I didn’t possess true ranch wife skills. I didn’t intend to hide it–I don’t believe in being fake–I just hoped it wouldn’t come up. (Is there a difference?)

During an Idaho Cattle Association meeting, I stepped out and attended the Cattlewoman’s Meeting. I didn’t know anyone, but found them all to be nice. At one point in the meeting, someone said something like, “We’re trying to reach all ranch wives. Some work out of the home to support the ranch. Others are outside with their husbands. Some are stay-at-home moms. Still others cook and clean, taking care of whatever they can to help their ranch.” My heart nearly stopped. You mean I didn’t have to be Annie Oakley, Prairie Woman, and Sacagawea? I could be me and still be a “ranch wife”? It was shortly after I started this blog.

The demons of doubt didn’t flee though. I struggled to keep writing because our ranch is minute compared to other places, my talents meek in comparison.

Yet, no one else can be me.

Friends, if you have ever found yourself in a similar arena–others’ talents mounting past your own, your worth fragile in comparison’s light–maybe we can help each other by reminding ourselves that who we are isn’t determined by who someone else is.

I’ll probably never gallop up steep hills like Jim Craig (The Man from Snowy River). Yet I’m willing to try and I love to bless. So friends, may our cattle increase, may our land produce. May new opportunities find us and solutions spill out of us. May love and gratitude be our foundation and evil never prosper. May good things happen in the agriculture industry. In Jesus Name, Amen.