Initiative and Having a Team Mate

This isn’t a great image but I took it a few days after I wrote this and thought it was appropriate for teamwork. I’m raking hay on our old farmall and WAY OFF in the distance, Jeremy is baling it

As I was drinking my coffee this morning (which by the way, our milk cow Daisy calved last week so it’s actually my homemade creamer! Also even better news, she had a little heifer! We are majorly excited; one more step to building up our herd) and was going through the list within my thoughts of all of the things I had to do and since it’s middle of summer, most of it will be canning today.

Daisy our milk cow with her new little baby heifer 🙂 which I think we will call Gracie

Which reminded me of recent conversations I’ve had. Which in turn, made me think back to my life before being with the right person and changing my life around and as they say, “putting on the new personality” and with that comes, “Stripping off the old personality and it’s practices.” (Which is Bible based–Col. 3:9, 10)
To clarify, there was VERY many things to change but in this instance what I have in mind might seem like something that’s not such a big deal but I think in living you life–this makes a big difference. I’m referring to laziness and taking initiative. (Which also makes me think of the Bible–Proverbs 31 the capable wife)

I know in life, it (life) is busy! It’s very hard to find time between secular work, getting your house affairs (cooking, cleaning, maintaining, chores, etc) in order. I try to compare what I did in the past with my time and I always come to the same conclusion: What did I do really? Yes, I had a 40 hour work week but what else did I do?

The reason I puzzle over this is living on the homestead… I don’t do a secular 40 hour work week, I work part time and I have NO TIME whatsoever (In all actuality, I really don’t have time to write this down but I’m doing it while canning which gives you a little bit of waiting around time. Probably as close as I’ll ever get to multi-tasking 🙂 ).

I guess I did what most Americans do; sit around and watch TV. I didn’t can, I didn’t farm, no chores… I did run around a lot because I didn’t want to be home. When Jeremy and I first got together it was a clash of two different worlds. Mine was previously mentioned, his was a life of raising your own beef, pork and chickens. Having goats to raise bottle calves, constantly busy gardening, fixing broken equipment, fixing fence…  (All of this from an early age. A story Jeremy always likes to tell is when he was… 4 or 5 years old he would get pliers and go walk the fence on his mom and dad’s property and fix it (it was electric, not barbed wire don’t freak out. I poke at him a lot because he says things like, “I’ve been fixing fence for over 30 years.” He’s 35 if you wanna know but he was helping even when he was a little guy.) The list goes on, as well as his secular job.
Back when we first were together, I thought I work, I do my part. That’s all that is required. Jeremy took care of EVERYTHING, even cleaning the house because if he didn’t, who would? Obviously, that was him crying out, begging for us to be a team, for me to just try, just help. I was so naive and lazy. I had no clue. I feel so stupid looking back to those times but at least now I do my best to keep up with everything and I know I’ve made an effort to be better. It didn’t just click into place though, there were countless arguments where I constantly thought I was right and he had no idea and how dare him? but I finally started to see that I was pushing everything on him. I always seemed like a victim in my mind but I really wasn’t unless you count all the dysfunction my mother passed on to me which is what I had to work against this whole time.

To be honest, my mom never raised us to clean house and do those things, even though that’s how she was raised (but that’s another story). I’ve always had a job since I was 18. It’s always been a 40 hour work week or more most of the time. But I was never happy, I was never content. I was never fulfilled. I think that’s the point of this article. (Just keep in mind that this is my opinion and maybe it’s not completely what you might agree with but then I have to wonder why you’re reading this blog lol) I was a provider for myself, I had a full time job but other than that, I was a VERY lazy person. I’m not saying this life is for everyone but what I am saying is; sitting around watching TV all day isn’t a life.

Taking initiative which sometimes I’m still horrible at… But here’s the definition: initiative- the power or opportunity to act or take charge before others do

So, do you want to be the person to say “I can’t” or “I won’t” because there’s always another person that’s going to shoulder the brunt of the load because you didn’t help out or even try and stick with it?

I feel like farming, doing things on your own, for yourself– it alters/changes you in such a way that if you sit around and watch TV or something, you feel kind of stir-crazy like you need to go outside and work (hehe)

Oh, and there’s always bonuses. Here’s something extra you’ll get… Pride, fulfillment, feeling accomplished, satisfaction, etc. Let’s take one example that I’ve used previously… Canning. Canning to me, is an even better feeling than getting a recipe  right ( which is a pretty good feeling on it’s own) because you are preserving something wholesome for you family. Also, think back to the past, that’s what people HAD to do. It wasn’t a choice. What they ate was solely reliant on what they grew themselves and preserved themselves instead of buying from the store which I don’t think happened in a lot of circumstances since most were too poor. Canning is just one example but here’s a few a feel pretty good about… Butchering our own chickens, raising our own beef, foraging wild edibles.
None of these things are easy, they all require work–that’s life. Plain and simple, but that’s also taking initiative. Some people, don’t have the means to do these kinds of things and that’s fine, you do what you can–you live the life you wanna live–beyond that; if you do have this kind of life, I just think it’s better to have a team mate?

It’s better to work together and help each other and don’t push the load onto their shoulders alone. I keep thinking of something Jeremy use to say before I decided to be a good team mate and that was always, “If I don’t do it, who will?”

It’s all YOUR choice on who you wanna be, on how you wanna live your life, I just hope that you kick into gear a lot quicker than I did at first. Anyway, speaking of time… I better get back to the grind!

Happy Homesteading!

 

Meet the gang: Donkey

Since we’ve been hosting Sorghum Days, I have been wanting a petting zoo and since I have cats, chickens, ducks, cows… I wanted a little donkey. I have for a couple of years. This year, Jeremy surprised me with this little guy!

We asked our friends to give us ideas on names… Very simply most came up with Eeyore which is cute and who doesn’t love Eeyore? But I tried it out loud yelling for the donkey to come in… It sounded ridiculous, even though I do like the name saying it was a whole different situation.

He is so awesome and sweet and he makes these cute little squeaky noises when he’s happy your around or when he wants carrots or apples.

Sometimes I go sit on the porch steps drinking my coffee and feed him carrots 🙂 good times

Curiosity

Being curious opens up so many doors that you never knew were there but once you’ve opened the initial one that starts it all… My door was gardening. Gardening lead to: How can I make our homestead sustainable (We haven’t completely got there yet but it’s a goal and we do the best of our ability with what time we have available) and within that thought… Money.

Everything takes money to start almost any project. I would research all these plants that I wanted to buy that would help with the ‘Stead being sustainable but after a while things really start to add up. So then I wondered… What grows here in my state, in my area? What can I just attain by going out in the woods. I mean, I grew up here in Missouri so I have a good idea about foraging though I never really called it that at the time. I’ve hunted mushrooms since I little which was a start.

If you’re willing to research, willing to learn… The results are endless. Our minds are constantly expanding with knowledge if you just look for it. It’s the same way with spiritual growth/learning. You think you know a bit from the Bible but once you start really digging in more… You realize you only skimmed the surface before. (As always, if you need to know more in that area Jw.org is a great resource)

Now I’m at this point where I just want to learn as much as I can about plants and their uses. Once I do, I try and see if it grows here in Missouri and try and see if I can harvest it or how I can get my hands on it. I guess I’m just trying to say… The sky is the limit? I didn’t know anything a few years ago but I was CURIOUS and I was willing to research, willing to learn.

I just thought I’d throw these few thoughts out in case people are wondering where to start?? Hope this helps someone! Any thoughts? Feel free to comment with your own story!