I live on a schedule. Cows need to be milked twice a day and fed two times each day at least. We need to breed them two months after they calve, dry them up two months before they calve. Calves need to be weaned at two months then bred at 14 or 15 months so they calve at 24 months. This is the way it works on a dairy. We all know that. The closer we adhere to the schedule the better everything will be.
There is a problem. The world does not run on a schedule and whenever there is a conflict the world always wins. Over the years my precious schedule has been destroyed by breakdowns, cows out, power outages, dumb things cows do and dumb things people do. Then there were baseball games, Christmas programs and graduations to go to. Then there were family situations to deal with, relatives, and blasted funerals to go to.
How can you be successful if you can’t keep the schedule?
So I struggled to keep the dairy on track. The usual things, go late to baseball games, skip weddings and complain a lot. I was successful and learned what it means to win the battle and lose the war.
A friend told me I needed to remember to breathe. What? I didn’t have time to breathe. I could do that later when there would be time. For forty years I’ve been waiting for that extra time.
Dr. Tony Campolo, a sociologist, author, speaker, from Eastern College in Pennsylvania, cites a research project in his lectures that asked questions to a group of nonagenarians about life. These people, 90 years of age and older, were asked what they would do differently if they could live their life over again. One of the more common answers was that they would reflect more. Meaning they would pause more, look around, reevaluate, and remember what really matters at the end of the day. In other words they would breathe more. I wonder how many of them won the battle of the schedule but felt like they lost in the end.
Cows do better if they do the same thing every day. It has been proven over and over again. But I wonder if I would have done better had I have followed my friend’s advice or at least scheduled moments for breathing. Maybe I should have breathed more and saved myself the consternation, frustration, and a half dozen sorting sticks that splintered far too easily.
Now, there are fewer baseball games to go to. There are fewer Christmas programs and graduations. Other people deal with situations and all those things that I thought were keeping me from my duties. Still, I have to remember to stop and breathe otherwise I’ll miss all the important stuff that has yet to come.
Breathing. I should have started that a long time ago.
- John W. Wright of Wright, Inc. Dairy in Wendell