On this fine fall day, we were working the cattle we run on the forest ground. It is a considerably smaller herd of cows than the group we do out to Black Pine. Don't get me wrong, with three different ranches pooling cows together, there was still a lot to do, but we were able to slow things down a bit.
And slowing things down for a bit was kinda nice. I'm sure that the guy that got put on the fence a few times didn't think it was a take-it-easy kind of preg checking day. Or the guy that was doing the preg checking... There's nothing nice or easy going IN the OUT end of a cow!
Every rancher will tell that there is more work to be done than there are hours of the day. Even if the cows are settled and the haying is done and the water looks good, there is fence that could use fixing and equipment could do with servicing. There comes a point that you have to decide just how hard you want to push yourself. You could work a neck break pace and get a lot of work done, but that leads straight to burnout and once you hit burnout you hate your job. And where this is more than a job, its a lifestyle, we can't afford to reach the burnout stage.
So what do you do to avoid burnout? I don't know that we have totally found the answer to this question. Unfortunately there are those days and weeks that you have no choice but to push hard. But even though we don't have the complete solution, I will tell you that there is one thing we always keep in mind and that is our priorities.
There are a lot of things that are important to our family and our ranch. Obviously, as far as the ranch goes, the cows have gotta be happy. Its hard to swallow that hundreds of other girls get my cowboy's attention over me, until you take into consideration that they are cows. Then its all good. Beyond the ranch, our priorities are God, family, and community because without God we are nothing, with out family none of it is worth it, and its all so much better with good friends and neighbors.
Our priorities have to be family priorities with a common goal because on the long days where my husband is nearly non existent and I am being both mom and dad, it can get overwhelming. If I didn't have the ranch's success as one of my priorities I'm pretty positive in would be a real cranky wife being put second. And knowing The Rancher's priorities include taking care of his family helps me to know that he is doing everything he can to make it back home as fast as he can.
So on this day of preg checking, we certainly had getting the work done as our top priority. But enjoying our time working together with our family and friends was a close second. And because it was, it was a fun day even if it was spent at the back end of a cow.