When I started to write this blog for the second time I nearly changed topic completely.
A word of advice always save the document before you start in case windows decides to update and the first 250 words, 5 minutes of effort and 5 days of fretting disappear. A beginners error I know, but in my defence I am a complete beginner at this blog business.
So back on topic…..how to start a blog. I considered the classic ‘here I am, this is what I do’ approach, and for a while it was in prime position. A little more fretting and thinking time led me to think of all the labels I carry …..Farmer ….Husband ….Father ….Son…..to name but a few.
At this point I ought to apologise for the overuse of the full stop, for those of you that know me from twitter you will be aware that I am scared of blank white spaces and feel obliged to fill them……..
It was from these labels that I ended up considering the work/life balance dilemma. Now to be clear this isn’t an issue solely the preserve of agriculture, however in an industry where, for many, where we live and where we make our living are so physically and often emotionally linked it can lead to problems.
This was brought home to me recently when I realised how little time I spend with my 8 year old daughter, and that during the time I do spend with her I am sometimes grumpy to say the least. This inability to ‘turn off’ from my business has been exacerbated these last few years as we have grown our business. Pressure on time and cash flow can be a serious preoccupation. You know when you are taking it too far when you see being able to deliver lambs to the ‘factory’ on a Sunday as a bonus.
It was at this point that I wondered whether I should do something different, is all this worthwhile, would a 9 to 5 job be preferable? The best way I could think to tackle this question was to go straight to the heart of the issue.
Now to my daughters’ credit she is a practical lass, and has persevered on the daughter father relationship. After consultation she loves coming delivering logs with me, is determined to help deliver a lamb this spring and adores her small flock of Blue Texel sheep. When we go around the sheep she confuses the dog by joining in the roundup and we have put her in a red overall so she remains visible in the far distance…
The moral to all this I have concluded is that I should spend more time with her, and my wife, but farming offers the opportunity to spend quality time together enjoying what we do. That the way my business preoccupies me is a weakness but the way it brings us together is a strength.