We all have sacrifices and we all have issues and goals we want to achieve and sometimes we work through them and other times we know no matter how hard we push, sometimes we know we aren’t going to get there.

People always amaze me and perhaps I need to take stock or inspiration from some of them. How they push through and I know it looks un-seemingly but the majority of life’s hurdles are difficult to rise over. We as people do rise over most things, we look to others for support, advice and guidance, whether we take any of what people say on board or not. Sometimes when we talk with people we want to make it about ourselves and other times we are happy to listen, how does one find that balance?

I have three friends (that I know of) who are facing major health challenges at the moment and all I can do is sit on the side lines and be part of the audience. It’s difficult as some are interstate and others in my own state and now wanting family and close friends around them. The best I can offer is to send emails, quick text messages and offer to do what I can if they need anything. Crazy you say with you living so far away from the epicenter of their hospitalization, but I can keep others informed of their recovery and struggle so as to stop many people jumping on face book or contacting the family when they are under stress.

When you read about what they are going through you have to take inspiration from them. you don’t have to look far in your friend network to see heroes, be inspired and to offer support. This week a dear old school friend asked for help, he is struggling with weight issues, mental health issues and stuck his hand up and asked. The comments that have come back are wonderful, we all want to know and assure him, he’s going to be ok, we will do what we can and what we have been asked and I can’t think of a braver person to put it out there, “I need help”. I also admire from him the fact he has recognized this is the point in his life where he has invited change, to embrace it and to seek out solutions  from those that love him, amazing stuff. We all have our secrets, our wishes whether they to be thinner, richer, married, single, and all matter of many things, even as simple as no drought. (my wish)

One of my lovely cousins Mandy gave me good words of advice once and stood herself up and circled in front of herself and said, “this is my bucket of shit and I don’t want you to have my bucket of shit as you have your own, we all have buckets that every now and then we want share some of it, but I don’t want yours and I don’t want you to have mine as it’s mine and different from yours.” I agree, we need to own our stuff and we also need to share it and we need to put our hands up when it gets too hard and ask for help.

Everyone has challenges and wants change it is the brave that go seek it out and invite others to share the pain. To those I love having struggles, I’m sorry and I can only help if asked and help I will.


Giving people what they want

I see it written in people’s social media pages and we often hear about it, I too have bemoaned the same fact, that people ask for our skills for free. “can I ask you a favour?” “Can you just take a couple of photos for me, I’ll post them everywhere and advertise your business?” “What is it you do and do you mind sending me a spread on how you do it? so I can base my business on your model, I’ll change it but I just need help.”

Sometimes you do it without thinking and berate yourself afterwards as most of the time these people NEVER give you anything in return, nothing. Most people are generous with their time and words, if people did charge for time and travel (car) no one would employ them, some people spend 2 hrs of their day just traveling to and from work. It’s not just those people who work for themselves that get the raw end of the stick, I have seen some employees do it to their interstate bosses. Take advantage of their money and good nature, you all know the type or at some stage may have even been one of these people, you know it’s wrong but you do it anyway, it may just be arriving to work 10 to 15 minutes late per day but that’s over an hour a week you are taking from your boss and they are probably not even aware you are doing it.

Most people work hard for their income and to have it ‘taken’ is insulting for the years they have learned their craftsmanship. Here’s a suggestion to all those people who want something for nothing, it breeds resentment in the person you ask, it makes you appear selfish and mean (sometimes makes you look dumb) and can ruin a nice friendship or relationship because the person becomes wary of your motives every time you call. Coffee breaks are to talk about kids, family, social outings or in a business sense talk business, but these are always prearranged and give people the option of opting in or out but springing it on people is never nice nor is it appreciated by the receiver.

I have never heard of an electrician installing a light or ceiling fan so you can tell everyone each time you turn it on they did it or a sign above the switch saying “installed and fixed by turn me on electrics” or a plumber saying yes to ‘fixing’ your blocked toilet so you can tell your friends they did it – I have never seen a sign on the top of the cistern saying “fixed for free by unblock me plumbing”.  So why would social media experts, photographers, marketing managers and finance people give you their information for nothing? it’s not really helping them out nor is it free publicity for their business. I have scrolled through face book pages and nowhere have I seen, “design concept and expert advice with assistance by experts r us”.

Giving people what they want is saying to your friend in business, “can I ask you to do a job for me? do you offer any mates rates by chance? ” this then gives your friend and business owner an option to come to an arrangement with you and shows them that you respect and appreciate their skills. Even if it is to give you a quote GST inclusive that is effectively 10% off the bottom line of the price, this is more than some retail shops will give you. Give people what they want, recognise their worth and value, offer to pay upfront, be honest and most of all stop asking for people’s business tips for free.

Long weekends & farm life

When I met him, he made me laugh with his saying ” long weekends, public holidays & weekends were for the general public not for farmers” I remember this as it was beyond me to think one did not or could not take time out from their daily work to enjoy a bit of down time. I worked weekends as well occasionally but was able to take time out during the week to do the things I needed to do. I really didn’t believe him, it couldn’t be possible to work that hard and not have time off. could it?

I met him through my own doing, I was travelling a lot and was lonely on the road, I would spend hrs, days and weeks away from home and I remember a specific eye surgeon who I worked with and who happened to be my high school graduation partner and we talked about how no one did anything for our 10 yr reunion and we should do it for our 20th year high school reunion, so I began to arrange a committee to organise one.

We were never high school sweet hearts, I already had one of those, we were friends though. So we met up and here we are 10 years later together and happy but I struggle with the above mentioned saying. I admire him for he works the property alone, he crops, he sows, he harvests, he breeds cattle, he breeds sheep, he feeds them, he saves them, he delivers them, he sells them, he fences them in and does everything in between. This is sometimes at the detriment of all things and I struggle with that, I also know this is selfish for he gives up more than I do.

But it is too much for me I am not a country girl at heart, I love the land, the animals and the farm but a farmer I will never be. But at this stage in my life I feel I am losing my identity, living in a small country town has its up’s & downs. I think I am having a down at the moment. I am looking for work and now we have come to the conclusion I will probably have to travel again to get work. We had plans for this weekend where we would travel to spend time away, but spraying and sowing come first, I realise this but it doesn’t mean I like it. Due to a number of factors mainly time and re calibrating equipment we were unable to manage it, this has thrown me into a down time. I like his company but I also like the company of others, I think I need that more than he does, he grew up in isolation and has adapted well, I didn’t and I don’t think I have adapted as much as I should have (perhaps).

I am happy to help out, I can drive the tractors and did so yesterday to fill up the boom spray to save him 2 hours so he could keep going. This was two-fold, firstly to help out and secondly to enable us to get away, which never happened as in the end  it just ran into our travelling time. He still makes me laugh and I still know how special and lucky I am that we are together but I also look for the company of others. I feel the loneliness and isolation of the farm more so these days than ever. This has to do with not being employed and my own self worth.

He also told me once that farm life was not really for city women and it was important they had their own identity. We know women farmers and we, especially I admire how resilient, resourceful, strong and capable these women are, I am not this woman and that is nothing to be ashamed of, it is what makes country living different and challenging. I would love to go away 1 weekend with him and leave it all behind, but the reality is things die without supervision and he feels guilt if this happens when we are here never alone when we are away. I have used this public holiday Monday to clean the house, this is much better than boredom…

my feet are tired

Do you get to sundays and think about how much work your feet do for you during the week? I am today he woke me this morning to encourage me to do my walk I rolled out of bed, went to the bathroom and got on the scales. Hooray for me I have had another good weight loss. I looked at my exercise clothes, I have to keep them in the bathroom, get dressed there and sneak out of the house to avoid my 15 yr old Golden Retriever “Pete” who wants to come with me. He is old and can no longer keep up, he tore his cruiciate ligament many years ago and we were advised not to fix it (he has had $7000 of surgery on his broken front paw & has 3 pins in it) it has healed well but if he walks to far or fast it collapses on him and it breaks my heart so I try and walk him to the dam x3 weekly for swimming only. I looked at my clothes and then my feet said “I’m tired” so I did what dedicated people do. Climbed back into bed 🙂

My daughter when she was little use to say that to me “I can’t mummy, my feet are tired” so I have chosen this as an excuse to not exercise this morning and as I lay back down, put the TV on I thought about my feet and what they have done this week. My pedometer tells me in the last 7 days I have walked over 67000 steps. I aim for 10000 daily and some days this week I haven’t got to that due to work commitments that required me to sit. I haven’t yet got my fitness back to be able to walk the 10km in the time I was doing before christmas and I don’t want to strain anything at my age.

What have I put my feet through this week? they have had shoes put on them that have been uncomfortable but look good, all in looking professional when I have seen clients, they have had slippers on them most mornings and they are “like cushions for the feet”. In the later part of the week I wanted to wear them to work. I have worn comfortable shoes walking to the chicken coop to let the chickens out, throw them scarps, collect the eggs & lock them back up at night to save them from foxes. I have worn these to let the dogs off, water the aggi’s, hang clothes on line (see yesterdays blog), bring clothes in, walk to the car, do food shopping, walk from shop to bank, to newsagent, to post office, to chemist, to the council office. I have walked in to the Dr’s surgery, walked in and out of hospitals (for my work) gotten in and out of the car. They have walked to take and make phone calls, write letters, print recipes, shower and get in and out bed. So I figured having done all of this and more “my feet are tired” and deserved to have a rest in bed. I have had meetings about the Keith Hospital, at the hospital, in my car on the phone as a continuation on the fund raising journey such as typing recipes for the cook book, chased ‘celebrity chefs’ for their promised recipes and then had to clean my table/desk looking for a recipe sent from Matthew Primus – Coach of Port Power and to date I can not find it. Rats, I think I will have to go back and ask for it again. I have been thrilled with the response from people who are willing to help our cause.

Now that I am up, showered, dressed it is time to start my day, we have friends coming for lunch so there goes completing converting the bedroom to my office, but will enjoy a nice lunch instead. Perhaps sitting will stop my “tired feet” from dominating my thoughts, I am projecting my guilt and blaming my feet for my decision not to exercise and as I look outside it is now raining so it was a good decision. But all in all I did enjoy lazing in bed, now that I am up I have to use them to complete my day. Slippers where are you?