When it doesn’t work … what then

It is amazing isn’t it we go along for great periods of time working at things to achieve outcomes and some of these take years. We can work at being married, being a parent, a friend, a sister, a mother and though at times we faulter and feel like failures we know these are the things we love and enjoy so we move on from the times it may seem hard.

These are things that are everyday and only feel like work when it does get hard, what about life’s intrusions such as work, there is paid employment, volunteer ‘work’ and then there is the slog of daily activities that lead to being paid, in the case of farming there is periods without income and then periods with income, selling crop and animals is cyclic and not a weekly or monthly income. All farmers wait for better prices, sometimes they come sometimes they don’t.

What if you get to the stage where you know you’re doing it wrong, perhaps that’s harsh, as there is no such thing as wrong, it’s should be called different. Once you get to the point where there is no outcomes most change tactics and farmers are experts at this, they really are. I am amazed at their strengths, tenacity and ingenuity and most perseverance. Their ability to assess, nurture and move on in agriculture, I believe there is not another job in the world that is more difficult. What they do grows things, feeds other people, it keeps animals alive in times of drought and without farmers where would be get our industries from.

When most people come to the point where they know what they are doing needs a change in direction, do most people do this or fall back onto the defensive, “this is the way I have always done it so I’m finding people who will support this.” I am guilty of this in past careers, move on rather than adapt and change, moving the country has given me a different perspective, I HAVE to adapt to environment, employment opportunities (where there is none) and outcomes on areas I assist in. I don’t believe I do much work as I don’t value my own contribution to farming, I can’t see deliverables and this may be a wrong assumption. I know my husband thanks me all the time for what I do, but as a person we value ourselves on the income we provide to contribute to our households and I haven’t been able to do this for a long time.

Do I stop now what I am doing and move myself out of my own way and into paid employment? I have retrained albeit in an industry I never thought I would go (Beauty) and whilst I enjoy what I do , it really is the ‘nice’ career and not really mentally challenging. Do I keep going and work with people that can’t deliver back to me? I think I am a good change agent, I take people on face value and am finding that we are poles apart, what I need now isn’t where they are at.

In my network I have many a strong highly educated women that through no fault of their own find / found themselves redundant and all by other women. It is astounding that we don’t support the sisterhood, women in power seem to get rid of those that the feel ‘threaten them’ rather than nurture and support. Is there an industry out there for women who can but are held back not by men but by other women? I believe so, but how does one break this cycle when even the retiring Gail Kelly – selects a male to step into her shoes rather than the woman who sat alongside her and supported her?

It’s one of those days, where I know I’m going to have to change tactics and advance myself or I am going to be doing laser hair removal on every bikini line in the district…

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…