Calves and Charisma

Most of the calves are weaned now or down to once a day feeding. We have had a few calves that were poorly and have recovered thank goodness although one seems to have had a bit of a relapse. As I reverted back to feeding him this morning with a large bottle again, it struck me how one sick calf can absorb as much time as 50 healthy ones. When they are healthy and feeding well, it really is just a case of checking them, bedding them and feeding them – literally chucking the milk in, giving them meal and ensuring they have fresh water.

Friesian Calf

When they are sick, they feed slowly, they keep needing a rest. It’s not too bad if they are isolated from the others, you can stand or kneel relatively comfortably beside them and let them take their time. I notice myself doing what lots of bottle-feeding mums do, as the sick calf takes a rest from feeding, I put the bottle the right way up again so I can measure how much has been drank, sigh and try again. That was one huge advantage with breast feeding – I never had a clue how much had been consumed, just presumed they had enough as they grew in front of my eyes. Anyway, he is on the mend and drank a full bottle this morning (two litres) which is about two thirds of a normal feed.

I was at a Charisma Bootcamp taught by Owen Fitzpatrick for two days the end of last week. It was absolutely brilliant and I’ll be blogging about it again – it was all about improving your presentations, business presence, how to improve business and personal relationships etc. ?You may think that people either have charisma or they don’t but that’s not the case at all. Charisma is something that is reflected in how others see you – you can control how others see you to an extent. Yes, some people will see you as incompetent no matter what you do and some people are natural begrudgers and won’t like you because you are successful but you can influence others to an extent – if you want to!

Listening to the radio the other evening, the presenter was making a comment that ten year olds now don’t accept compliments. If you tell them their artwork is good, they will deny it, they just won’t accept the compliment. Owen got us to do an exercise where we had to tell the person beside us three good characterisations about ourselves and one not so good thing. Well, the ‘not so good’ was easy, which one would I choose? I opted for ‘intolerant’. To be honest, while I recognise it may be a character flaw, I’m quite happy being intolerant at times ?- don’t have to suffer fools at all. But the positive – that was a tricky one and I realised how it can be very difficult to praise ourselves. ?I said to my partner ?’Well, I’m a writer now so I guess I’m creative’. I can’t remember what I said for the second one but for the third one I decided on ‘being a good mum’. ?Now, I didn’t come up with that one just because my kids are the best in the world so I reckoned my nurturing must have played a small part. ?I realised afterwards that the reason it came into my mind was because every night when I am kissing my 9 year old daughter goodnight, we exchange compliments. I have always told the two of them that they are the best boy and girl in the world etc but about a year ago, K started returning the compliment. So I tell her she is the best daughter in the world and she replies that I am the most wonderful and amazing mum in the whole universe and we exchange compliments for about five minutes. She cuddles down to sleep or turns to her book feeling happy and I leave her bedroom feeling all warm inside.

Farmer Girl

Some may say that telling kids that their work is good is not a sensible idea if it isn’t and I would agree with that but there’s no harm in exaggerating sometimes too. I love knowing that my daughter thinks I’m a good mum – let’s face it, it won’t be that long until she will feel I know nothing so I might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

Much more on the bootcamp coming up over the next week. I first met Owen Fitzpatrick?at the end of 2008 when he came down with the senior producer of ‘Not Enough Hours’ to see me about appearing in the programme as my organisation was, let’s just say, lacking. I can remember thinking that RTE were probably sending down some terribly anally boring time management nerd – however, it couldn’t have been further from my perception, I can honestly say I have never laughed so much in a training. If you ever get a chance to attend one of his talks – do!

And yes, making encouraging noises and giving compliments to poorly calves can help them feel better too – I’m sure of it! I hope the calf thought I was being charismatic this morning.

8 thoughts on “Calves and Charisma

  • Dee Sewell

    Lovely post Lorna and I imagine the feeding time with calves, however long it takes, makes you have to slow down for a while and take time out which must be a good thing.

    There was an interesting topic on the radio recently where a roving reporter went out and about and asked people to share the when and what of the last complement they had received. Some were blank, saying it was almost a year ago they’d received one. So apart from being bad at receiving them, perhaps many of us are bad at giving them too and it’s something we should all practice more.

    I think you’re quite inspirational in the way you don’t (seemingly) give a damn about what others think and are willing to try new business ideas until you find the one you’re happiest with, and when you do, you give it 100%. I’m not sure what word encapsulates that but it should be in your list 🙂

    • Lorna

      Isn’t it sad that people aren’t encouraged to think good things about themselves. I love being told I’m a wonderful mum on a daily basis and even W gives me spontaneous hugs sometimes. We have to lead by example though don’t we? Have to give to receive etc. Brian and I take the ‘piss’ out of each other a lot but I know he thinks I’m wonderful. Let’s face it, otherwise he’d have me buried under the patio as I drive him mad at times too.

      I was amused at what you said about me not giving a damn about what others think. tbh, I really don’t – well, I do about people that really matter to me but not the gossips or begrudgers. That’s one thing I hated about leaving England that I was leaving relative anonymity behind and although it was going to be nice to be going back to a community, I was well aware that as the new farmers on the block, everything we did was going to be commented on. I think that’s one of the great things about blogging though, you can put your news out there and it takes away the fun from those trying to find out stuff! I do hear back stuff about myself the odd time that always surprises and amuses me that someone found it interesting.
      I change career about every 5 years – I quite like the idea of writing and teaching social media for another decade though but who knows what is around the corner. I met a good friend, Bernie Tracey (a business coach), for lunch recently and it was almost like a brilliant mentoring session with new ideas for the future if things work in a certain way.
      Many thanks for your lovely comment Dee 🙂

  • Donna OShaughnessy

    Lorna, I too do lots of thinking when feeding calves, I’m terrible about just enjoying the task at hand but love that you take time each evening to praise your children. I worked long hours as nurse manager when my first two were little and frankly could’ve spent more time cheering them on but I’m doing a much better job with the GK’s. Fortunately all four of my kids live close and I’m able to cheer them on in their adult years. Learning from my mistakes and happy God has kept me on earth long enough to do so. Carry on my favorite Irish Farmer/Writer/Speaker/MUM!!

    • Lorna

      I agree, it doesn’t matter what age you are – it is still good to hear you are wonderful.
      You are wonderful too 🙂

  • J.D. Gallagher

    I think kids need praise, but like you said, praise where it is due and when it is needed. I think that is one of the many, many blurry lines that parents have to walk when raising kids….but I’m not a parent so maybe I am talking through my hat!

    • Lorna

      Not talking through your hat at all and you’re right, there’s no manual.It’s gut instinct sometimes 🙂

  • Madeleine

    I love this post Lorna, it brings back some great memories, of bottle feeding sick calves as a child, and how at the time the feeding would seem to go on forever, but I remember enjoying the peace and quiet in the shed…
    Ok…qualities!!.. What you might see as intolerant I see as being direct and honest, and that is an admirable quality.. great mum, wonderful friend, loyal, kind, modest, organised (you are,yes!), an amazing multitasker, a hard worker… the list goes on:-)

    • Lorna

      Yes, I agree, if you’re not in a hurry, it can actually be relatively soothing as long as they keep drinking – albeit slowly! Maybe the prolactin kicks in too in a phantom mother hormone kind of way. 🙂
      Aw thank you Mads and back at you with spades 🙂 – I needed you beside me on that course. Yes, I didn’t claim organised. I still feel being organised is a tad anal (yes, I said that to Owen back in 2009, can still remember Brian and Teresa kind of gasping and looking to see his reaction) but having worked with some disorganised people on a few occasions, I think I’m definitely nearly there – but I keep my desk in a mess just to reassure me 🙂



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