My Farming Week: Sometimes it’s good to say No

I’m making some changes to my life for 2017.

Nothing too drastic – I’m not planning in running a marathon or even 5k. I’m too realistic to know that I’m not going to lose lots of weight.

But I am going to say “No” more often. Because after all, by saying “No” to something, I’m saying “Yes” to something else.

Farmers Wife keeping all the plates in the air

I’m cutting down drastically on my social media training as I want to concentrate on my writing. I can’t keep all the balls in the air – the farm, the writing, the kids and the training. I’ve started already and it feels good. I was asked to provide some training yesterday, it was over 90 minutes drive involving a really early start which would have meant having to get someone else to drop the kids to the school bus. I’d have spent hours and hours preparing for it too.

Instead I painted the upstairs landing and stairway (still to do the hall), helped Brian repair a water leak, washed calf buckets and dosed the yearling bulls. I comforted myself with the fact that if I had paid someone to do the painting, it would probably cost me the profit from the training session!

It was Brian’s birthday last Friday and we had planned to go out on Saturday night (with the kids) for a meal. As it happened, a heifer was calving so we stayed in and will go another time. I had suggested to Brian earlier in the week that he and I take a few hours off on Friday and go out for a nice lunch. He was just about to agree when he realised there was a hitch. As part of his discussion group, he had to attend a compulsory meeting in Naas at 11am. No matter, I decided, I could always go to Barker and Jones bookshop, treat myself to a book and spend an hour reading it in the cafe there. The plan then was to go to The Green Barn in Athy on the way home but as it’s closed until 4th Feb, we ended up going to the Clanard Court.

2017-01-27 11.29.37

There were lots of things I could have done in those few hours but I was glad we took the time out to go. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the bookshop cafe and even met an author I knew from Facebook (so it was nice to put a face to the name). It’s going to be a busy calving season and it feels good to have had many good family days out in January.

We’ve got working together fairly well sussed. Telepathy kicks in at times! We have a new failing though. It was funny on Thursday, we were dosing yearlings and while doing the heifers, we had prepared for marking the heifers we’re not selling with a red dot – to make it easier to separate them into two batches at another date.

2017-01-26 15.28.38 HDR-2

As they’ve been indoors, some of their tags have dirt covering the numbers somewhat and are hard to read. Add to the fact that Brian’s eyesight is deteriorating and mine is dreadful (it’s not that easy to work out which part of the varifocal I should be looking through when the animal’s ear is moving), it took a bit longer to read some of the tags than it should. We had plenty of time to have a laugh about it though.

Although I might be saying “No” to some things, I’m saying “Yes” to lots too, still perhaps too impulsively. I was asked to do an after-dinner speech and although I baulked, I decided it would be good for the auld profile – it’s coming up in a few weeks now though! Making an after-dinner speech is a first for me so we’ll see soon enough if it is also going to be the last! Interestingly, the person who asked me to do it heard me on Radio One on Christmas morning. I’m also doing a talk in Wexford Library next Tuesday evening. It’s for SMEs and authors – showing them how to grow their following on social media and get free press coverage. More details here if you happen to live in the SE and would like to come along.

2 thoughts on “My Farming Week: Sometimes it’s good to say No

  • Donna O'Shaughnessy

    I so understand the need to say no at times. I used to say yes to everyone who asked for a demonstration, or a meeting ,or a talk or to spend a day or more on the farm with us, excetera excetera and it proved absolutely exhausting. Now with the sale of our big farm completed we can concentrate on the little farm and the things that mean the most to us like our family , my writing, and time fixing up this place. I’m not one bit less busy but I am at least 75% less stressed.

    • Lorna Post author

      Agree Donna, it’s not as if I’m going to be bored! I was supposed to provide a mentoring session today but it was postponed and I was so excited cos I could do some research and wash calf buckets! I’m doing some voluntary stuff too which took up all of Tuesday morning and as it happens, will take up a lot of this Saturday too – and I’d much prefer to be painting my hall on Saturday! I’m learning!



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