We can change our attitudes by changing our thoughts.
Without a doubt, I am an optimistic person. My glass isn’t just half-full — it’s overflowing.
I think dairy farmers, in general, are optimistic people. A positive outlook is almost a necessity for this way of life. As the famous quote from Brian Brett so eloquently states: “Farming is a profession of hope.”
But there are times when our optimism is tested.
For me, February and March are the months when my smile turns upside down.
For several reasons, we schedule breeding so that none of our cows calve in December and January. That means over a third of our herd freshens in February and March. This flood of fresh cows and newborn calves overwhelms our system, including both facilities and labor.
My husband and I provide 95 percent of the labor on our farm, which keeps us working overtime in normal months. During February and March, we work double overtime.
Compounding the situation is the fact that nothing else in my life slows down when calving picks up. I still need to be a wife and a mom. I still have responsibilities as an advocate and volunteer.
The combination of the workload and the sleep deprivation put me in a state of mind that generates some downright ugly thoughts about my decision to choose dairy farming for my life’s work.
But this year, I tried something new when I felt the negativity start creeping in.
I tried reframing my thoughts.
[Read the rest of Reframing...dairy farmer style here.]