Have you ever had one of those days where it seems like nothing goes as planned?
You forget the water tank, and it overflows.
You left the gate open, and the steers got out.
You slammed your thumb with the hammer.
An unexpected bill arrives in the mail.
The tractor breaks down.
Your temper flairs out working cattle.
You’re miffed because the kids drug mud into the kitchen.
You butt heads with your dad because you don’t see eye-to-eye on what’s going on at the ranch.
You’re running late to that meeting again.
The school calls. You’ve got a sick kid to pick up.
Your boot gets stuck in the mud while out doing chores, and now you’ve got a wet sock!
No matter how hard you tug, that twine string is frozen down solid on that bale of hay.
The zipper broke on your coveralls.
The bull failed his breeding soundness examination.
A premie calf dies after a week of trying to nurse him back to life.
The fence needs fixing again.
There’s not enough rain.
There’s too much rain.
You get the idea. If there’s one absolute certainty of being involved in a family farm or ranch, it’s that sometimes it’s unpredictable. Sometimes we have bad days. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, things don’t work out as we planned.
Farming and ranching can be frustrating, exhausting, draining, and just plain hard.
But it can also be a life of beauty, abundance, joy, richness, and fulfillment.
And yes, you can feel both stressed and happiness at the same time. You can feel both tired and full of life while ranching. You can feel like your cup is half empty, but at the same time it can also be overflowing with gratitude.
Truly, it’s all in your outlook.
One thing that I’m trying to do is no matter what curveballs come my way, I want to count it all with joy. Each morning when the sun comes up on the ranch, I’m going to choose joy. I’m going to choose gratitude. And I’m going to know that I’m one lucky son-of-a-gun because I get to live and work in agriculture alongside my family, where I get to tend to the land and the livestock that I love.
It really doesn’t get better than that.
Choose joy, my friends. It will make your whole day better, no matter what goes wrong!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.