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Taking Time

This summer, we're grazing our rams at a neighbor's property about 3/4 of a mile away from our home place.  We try to keep our rams at least a mile away from our ewes until breeding season starts (the ewes are all on leased pasture 3 miles or more from the house) - the "ram effect" helps synchronize ovulation and increase twinning rates.  While I could have driven to the ram pasture in a matter of minutes, I opted to ride my mule instead.  The decision to ride instead of drive meant that I needed to groom my mule, saddle her, ride to the ram pasture and back, and unsaddle and groom her again.  Had I decided to burn petroleum, the chore would have taken all of 10 minutes.  Riding my mule made it a 45 minute task.

Part of why I decided to farm as a livelihood was the fact that I would be in charge of my own time - no punching a time clock for me!  In theory, this sounds great - I'm my own boss!  Unfortunately, my boss is insane on occasion - there's always more to do and never enough time to do it!  For me, riding my mule represents an acknowledgement that that I do control my schedule - I can afford to "waste" the 35 additional minutes it takes to ride to the ram pasture simply because riding my mule is far more enjoyable than driving my truck.

I struggle with extending this philosophy to other parts of my life.  For example, I love to fish for trout.  Despite my passion for fishing, I usually get to fish 2-3 times each year - even though I can be on pretty decent trout water in 45 minutes.  Tonight, I decided that the next day I can finish my chores by 2 p.m., I'm grabbing my fly rod and heading for the mountains!  I'm taking time to do something I enjoy!

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