Yes, you—the one who cares for livestock and land. The one who gets up and gets to work every day. The one who ponders the possibility of a beach vacation or night out with friends but refuses to make plans because, well, cows.
Welcome to a new decade!
It’s a time when you’re encouraged to leave behind last year’s baggage and move forward with purpose, with hope, with a blank slate. However, you’re also coming off one of the most difficult years you’ve ever faced. Your baggage clings to you in the form of upgrades you couldn’t make, maintenance you couldn’t perform, progress you couldn’t accomplish.
By the time you got done fixing or recovering from whatever the latest round of weather or markets brought, it was time to face the next round.
You’ve been kicked in the teeth repeatedly; yet, like the steadfast, honorable person you are, you don’t stay down. You get up, dust off, and keep moving.
And right about now, when it feels like the rest of the world is celebrating with a kind of joy you can’t muster, you wonder if it’s really worth the wear and tear. After all, once you dealt with the stress of a ranching business you couldn’t control, there was still the stress of health, relationships, and life in general. It’s ok to wonder if what you’ve been doing remains something you want to keep doing.
But, before you go further into the year, I want you to know this.
Rancher, you are seen, and though the weight of what you’re feeling is heavy, you are not carrying it alone. It’s ok to be proud, be sad, be tired, be worried … but please, take care not to get stuck in those feelings.
Many of us are moving into a new decade carrying old burdens. Burdens we minimize by saying things like, “Well, that guy over there has it tougher, so my troubles are just silly.” I know quite personally and oh so intimately the pitfalls of glossing over those burdens … avoiding the feelings around them … getting stuck in their heaviness.
I can also attest to the power you possess when you share those burdens with someone. Your someone might be God alone, a pastor, a partner, a best friend, a best dog, a favorite horse, or even a professional listener. No one else in the world needs to know. However, you do need and deserve to express and address what weighs you down.
Rancher, read this and know it in your heart.
You matter. You are seen. You are not alone. You deserve to be surrounded by people who believe in your greatness; yet, people who will also fearlessly and lovingly call you out on your BS.
The new year is ours for the taking, Rancher, and I hope we take it all, even if only one day at a time! From our ranch to yours, happy new year; may it be full of hope, strength, and growth.