Sept. 26 2023 08:45 AM

Some things can’t be checked off the to-do list, and that’s okay.

Do you ever have something just click for you? So much of what we do in our lives is really based on our mental perception — what we can grasp in our brains and then practically implicate.

It was a simple conversation about laundry that did this for me recently. Yes, the bane of existence for all farm families everywhere! It’s literally never done. My shift came in viewing those domestic chores not as something to ever be completely checked off the to-do list because honestly it never can be. Instead, I can look at it as a cycle and how it’s managed as a key to keeping sanity in a situation that never ends.

A cycle! That simple phrase put it into a perspective that I could wrap my head around in a more realistic way. Will I ever truly enjoy it? No. Ha! But having that mental picture of a cycle was a shift for me.

It’s a lot like farming. We have so many cycles running all at once. Some are on daily time frames; others are weekly, monthly, or yearly. Everything on the farm can never be completely crossed off the to-do list because it resets every new sunrise.

The endless cycle was a truth I had accepted on the farm side. It’s an ever-turning wheel of tasks to be completed that will never end. Shifting that view into other areas of life was a simple yet bright light bulb moment for me.

As farmers, we are constantly having to shift through information and research to find ways to implement them practically on our own farms. Some ideas come easier than others. And sometimes those light bulb moments can come exactly when we need them.

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.