An Act of Balance

We are already 10 days into the new year. How are you doing on your resolutions? Did you make resolutions for 2015? Did you choose a word to focus your year on?

I did non of the above. I have plenty of room to make personal improvement, but didn’t make an official list.

Last summer Darcy wrote a post about 11 Ways I Help Keep My Life Sane. I think this is a good place to start, to be aware of what we each need to function at our best.

I like to get up early and drink a cup of cappuccino before the Husband arises. This quiet time allows me to wake up without feeling rushed, catch up with my blog friends, and gather my thoughts.

January 8

I am a creature of habit; I like a routine. I’m married to a rancher and a spontaneous man by nature. J and I have both learned a lot in the last 2 years and 2 months I ‘ve been home working full-time on the ranch. We have learned to communicate about the general intentions for the day. We have a routine for chores. After that, we are at the mercy of the weather and the occasional unexpected issues that greet us when we step outside.

After we wean calves and get them on feed our schedule revolves around the cattle. We feed calves, roll out hay and/or cake 2 groups of cows and the bulls. When we start calving the routine changes as we add calf tagging and taking out pairs to our daily workload. Also, when the weather warms up there are plenty of projects to do. Knowing what J has for projects helps me plan meals and household tasks. When I’m lucky I can squeeze in my own creative projects.

January 8

In her book “The Happiness ProjectGretchen Rubin says “Outer order creates inner peace.” If my house is clean, tighty and picked up I function better. It’s much easier for me to sit down and work on projects without being anxious. I also focus better on tasks that J needs help with outside, as I’m not worried about a mess greeting me when I get in after a long day of ranch work. I don’t consider my house perfectly clean, but have been referred to as a neat freak.

Laundry never seems to be an issue for me. I don’t mind doing laundry and seem to  keep caught up on it. Growing up Mom had a laundry day. She picked a day and washed clothes as an all day project. I tend to do a load when I get enough clothes to fill the washer. Some weeks I have lots of laundry do to sheets, towels and rugs. Other weeks I have a load of clothes or two. Every once in a while J will run out of socks and toss in a load of unmentionables before I realize he ran out. But, not very often.

January 8

We live 30 miles from the nearest small town grocery store and our primary shopping hub is 125 miles away. We don’t go to the big city very often and when we do it’s a big day, we get up early to do chores than have a 2 hour drive. J has his list, I have a my list and that makes for a lot of stops.

One thing that has made our life better is Amazon.com. I buy most of my bathroom, cleaning and office supplies off Amazon. I also order dry food items and condiments. With a prime membership I can get my order shipped to me in 2 days. Yes, 2 days free shipping. Frequently Amazon is cheaper than shopping in town and the free shipping more than pays for the yearly membership. This also means after a long day in the city I don’t have to unpack the car and put a lot of stuff away when I get home.

I have whittled my list down to cold and frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk products and anything that I know is cheaper at the store than what I can order it for. Simple.

January 10

Gratitude and a positive attitude is another thing I that keeps me grounded. J and I would not be able to raise cattle without the help of our parents. J’s folks have brought us into their ranching business and helped us “learn the ropes” and get a start.

Due to environment and location my parents operate their Nebraska ranch different than we do. They have been great to bounce ideas off of as they give us a different perspective and are always willing to share their experience and knowledge with us.

A positive attitude is sometimes easier said than done. Weather conditions can be horrible, cattle don’t always cooperate and machinery breaks down. I am an anxious person and an objective thinker; that doesn’t always match J’s tenancy to be very driven and fast-moving. I have found, if I can manage my anxiety and keep my chin up that J and I work good together and life operates pretty smooth.

These are a few practices that help me manage the household, excel at my job and keep my anxiety in check. What are some things that help keep your life balanced?

I saw these beautiful Hereford bulls at the Hoffman Ranch, Thedford, NE.

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11 Responses to An Act of Balance

  1. Julie says:

    Robyn,

    Your post today is one I truly enjoyed. My way of staying balanced (which I am only recently learning since becoming a stay at home Mom) is that being in God’s word daily in the morning and exercise as well in the morning keep me balanced. It makes for a feeling of comfort and a place to release any stresses. I’m trying to accept that being home is a job in itself and it’s ok to be happy in life about it. It feels good but I was raised to work hard all the time. It’s good for my family and me, so I know it’s right to do. I have never thought about Amazon for things other than gifts. Good thinking! Your photos are so neat. I love seeing cattle photos so it was a delight! Thanks for the insight and have a blessed day!

    • Robyn says:

      Thank You, Julie.
      A good walk can do wonders for me too. Walking outside is very relaxing and gives me a chance to clear my mind and pray.

      The world of Amazon is almost infinite. It’s amazing what one can find on there. J has started checking Amazon to see if they have the ranch supplies he needs. He has ordered several items and now uses them as a price check.

  2. Julie says:

    Oh yes! I am the SAME way about the house! 🙂

  3. Buttons says:

    Oh Robyn this is such a beautifully written post about what your life is really like. I think there are a lot of people that have no idea how different it is to work on a ranch fulltime and depend on that. I LOVE this post. “A positive attitude is sometimes easier said than done” oh that is very true. You are doing it well, I do believe. I have a desire as I age and seem to be slowing down to now branch out and see what has been put on hold while we have concentrated on farming/ranching for 35 years, a very physical world as you know. We will still be farming/ranching but any of my free time is now going to be a place where I can follow something I think I need for me.Dreams are not a bad thing. Great post. Take care. Hug B

  4. Linda W says:

    Great post! The start of a new year is a great time to take stock and begin new routines. And, yes, I like order in my life too.

  5. Cheri says:

    I like this post. You sound so much like me! Up early to drink coffee and relax before Cameron gets up. He likes to hit the ground running!
    I get anxious over dirty dishes and mud , hay and sand on the floors. Ugh! We have ceramic tile and hardwood. It drives me nuts.
    I wish I had the patience and desire to cook, so I could make ready eat meals.
    And I think you just changed the way I’m gonna do my grocery shopping! Amazon.com or walmart.com! That oughta irck the ups guy! Lol! 🙂
    Cheri

  6. Alica says:

    I’m with you about the house…if it’s tidy and mostly clean (especially my kitchen floor!) my whole outlook is better! On another note…I can’t imagine being so far from a store! I’m spoiled, I know. There are probably 4 full service grocery stores within 4 miles of us, plus almost everything else we need. However, I find that I’m much less organized because of the convenience. Loved this post!

  7. Candy C. says:

    Good post Robyn! I too agree about a tidy house making me “feel” better! I also appreciate a routine and like to plan my day. Of course, it rarely ends up the way I planned it! LOL!!

  8. lisa says:

    I too..stay sane by the habitual laundry day, house cleaning day and baking day. Of course everyday is a home school day, which adds another task to our already busy life on the ranch..but would not have it any other way. Amazon has also been a lifesaver and taught me I can enjoy going off the ranch without an entire day of tiring shopping. What would we do without our spontaneous rancher to keep our lives interesting…lol. I know my boys wI’ll never forget a day of chopping and pitching ice from the frozen watered on what was suppose to be a school day ♡

  9. Kim says:

    Jill and Brent both have Amazon Prime memberships and use them for lots of things. Jill likes having diapers arrive at her door! I haven’t done that yet, but I’m only 15 miles from a grocery store.

    I don’t do resolutions or word themes for the year. I don’t need another reason to feel bad about failing! Plenty of those opportunities arise naturally – ha!

  10. Amazon.com is my life-saver. We are 80 miles one way from Wal-Mart and if I want Sams I’ve got a 200+ mile trip. Our prime membership pays for itself in the first month of each year. 🙂

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