12/20/17: Thoughts for the Holidays

We use this blog as a vehicle to provide advice and perspectives related to cattle production. However, this time around, I’d like to focus on the men and women who are raising those cattle. The holiday season is in full swing. There are parties, gatherings, and concerts galore, all designed to spread a little holiday cheer. Even as the days get shorter, life seems to get busier as we try to shove as much in as possible, plus just one thing more. In light of this, I want to offer some thoughts on staying sane and safe this holiday season.

  1. Be aware. It’s always good to be aware of your surroundings; whether that’s in a parking lot or a cattle pen. Notice your surroundings, focus on the task at hand, be aware of where other people are. If a situation or a task doesn’t feel safe, then chances are it’s not.
     
  2. Slow down. Literally, slow down. The more we rush to get places or finish tasks, the more likely we are to have something not turn out right. Additionally, you might just miss the little things that come with more time with family and friends, regardless of the task.
     
  3. Breathe. This is one I have to tell myself a lot. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle of the time of year, there are gifts to be purchased, menus to plan, arrangements to be made for the cows when you’re out of town. Sometimes you need to take a step back, take a deep breath and pause. Taking time to pause gives you a fresh perspective on the task at hand, clears and refocuses the mind.
     
  4. Make time for yourself. Another one that’s tough for me. It somehow seems selfish to do so, but it’s good for you and everyone around you. I feel the need to point out that it’s not just for the women either! Find something you enjoy and make time to do it every day. Better yet, do something indulgent, schedule a massage, go to the fancy restaurant and have dessert, book an overnight stay at the lodge.
     
  5. Enjoy the little things. The holidays go by so fast and in the rush to make everything ‘perfect’, you can miss the things that really matter. For me, that’s watching my family open gifts on Christmas Eve. I would rather watch everyone’s face as they open their gifts than open my own.

As stewards of livestock and the land, we don’t always take time for ourselves. However, when we don’t press pause, we’re not our best selves. This holiday season, I hope that you will take time to stop and enjoy friends and family, as well as taking some time for yourself. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

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