The Recovering Farmer

Friday, February 11, 2011

Resiliency, What’s That???

Finally, a break in the weather. The sun is shining and the mercury is going in the right direction. Could this be the end of winter and beginning of spring? Is there a chance that the groundhog was right? Please let it be so. Okay, -30 might, and I stress might, be bearable if it wasn’t always so gosh darn windy. (notice I am choosing my words carefully) I am losing my resiliency. Webster Dictionary defines “resilience” as “the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation”. It then goes on to use the word in the following example. “Cold temperatures caused the material to lose resilience”. Ahhaaa. That’s the problem. Cold weather has caused me to lose resilience. Well, I am going to fix that.

Due to a special promotion, just for me, I was the recipient of a special deal in a place where temperatures are warmer than they are here. Honest, they said it was because I am special. I believe them. So I am going to go get my resilience back.

Webster’s Dictionary also defines “resilience” as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”. Now I understand better why, for years, we have referred to farmers as being resilient. I remember constantly having to adapt to misfortune or change. Many of the misfortunes farmers face are completely out of their control. Weather, interest rates, disease, government policies, dependence on foreign markets. The list is endless. So that is why farmers are said to be resilient.

I read another definition earlier this week. It came from a psychologist who works closely with farmers. It defined resilience as “having the ability to reinterpret negative meanings into positive ones”. The first example that popped into mind was the age old saying “there is always next year”. Hey, how often didn’t I use that one. In fact, in my life I often said, “well, there is always next week”. It often seemed that next week or next year was very elusive. And yet we keep striving to achieve and succeed. Sometimes we need to stop, reassess, and to find new tools that work.

I am looking forward to our Farmer to Farmer workshops starting March 2 where we will look at the 3Rs of stress management. Recognition, Resilience and Resources. It will be an opportunity to find new tools for the old tool box.

Oh, and I just realized an added benefit to my holiday next week. Remember when I said a professional had told me my emotional gas tank was empty and needed to be refilled? This will be an opportunity to do that, I hope. Better not screw it up. Hey, would that make this trip tax deductible? Gotta think about that. Talk soon. Make it a good one.

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