The Recovering Farmer

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Year That Was

I was going through my usual morning routine, part of which is checking the headlines in the Winnipeg Free Press. Saw an article entitled “Farming, Family Meant Everything”. Obviously it piqued my curiosity. I was shocked by what I read. The story of a young farmer killed in a tragic farm accident. Any farm accident hits me hard because I often think of what might have been. Particularly shocking was that the article referred to a man I have had the opportunity to meet many times. Often saw him wearing a cowboy hat. That was because he was a cowboy. He had a passion. A passion for agriculture. A passion for the cattle industry. A passion for family. He was an industry leader. I met him through Keystone Agricultural Producers. He was the cattle representative, I was the hog representative. We shared many similar passions. Enjoyed the debates. I had moved on, no longer involved in farming. He was looking forward to his life as a Manitoba family farmer. Now there is family left with a massive hole in their lives. It seems so unfair.

Today’s Winnipeg Free Press poll of the day asked the question, “If the world ended at the close of 2012, how would you feel?” I was unsure as to the intent of the question till I realized that the Mayan calendar calls for the world to end in 2012. Potential answers ranged from, content to mostly satisfied to a bit bummed to woebegone. I experienced some anxiety when I read that question. (one reason for the anxiety is an experience I had one New Year’s eve, a story best left for another day) Number 1, no one wants to think about the world ending. Secondly, I seem to focus on regrets when I look back. I should be focusing on positives. There were lots of those. These thoughts of woulda, coulda and shoulda are much to self-defeating. I suspect that everyone would make changes if they could turn back the clock. I said, somewhat facetiously, to someone the other day that if I would have known thirty or forty years ago what I know today I would have had a lot more fun. Perhaps. But life is good. We need to focus on the future.

We are saying goodbye to 2011. Ushering in a New Year. What will it bring? I seem to have missed making any New Year resolutions. Perhaps it is intentional. New Year resolutions are a lot of work. You know how it is. You wake up January 1 and nothing really changes. Nothing looks different. Nothing feels different. So why not go with what you got? Keep working at what you have been working on for the last year. Resolve to work at it harder. That way when you fail it is easier to get up, dust yourself off and carry on.

I am looking ahead. Saw an interesting commercial on TV. The quote at the end said “If good deeds were more common they would not stand out as much”. Perhaps that is what we can strive for in 2012. Forget about the world ending. Forget about any regrets. Make it a goal to do more good deeds. You might be surprised at the positive impact this has on your life and the lives of others. In the meantime I will again remind you of a picture that hangs in my office. It simply says that “It’s not that life ends so soon but that we wait so long to begin it”. How true. So here’s to 2012. Bring it on. Make it a good one.

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