Saturday, January 04, 2014

#180. or, Low Resolution

  As is the case, for some reason, I seem to find myself thinking about things I wish I had done differently over the past year when the numbers on the top of the calender increase by a single digit.

  Last year, when my lovely wife was working in town, or more precisely, last spring, somehow through her work, the woman I love acquired a coupon for 2 free rounds of golf. In another town. Forty-five minutes away. Beside a lake. With a golf cart included. For free.

  She said I should take the boy. Which was, I agreed, a magnificent idea. Because while I in no way claim to have any sort of natural ability when it comes to golf, I have enjoyed myself whenever I've gone. And the boy loves to golf, so it would be a nice thing to get off the farm and do something a bit out of the ordinary with him for a change.

  Plus it was free.

  So we pinned that coupon to the cork board beside the door as a reminder of all of the fun we were going to have.

  And then I went to work. Every day. Because the year before, when I was thinking about things I wished I had done differently over the past year when the numbers on the top of the calender increased by a single digit, I had thought, I'm going to try to apply myself to what I do, to the best of my ability, in an attempt to be an even more productive farmer.

  Every day, when I put on my overalls and laced my boots, I looked at that coupon, and thought, we're going to have a great time golfing, the boy and I.

  Slowly, the summer drifted on and fall came creeping in, as falls tend to do, while we try to cling to days of shorts and t-shirts. And that coupon that had been a reminder of the good times in store for the boy and I, became more of something we now needed to squeeze in, between trying to keep my combine running, and making feed for the cows to last the winter.

  Until it was finally obvious that we were't going to be able to go. So I tried to see if one of his brothers could take the boy, but they were busy too, and when I finally couldn't even give the coupon away any more, it got taken off the cork board, beside the door, and tossed into the trash.

  But, I had been productive, and we filled all of our grain bins, and even some bins we had to borrow from our neighbours to store all of that grain we produced. Then the grain prices started to fall.

  And fall.

  And fall.

  So now, even though we produced good quality grain, in vast quantities, it's worth about half of what we got last year.

  I don't know how to budget for that. I don't know how to sit down and say, "I'm going to work my ass off so I can bring home half the pay." But more importantly, how do I justify the time I took from other things, in order to try to provide more for my family, only to come up short in all aspects?

  I don't know what the answer is,

  .........but I wish I had gone golfing.



I Don't Like Mondays Blog Hop



37 comments:

  1. I'm guilty far to often of letting time slip by - this post really grabbed me.

    My father used to always claim that if he ever won the lottery he would by a farm and farm it until he was broke. It's a way of life that few can comprehend.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Vanessa,

      It's not like I didn't do anything with the boy, I just wish I had done THAT thing.

      Seems I'm working my way toward your fathers gaol! :)

      Delete
  2. Yup. I have the same feeling. It seems like I spend so much time fixing things or making money to fix the things that I hardy have anytime to do the things that are super important to me. Things.

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  3. Replies
    1. Hey Debra,

      That's good advice. I'll try seize the day a bit more.

      Delete
  4. This one really resonated with me as well. Like you, I've done plenty with my kids this year. But I could have done more. I wanted to do more. I feel like there were pockets of time that I must have wasted somewhere. Though in your case, I can't imagine where those pockets could be. For me, though, striking the balance is so hard.

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    1. Hi Stephanie,

      It's always a balancing act. I used to say, you have to take the time, because you can't make time. But, sometimes I feel like I haven't been able to follow that as much as I would like.

      Delete
  5. Shoot, my other comment didn't go through. :(
    That sucks. The working hard for diminishing returns. I know how that feels, and usually I wish I hadn't worked so hard in the first place...

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    1. Hi Natalie,

      Well, I just lost my reply, trying to comment back, so something sinister seems afoot?

      This past year seemed to be especially difficult for some reason. I was always running right up to the last possible minute trying to get things done. 2014 has to be much better! :)

      Delete
  6. Oh how I wish that hard work had paid off real good and the prices hadn't fallen :( - this was kind of depressing to read... I really feel for farmers as I have several friends whom are such, and are always influenced by bad crops. I hope it works out for you, thought I had a bad start of the year but this was way worse..

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    1. Hey Annika,

      I didn't mean for it to get too depressing, but it seems to have found it's way there. I'm sure that you've probably heard it from your farmer friends but, there's always next year. Or this year....but you know what I meant. :)

      Delete
  7. I think we all have regrets concerning our children, time spent away from them when their days as children are so short. But your son has surely witnessed how hard you work to take care of him and the rest of your family and I've no doubt you're providing him with the enough love and affection to outweigh this one little disappointment.

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    Replies
    1. I hope so Stephen,

      As it's the last of our sons still at home, I think I'm trying harder to redeem myself for the time I wasn't able to spend with with his 2 brothers. I guess we do the best we can?

      Delete
  8. I truly feel for you. I see Bill doing the same kind of thing: putting things off to work to make things better, only to get stuck in the end (putting it politely). Next time use the coupon, do the thing whatever it is. The work will always be there. You guys deserve a break.

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    Replies
    1. Hi McGuffy Ann,

      You're right. The work never goes away. Best to take the opportunities while I still can. :)

      Delete
  9. Oh I'm sorry, Ken! I wish you'd gone golfing too. And I hope the price of grain goes up!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Stacie,

      Me too. On both accounts.

      Delete
  10. Wow, that really sucks. I admire your resilience in facing things like this that are beyond your control. As for the golfing with your son, I'm sure you can and have made up for it in many other ways.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Suzanne,

      There are things, grand things, coming up with the boy. And I don't really know why that one thing bothers me so much, But it still does.

      Delete
  11. Ken, this is a really well-written and honest post. As they say in the boxing gym, "you've got a lot of heart". That really came through in this piece.

    I hope the coming months are filled with full grain bins, full pocketbooks, and most importantly, beautiful moments with family. Oh, and golf, at least one kick-ass game of golf with your son! Happy New Year.

    Karen

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    Replies
    1. Hi Karen,

      Thanks so much! :)

      It doesn't look too optimistic on the grain pricing, but I can still do things with my kid. :)

      Delete
  12. This was a fantastic post. Simple and profound idea...

    Happy New Year. Go golfing, even if you have to pay for it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank Katy!

      Happy New Year to you as well. And yes! Golfing! :)

      Delete
  13. Hey Ken ! First of all wonderfully written post. Secondly bro I can understand your feelings....but you know life is like that. Time slips from our hands and left us keep wondering where did it go ! Hope you have a good life :) xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!

      I guess it's something we all struggle with. Glad you stopped by. :)

      Delete
  14. Ken, I love reading your blog! You hit the mark every time for me and even if you didn't, that isn't the point. The honesty and clarity in your writing affects me in a very real way. I think most of us are working hard(er) and earning less. I do the best I can and accept the outcome and the ugly reality also has me thinking more about what I value and how much I invest in my relationships. If you remember, my daughter is pregnant and I'm thinking hard and doing better at spending time with her and planning my granny life. We can't fix yesterday, but we can choose to do better today.

    Glad you're here.

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    Replies
    1. Hi LaTonya, nice to see you around again. :)

      I think I'll choose to do better today. It's interesting how when we become less young, (as opposed to older) our perspectives change and it's easier to see what really is the most important things in life. Even if we occasionally fall back on old habits and try to conquer the world.

      Also, I mentioned this at your blog, but I suspect you're going to be an awesome grandmother. :)

      Delete
  15. My sweet, observant friend, Ken,

    We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Why in the world do we live like we have until next Thursday, at 8? I have completely revamped my 'view' of things, an that includes putting life on hold for work.

    I am so 'here'.

    But I am guessing you are on a trip...where it's warm, just about the time it is about to freeze the entire Northern Continent.

    Enjoy your trip, my friend. Be warm. And know you are well-loved by many.

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    Replies
    1. Hello, my friend!

      I try to live that life, but it still feels like there's so much to get done that I occasionally forget to stop and breathe. It's something I'm working on constantly.

      I'd like to be there as well.

      Unfortunately, we don't leave until the end of the month. So I'm stuck here in the cold with the rest of you. I'm actually getting a bit of a chuckle, watching the whole country to the South of me freaking out about the snow and the cold. Welcome to my world! :)

      Delete
  16. I hope you get another chance to go golfing. And figure out what to do about the budget. That truly sucks.

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    1. Thanks Lizzi,

      I'm sure it will all get sorted out. :)

      Delete
  17. I don't golf, but I recently took up playing chess. Somehow I wonder if it's a similar satisfaction. But less expensive. Less of a lot of things -- good and not-so good, I suppose.

    As always, a wonderful post.

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    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if chess is similar or not. I've tried it a few times, but not really enough to get into its complexities. The thing I like about golf is being outside. Some of those courses are beautiful. However, over Christmas holidays, the boy and I did dig out the dart board and have taken up throwing pointed objects at the wall. It's been fun. :)

      Delete
  18. I feel your pain. It is a constant juggle to decide whether to maintain our restaurant or spend more time with the kids. The kids are older and have figured out ways to amuse themselves while we slave away and while it used to make me happy that they were surviving, it makes me sad now because they have other things to do instead of hang out with us. When I want to do something, I have to give myself an exact date and then keep it like an appointment otherwise it gets "thrown in the trash"

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    1. Hi Funny,

      We try to do things, but because the boy is the last of our kids at home, and he's on the doorstep of 14, it's becoming more and more apparent that we could have done so much more with them. I think everybody goes through that. As long as you realize it and make the effort, I think you're doing alright. :)

      Delete
  19. This got right inside my head.

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