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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Quiet times, ten minutes, chores

With the holidays behind us and the house back to “normal”, Mama and I seem to be in one of those quiet times when routine takes over and life feels like it is on autopilot. It does not mean we are not busy. Nor does it mean that we have no forward-looking plans. It is more of the sense of calm; a settled time to reflect and regroup before the pace suddenly changes. Winter is a big part of that idle feeling. It is a pleasant little break, but it will not last long. It never does. At present, we are preparing our taxes for last year and planning our budget for this year. We are making plans for the farm, the livestock we are keeping or selling this year, the best schedule to be on to purchase feed and hay, the path forward to completing the coop and the well house, whether or not we will be able to get the shop done this year, starting the plan for the garden – which will need to be finalized very soon – and helping Victoria sell these pups. That is a partial list. I still need to add in practice time on the cello, violin and guitar – if I ever determine to follow through on that. And I need to take up Tai Chi to see if I can regain any flexibility. That’s our quiet time. I am enjoying it as much as I can.
I asked for a change to my work schedule last week. I had been working 8 a.m. to 5 pm. I asked that the hours be 7 a.m. to 4 pm. That gives me more time in the evening to help Mama get the evening feeding done ad get her set up for the morning routine. The evenings are lasting longer as the days begin to lengthen. Having the extra hour to use in those lengthening evenings is a big help. I learned from one of my more difficult bosses the value of ten minutes. He was routinely taking ten minute intervals to get things done or to set up to get things done. I learned to be succinct in conversations with him so that a longer conversation was not needed. I also learned that a lot can be accomplished in ten minutes if you want to use the time wisely. Dishes can be washed, a pitcher of tea can be made, a tool can be put away, the watering containers for the animals can be checked, the oil level can be checked in a vehicle, the trash bag can be changed out, the A/C filter can be replaced with a fresh one, etc. If ten minutes now has a measurable value to me, imagine what an extra hour is worth. I just have to look for opportunities to use that time wisely.
Rain is forecast for this evening so Mama and I have had to put some plans on hold; probably until Thursday. But improving weather should give us plenty of time to get the majority of our tasks done by the end of the week. We have feed to get, animals to retrieve, flat tires on a trailer and the tractor (one each) that need to get pulled and repaired, a coop to clean, raised beds to set up in the garden and several other chores that the farm requires before the week is done. 

I am not sure why we get to have all this fun, but we do.


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