Peggy Sanders: Taking time to reflect on your life gives it additional meaning
At the end of the day, a farmer can look back at how many acres he has disked, irrigated or harvested.
A rancher counts his newborn calves, repairs his fence or works (vaccinates or other herd health duties) his cows. All of these are quantifiable, physical, easy to see projects. Though the work never ends for farmers or ranchers, there is a daily realization of accomplishment.
Others may have to dig a little deeper to determine what made their day special. With these few questions that can be answered daily, it may surprise you to see that your day, upon reflection, was a meaningful one.
Before going to sleep, perhaps even helping you get hunkered down to sleep, consider this: What was the best thing that happened to you today? This may be especially important to those who think their life is mundane.
For instance, last night we went to see one of our sixth grade grandgirls perform in a musical for their spring program. We have been watching this same group of kids over the years and I’m amazed at their progress—not to mention their growth—as they’ve matured. Before the concert we went out to eat. Neither of these were major events but both were much appreciated and made for a good end to the day.
We know that “laughter is the best medicine.” Evaluate your day, did you laugh out loud? I can recommend watching YouTube videos of Jeanne Robertson if you need a belly laugh.
Another go-to for me is “The Ranch Woman’s Manual,” by Gwen Petersen, who also writes the column “In a Sow’s Ear” in The Fence Post. The manual is available on Amazon and other online used booksellers.
As you go through your day, there will be funny things that pop up. Share them; make someone else smile. Writers have the habit of coming up with things in the middle of the night, sometimes in dreams, and if they don’t get right up and write them down, or at least enough of a thought to jar the memory, the thread may be lost.
That is where I am today. I thought of a terrifically funny job description for my semi-feral cat last night. Now I can’t recall it because I didn’t note it. The cat is wild but knows if he comes into the yard I will feed him. He hangs around when he needs extra food and otherwise is out mousing and carousing. Finally I can get within four feet of him before he runs off. I’m waiting patiently to pet him . . . maybe.
The last question might be, “What have I learned today?” I study the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps in depth and with every oral interview, every chapter in a history book and each online research site, I learn. Inter-generational visiting teaches each person involved. Doing so over old photos heightens the experience.
Think back over your day and you may be surprised at the joys and accomplishments.❖
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Hudspeth County, Texas — In the fall of 2019, ranch hands were gathering a bull when they noticed something out of place. One of their employer’s cows was freshly branded, with someone else’s brand.