Farm Life - Don't get discouraged, just concentrate on what is in front of you

Growing up on a farm was a good/bad experience as most experiences are in life. It was a major rush most of the year; but when harvest time came, it was just plain days and days of hard work. The rows of crops were approximately 1/4 mile long and the rows seemed uncountable. When such things as tomatoes or green beans had to be picked, I felt as if the job could never be completed. It didn't help that my father on many occasions would just up and fire the extra help for one reason or another. That would leave me, dad, my other two sisters, and a few neighbor kids to harvest the vegetables, sort them and load the truck for market.

I learned very quickly that keeping my eyes on the end of the row was just totally discouraging. Instead, I would look down at the plant that needed to be harvested, strip it, and move to the next. Soon, I was at the end of the first row and starting on the second. I tried to enjoy each moment by singing, pretending the crops were little creatures that were going on a new journey. I gave them names and personalities. Spider's webs, bugs of all sorts, and birds became part of an intricate imaginary town in my mind. Before I would be aware of it, I found that I had put in a day's work and the task was done. I should note that during all of this thinking and imagining, I also took care to do the best job possible. You see daddy checked each one of the containers that we put vegetables into. We had to mark the containers with our initials using a crayon. He would examine what we had done at the end of the day. If the work was not done properly (vegetables bruised/damaged, or containers not full enough) , we were not paid for that container of produce.

Years later I applied this same principle of living in the moment. Just before my daughter was born I began to really get anxious to have her. I felt like a beached whale and looked like one too. Then I realized that this time may never come again and I began to really savor that period of time as a very unique time in my life. I made note that as the baby kicked and squirmed inside of me, this opportunity to be so close to another human being was such a special experience that would be gone after the birth. The time seemed to pass very quickly after my change in thinking and before I knew it I was a new mother with a beautiful little baby in my arms. Even after more than 20 years, my mind still wanders back to that time. Those few days before welcoming a new human being into this world. How special it was.

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