I define success as the ability to maintain balance while moving forward in a positive way. Complete balance involves physical, mental and emotional components. Whether you are managing yourself, your family, running a business, or caring for animals; maintaining balance is both an art and a skill.
I mentioned in a previous post that my life is a juggling act, and that I am both a planner and a creature of habit because this helps me to be a more successful juggler (https://feedyardfoodie.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/a-two-legged-creature-of-habit%E2%80%A6/). Despite my quest for balance and my dedicated attempt to plan and run both my life and my feed yard with a regimen based on HAACP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), being a mother of three (in addition to being a caregiver to thousands of animals) has also taught me to “go with the flow”.
Although both Matt and I had to work off and on all weekend (me at the feed yard and Matt at the alfalfa dehydration plant loading railroad cars with alfalfa dehy pellets and corn destined for the west coast), we had plans to spend time as a family cutting down a Christmas tree, riding horses, and watching college football (in addition to the traditional over-eating that generally occurs Thanksgiving weekend).
Instead, we spent the weekend at the hospital with our youngest daughter. Karyn was diagnosed with pneumonia the day before Thanksgiving and we kept her at home on oral antibiotics until Friday when it became apparent that it was going to take more intensive care for her to get better.
My life is consumed by the desire to keep my kids and my animals healthy…It is sobering when I fail…
I believe in the proactive power of:
- A Balanced Diet
- Being well rested with adequate sleep.
- Maintaining up to date vaccinations.
- Having time to play and learn.
- Being active and getting sufficient exercise.
Sometimes, however, even the highest dedication to a good proactive health plan is not successful at keeping illness at bay…
Sometimes the best laid plans change and challenges occur—that is life…It is how we deal with those challenges that define us as individuals…
So, instead of Christmas trees and relaxing horse rides, we got: IV antibiotics, breathing treatments, additional oxygen, and worries about our sick little girl. All of this on top of reading bunks (the process of determining how much each bovine will be feed for the day) and making sure that the cattle were fed on schedule (they are creatures of habit just like I am and expect to be fed at the same time every day). A special thanks to my crew for filling in for me as much as they could so that I could spend most of the weekend at the hospital.
Challenges allow for learning and the development of personal strength. If we are never thrown off balance then we never learn how to obtain it. Unfortunately, my seven year old had a hard time believing that being stuck with a needle, an IV, and enduring little plastic pokey things sticking up her nose to increase her oxygen levels would make her a better and stronger person (all of these on top of a fever, cough, nausea, and a rash)…But, I know that learning to deal with crisis and being tough enough to do what it takes to improve is an important life lesson. It is my job as a parent to teach her to deal with challenges because no matter how much I would like to be able to solve all of her problems for her, I know that I cannot.
Our children mirror us and our behavior. They look to us for leadership and guidance. We fail them when we do not deliver it. It is so hard to stay strong when your child is lying lethargically on a hospital bed and you want to move mountains to make her better, yet really all you can do is help her professional caregivers and pray that God will make her better. Although Karyn does not really understand why she has to endure all of the medical procedures that go along with fighting a pneumonia infection, my support and quiet strength show her how important it is for her to be tough and to cooperate with the hospital staff. We had a couple of bouts of tears over the blood work and the IV, but she “cowgirled up” and rose to the occasion. She is a fighter and gets better each day. She also is learning to balance herself when faced with adversity, and that is a lesson that she will carry with her long after the pneumonia infection is gone.
Although my little cowgirl is improving, she is still a sick little girl. Please pray for her speedy recovery—we are hoping to have her home from the hospital soon.