Resolutions are easy because I always have lots of ideas for ways I ought to improve myself. But top of mind right now, as I steal a few moments from my family to write, is this blog and, more importantly, the big issue of time.
I am a writer. Words just come out of me. For every blog I manage to publish on prairiemom.me, I write at least five others in my head. Time, of course, is the problem. There is never enough time for everything. For starters, there are three little children in this house who I chose to bring into this world and who therefore deserve my patience and full attention as they navigate life. Our decision to homeschool them means I play the role of Teacher, too, in addition to the role of Mother — not to mention Helper to my husband in his work here at the ranch. And, you might remember, a baby will be here soon; I can only guess at what a beautiful mess our life will be for the (24?) months following his January birth.
Though everything I accomplish and work at seems pretty essential to me right now, a little peek inside my crazily current (currently crazy?) life might indicate a prioritizing problem: we haven’t finished unpacking from the last time we moved. I haven’t gotten to the bottom of the piles on my desk — each pile containing random scraps of paper pertaining to the various projects I dabble in — for over a year. A daily schedule for our house is non-existent. As for cleanliness? I never take it past survival mode.
It’s obvious something’s gotta go, and I’m way past the time in my life when I thought I could do it all anyhow. Yet how does a gal trim non-essentials out of a life plan which she pretty much thought she’d trimmed to essentials-only?
This is the point at which I realize I can no longer rationalize the time — not only the desk-chair time but also the brain power — it takes to construct the rambling op-eds I am so fond of writing.
I don’t want to give up on this blog; I’d actually like for it to be something I stick to for the long haul. Even after the baby arrives, I think I’ll be able to post updates semi-regularly on here if… if… if…
The only solution, it seems, is to challenge myself on this first day of 2018: to a new style of writing! And it’s a style I’m not all that comfortable with — it’s obvious I need to write shorter and faster. I need to be more concise. I need to cut out details. I need to learn to post efficiently: in 10 minutes and (this seems totally impossible) in 100 words.
Looking down now, I see that this particular blog has already stretched to nearly 700 words.
Remember, I’m the queen of rambling op-eds. My wordy habit will be hard to break! But it’s necessary to break it, because 10 minutes are about all I can afford to steal from these other (very real) people I’m trying to keep alive around here — and I’m not saying 10 minutes every day, either.
So, starting next time, be ready for a brand new, extra efficient, super-duper format of blogging… coming from yours truly!
As for today, the kids are asleep and my belly’s so big I can’t read in bed, so I guess I’ll just finish what I set out to show you in the first place! (First issue to address next time: lengthy, off-topic introductions. This is the last of the long blogs for the foreseeable future. I promise myself. But first, I’ve got to share:)
This year, as Christmas gifts to Beau’s coworkers, we put together a PV Ranch birthday calendar using pictures I’ve taken over the last couple years. All the full-time employees are pictured in the calendar, plus a few dedicated day-workers, and the birthdates of employees and family members are included as well. (Does this mean Beau will never schedule a long weaning or branding day on a coworker’s wife’s birthday? Uh… chances are slim. But it won’t be because Beau’s wife wasn’t trying to keep everyone in the loop!)
Here they are!
Mr. January (Vergal of Butte Camp):
The Ladies of February (the only bovines featured on a calendar page because I kinda ran out of other appropriate photos):
Mr. March (Tucker, right-hand man here at headquarters):
Mr. April (Brian of Horse Camp):
Mr. May (Nate of Ridge Camp):
Mr. June (Harold, my dad):
Mr. July (Beau, my husband):
Mr. August (Sheldon of the VX):
Mr. September (Bill, handyman extraordinaire):
The Men of October (Sam and Jacob):
Ms. November (Tawny, who can handle three round bales at a time with the loader and who hates having her picture taken; shown here with my kids):
The Men of December (Ben and Joe):
That’s them — the main cast of characters around here! Those 12 pictures above will see us through 2018, one month at a time. We Blakes are thankful to be starting the new year (as we did at about thirty below this morning) with such a capable and dependable crew.
Happy New Year to all!
© Tami Blake