An epiphany came to me a few years ago after the death of a friend’s daughter, and a bout of serious burnout. What am I waiting for ? Why am I not doing all I need to do to live life in the present?
I am sure this is not unusual. Most of us question our meaning and purpose when we experience crisis. This time seemed different. I was in my forties, and my children were growing up fast. My family needed me to be present. But what they really needed was for me to be fulfilled. And it wasn’t that they weren’t enough. This wasn’t about them, it was about me.
A piece of my self was missing. The piece my ancestors engraved in my DNA. The agricultural heritage my family was a part of, for generations after settling from Wales and creating some of the most beautiful farm land in Shelburne County, was covered up by today’s busy-ness.
So I decided not to wait. I slowly added livestock to our farm, cleared land, put up fences, took down fences, built coops, and shelters, started a 4H club, did farm tours for local schools, bought trailers, networked with other like minded people, read books on animal husbandry, talked to my father, brother, and uncles about past practices and dreams ( some of which they get to tell me “Told you so ” for). Most importantly I shared all this with my family. It might sound a little corny but do you know how much bonding and laughing (and swearing sometimes) goes into chasing sheep?!?
“It’s not for everyone.” I tell people when they ask how We can raise turkeys, cows, pigs or chickens and then eat them. I was raised to be self sustaining and one thing I know for sure: if you ignore your purpose long enough, you will lose your joy for life. We have been given the opportunity to live our purpose, and we shouldn’t wait, but we do. All that matters though is you find it, and the sooner the better.
Clear away the clutter of life, and give of yourself. Volunteer and educate. My friend who lost her daughter is an inspiration. She has become better not bitter. Everyone is good at something. It sounds funny but the more you give away of yourself, the more you will find of yourself.