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New Leaf

When we first started our little farm, we were living in a different house with only one kid, so it was easy to have a dedicated office. When we moved we didn't have a room I could set aside as an office. I set up a desk in my laundry/craft/storage room and worked out of there. Of course, as you can imagine that was a horrible idea. The problem with having a laundry/craft/storage room is it becomes a catch all for everything and before you know it the room is so cluttered it's impossible to do work in it. So, we decided to move our office out to the old pack house where The Husband worked as a kid stringing tobacco. That all worked alright for a little while. The building wasn't insulated, with no heat or a/c which meant it was very hot in the summer or very cold in the winter, and that still drove me inside on hot or cold days. I had a little desk in my living room that really didn't suit my needs but it was a flat surface to work on, which meant it got cluttered with stuff all season until I needed to work there, and then I'd spend half a day cleaning and going through before I could work. Then The Husband took an off-farm job as a crop adjuster, which meant he needed an office. He took over my pack house and insulated it and put a window unit in it. At that point I decided to move back into our house, because he talks to himself A LOT and he talks on the phone A LOT and it's very distracting. When he wasn't talking to himself or on the phone he was talking to me, asking me computer questions, because apparently he was behind the door the day they taught excel and word and just basic computer processing. However moving back inside led to another problem, I'd get distracted about all the things I needed to do around the house, or the kids would be around...asking me more questions. Then my daughter took a liking to pretty much constantly writing, coloring, or drawing and where did she want to do it? The desk. My things got replaced with the musings of a 4 year old.

In this time my grandfather had passed away, and my grandmother needed to be placed in assisted living. When we cleaned out their house I got the two seater desk they kept in their bedroom. It was made from the wood cut down when they built their house. It wasn't ideal for my situation but it was a piece of home, and it was too well made and too unique to give away. I'd originally thought it would be perfect for my kids to do homework at, but The Girl didn't really have homework yet and The Boy never has much so it just sat unused in the pack house. I decided to try and utilize it as my new desk. It worked alright, but I couldn't commit to going to the pack house and working. Again, The Husband was in there, talking, and asking me questions. So I worked from the recliner, or the desk in the office when I had something I really needed to spread out for, or Starbucks or the McDonald's down the road when I needed a change of scenery.

Then this winter I had a change of heart. We'd had such a hard year and I was really ready to just give the whole thing up. I even interviewed for jobs. I was feeling so uninspired and burned out. Yet I was at a loss. Was I really ready to give up? After everything we'd been through and all the work that we'd put into the farm, did I really want to throw that away? Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and move on, trusting that bigger and better things await. Still, I felt in my heart I hadn't really given this thing a hundred and ten percent. Could I walk away knowing that? I went to the Thinking Outside the Bin workshop provided by the NC Farm Bureau Hurricane Florence Relief Fund and listened to the speakers and I realized that my biggest problem was not the weather or the farm, it was me. I was the one treating this thing like a side business, like a hobby. I didn't take myself seriously. How could I expect anyone else to? I always discounted myself because my farm didn't have all the things others did, and I didn't have an ag degree, and because we don't really fit the traditional ag establishment mold. If I was ever going to succeed I had to stop doing that. I had to accept our farm for what it is, accept the things that had happened to us in the past and the things I can't change. Not discount it for what it wasn't and stay mired in the past unable to move forward. This was hit home even further at the NC Farm Bureau YF&R Conference we attended at the end of January. I listened to speaker after speaker speak about their trying times and how they'd dealt with their failure, and overcome it to succeed. It just re-affirmed everything I'd been thinking when I left the Thinking Outside the Bin workshop. I came home ready to tackle 2019.

But where to start? I was inspired by my friend Melissa from The Adventures of Frugal Mom who created a blog cabin to run her business out of. It's her own little retreat, filled with little things that inspire her and bring her joy. I decided I needed to be more intentional about the things I did. Just because it was on clearance didn't mean I had to buy it. Just because we had it didn't mean I had to make it work. So The Husband and I decided to rearrange the office to carve me out my own space to work. If I had a legit dedicated office space with organization and everything I needed then I might take my work more seriously. I decided to move my desk from inside, which was also my grandparents and made from that same wood they cut down when they built their house, and join it with the two seater to make an L shape. I got a new little chair and hung things I'd had sitting around for years. Among them a painting my grandmother painted and my personal mission statement from my tenure in the Karl Best Ag Leadership program (photo credit Just Becca Photo). which still sums me up in a nutshell today. I added a vision board I made with Melissa that is full of things that speak to me. It's not perfect, but since I've got it together I've been excited about working again which is something I really haven't felt in years. So now I have two words for 2019. Bring It!

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