As the year draws to a close, I find myself looking back over the past 12 months, taking stock of what has taken place around me and looking forward to what the coming year might have in store.
Upon this reflection it became clear to me fairly quickly that in the whole scheme of things, not much has changed in my life from this time last year. I have switched the brand of toothpaste I am using and AI’ed my cows to a couple of new bulls this year, but I did not really make any changes that affected the trajectory of my life. It is not as if the opportunities did not avail themselves, but as the dust settles on the year, all the major decisions resulted in my family and me staying on the current heading and course that we were on a year ago.
I am trying to decide exactly how I feel about this. I mean, change is a good thing, right? The Wyoming Livestock Roundup celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. This gave us cause to pull out the old archives, and when you compare the difference between those first papers and what we are able to put out today, the difference is amazing. The paper hasn’t developed into what it is today by accident. Major choices have to be made all the time to advance the quality of the publication we put out. With that being said, I do not look back with regret on any of the choices I made this year or think my life would have been changed for the better, had I done things differently.
This brings me to the other side of the coin and to the question, am I lucky that I have made it through the past year without being forced into making any decisions that would have had major impacts on my life? Consider, for instance, the producers who lost a significant number of their livestock in winter storm Atlas. They have been forced into making a choice on whether or not they want to go on ranching and all that might mean, considering the devastation, both economically and emotionally. I obviously feel blessed that I was not required to make a decision anywhere near that magnitude this year.
In general I would have to say that I am comfortable with where my life has led, which could be a major contributor to my complacency in keeping with the status quo over the past year. I mean, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” right? I can already see, looking forward to this coming year, there will be a number of things that have the potential to require more significant contemplation than anything that came up this year. Life has a way of putting you in situations that require a decision which involves significant risk regardless of what you chose to do and many times just doing the same thing that you have been doing isn’t among the options.
Knowing this makes me feel blessed for this past year and the way things have worked out. I am sure it will not always be this way. I hope you, too, can look back at this past year and be pleased with what you see also. Let me be among the first to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!
Until next time,