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Look back better

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By Miranda Reiman

Sometimes my mom leaves behind boxes of memories at my house. They come in the form of trinkets, pictures and random notebook pages, a few decades old. 

Mom has been cleaning closets lately, the results of which provide all kinds of laughs – pictures of 13-year-old me and my friends – and things that catch a little, like the cards I wrote, but never sent, to people who can no longer receive them. 

As I recently went through a left-behind tote, I came across a small box of notes no doubt recovered from the deepest of corners.

 Always a writer it seems, I even scribbled out letters to myself on occasion. They often detailed exactly how it felt when I encountered some big change in life, such as my best friend moving away in fourth grade or when I faced something that felt really monumental – like trying the sport of basketball and pretty quickly finding I was no good at it. 

Most of these memories only surfaced now with hidden reminders, but at the time I penned the words? They felt huge. They caused me heartache and angst.

Nobody likes to hear this in the middle of a trial, but it seems often true in life and business – the thing that feels so hard now, won’t always feel hard. 

What felt nearly impossible to my junior-high self, I wouldn’t think twice about today.

This is the beauty of continued growth. We learn, make improvements and then build on those. 

Maybe a producer received their first set of carcass data back and it was just average, but they want to make their herd elite to earn premiums that brighten their bottom line. It feels like there are so many decisions going into the final report card and balancing all the competing demands is tricky.

Maybe a producer has the best set of calves they’ve ever weaned in front of them, but they’re trying to market them with extra information. It’s a new process that feels more cumbersome than their usual methods. 

Growth is uncomfortable. It can be uncertain as the outcome is not guaranteed. It’s flat-out hard work, but if we ever take a moment to look back and see how far we’ve come, that’s where the reward is. 

I hope producers top the auction or see huge year-over-year improvements in their data. I hope they find solutions to their biggest challenges, so they become mostly distant memories.

I’m still no great talent on the basketball court, but I certainly don’t feel bad about it now, because the next year I found cheerleading. And I kept writing. We never know where our growth might lead us.

Next time in Black Ink®, Miranda Reiman will talk about how we can’t change the past.

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