The Farmer’s Field: Happy Thanksgiving
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a morning person. I truly love the early morning, but I also love to stay up late. The two don’t go hand in hand very well.
However, one of the few things that will get me out of bed in the early morning is a good hunt.
I am blessed to experience many great hunts throughout the year, and this past week was no exception. I took my youngest son, Mason, to the Sandhills of Nebraska for his first official deer hunt where we also enjoyed camaraderie with great friends.
I’m a bit slow to wake, so each morning we would slowly load our gear and finally head out for our “spot.”
The temperatures were fantastic, so as we sat in the dark, we could focus more clearly on our surroundings than on keeping ourselves warm. It was bliss. Pure silence.
As the red and orange light began to glow on the eastern horizon, the world around us gradually began to awaken. At the first sign of light, the sheen of the water on the river began to appear, followed slightly by the honking sounds of geese.
The ducks began their chatter next, and I always joke with Mason, “Those ducks are laughing at us!”
Those who have heard a duck’s classic “quack, quack, quack, quack, quack” know exactly what I mean.
Next, the Sandhill cranes joined in with their bugling calls. The turkeys gobbled in the distance, and as the light became more prevalent, the outline of animals moving in the distance caught our eye.
A mule deer buck followed his harem of does. A coyote sleeked through the tall grass in search of prey, and a pair of raccoons took a swim across the river.
In the distance, a whitetail buck chased some does trying to coax them in his direction. A rooster pheasant took flight just above the cattails before landing in the marsh.
Before long, as full light approached, the world around us was fully awake.
As I sat in contemplation, bearing witness to my surroundings, my mind was released from all of the tasks and concerns of the day, the next week and the following months – meetings, phone calls, contracts, paperwork, kids’ activities, employees, future planning, finances, management, business logistics, partnerships, world events, politics, etc.
It occurs to me in the moment what we, as people, all need on a more consistent basis is perspective.
Those who haven’t experienced some level of what I have described, in a somewhat frequent fashion, should. I think it’s one of the most healthy things we can do for ourselves.
I’m not advocating for everyone to love hunting. I am, however, strongly recommending we each find a way to develop perspective to help find more peace and contentment in our lives.
We live in a world embodied with busyness. Each day when we wake, we become immediately shouldered with all of the responsibilities of the day – everything that must be done and the tight schedules we so adamantly try to control.
I’m guilty of it myself. I’m quite “task oriented” and my list of things to do seems to only grow. But, sitting in the dark in the boonies of Nebraska, watching Mother Nature do what Mother Nature does, always brings me back to reality with a renewed perspective of what’s actually important.
I think we can all agree important and necessary things go on every day in each of our lives. But, I also think it’s easy to forget why we are engaged in each of those things.
Life can be hard at times, and we can all be pretty good at making it even harder. We take on more responsibility, more debt and more tasks, ultimately creating more stress, which leads to less time for the things that are most important in the end.
I have hosted hundreds of workshops and given speeches in many states across our country. In doing so, I often ask my audience to write down the three most important things in their lives. In over 20 years of experience the answers have never changed. Without fail, they are faith, family and friends.
I then ask, “If faith, family and friends are the absolute most important, does what we do, how we spend our time and what occupies our mind, reflect exactly that?”
For many of us, it does not. Life can get messy. Things can get complicated from time to time. But, it doesn’t always have to be this way.
Proper perspective begins with us. It begins with us intentionally and consistently setting aside time to step out of the hustle and bustle and allowing our minds and bodies to relax and release the pressure we feel from everyday life.
Sometimes it takes us forcing ourselves to carve out time where time is best spent, where it reflects the things we identify as being the most important.
As we enter this week of Thanksgiving, be intentional and give yourself permission to discover your best way to gain perspective and then act on it. Spend the finite amount of time you’re given to mirror what’s the most important to you. Happy Thanksgiving!