What I thought I was getting into and what I actually got into (Part 2)

Part two of what I thought I was getting into. The more personal half.

What did worry me about running a farm was me. I am the least organized person I know, and I come from a family of chaos. At one point my room was so messy that when the house I was living in was broken into they didn’t even bother with my room. So I knew that was going to be a problem.* The second thing that had me worried was that I do not see myself as a hard working person. I often feel like I am extremely lazy. My ideal life is sitting around reading books, drinking tea, in a cottage style garden. Not exactly the kind of personality you would pick for a farm. Finally I struggle (fight, do battle with) depression in a very serious, not get out of bed and don’t shower for a week kind of way. Again, not something you would look for in a person to be a successful business owner. I doubted, and some days still do, that I could do this. Just before I turned in my two weeks notice at my last job before the farm, I was at church and could not sit through the service when I was trying to decide my future. So I slipped into the quiet room, mostly used by nursing mothers but empty that day. I prayed the entire service. I listed out all the reasons why I should not be given such a responsibility. Just like Moses telling God in a burning bush that he stutters, so he can’t be the mouthpiece of God. When I was done saying my piece, God asked “Do you think I don’t know who you are?” That stopped me in my tracks. Of course He knows who I am, and all my faults. He already knows all the ways I am going to fail as a farmer. But He also knows all the ways I am going to succeed. There is nothing I can tell Him about myself that He doesn’t already know. So why was I there trying to tell Him why He should pick one of the other 7 million people that live in the DFW metroplex?

It is a fight. I still get in my own way. I often think that I am the biggest hindrance to the farm.  I don’t always get up as early as I need to, and often I don’t work as late as I should. I leave a million things undone each day. One day, I drove out to the farm and sat in my truck for 8 hours doing nothing, than drove back home. I seriously would never have picked me.

But here is what I didn’t expect. I have learned that doing the one most important thing of the day is best for the farm. But sometimes all I can do is the first thing I get my hands on no matter how important it is. Getting something done, anything done is better than nothing getting done at all. I have surprised myself by how often I do get up early and do spend the whole day working. I am always surprised how much better I feel when I do get up and work. Moping never helps. I never expected to find my work so satisfying. To work hard, to really work hard. I thought I knew how to do that already. I didn’t. Learning to see something that needs doing and do it, had taken me a long time. I am a champion procrastinator.

I want to stay on the farm. Most of my life, I have been a ‘go where the wind blows’ kind of person. SInce I started this farm, I have fallen in love with staying still, to watch the year grow and die. I never thought I would be able to find the endurance and determination to work all day, and than go out at midnight and take care of an emergency. I had no idea I had the ability to spend 10 hours talking, helping, and caring for the customers that come out to enjoy the farm**.  Even more surprising I found myself able to stand and listen to angry screaming customers and not take it personal. Everyone has bad days. While I wish they wouldn’t take out on me, they don’t know me, or the work I have put into the farm, so they don’t get a say about how I feel. I have grown more in my personal life while farming than at any other point in my life***. I never expected to learn about myself while farming. I was not and still am not able to see my strengths, I am very good at finding my weaknesses.

* Y’all should see my desk

** People are hard. The hardest thing is people. People are confusing.

*** Farming is not all of it but it has played a big part.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to be encouraging and grateful.

Until next time,

Farmer Jo

An aside from her sister:

For those who don’t know, I (Maddie), have been helping with the farm since about January. I run the social media, as well as, editing and posting this blog.

Talking about yourself is hard. I am so proud of my sister, reading this blog was moving and inspiring. While my sister is not perfect, she is an awesome role model. In her struggles, she lifts others up. In her weakness, she is a light.

If you’ve been keeping up with the blogs, you know that she has been obsessed with plants since college. She may be surprised that she became a farmer, but I, and most of my family will likely agree, that it is not at all surprising that she is now a farmer. She is incredibly hard working and dedicated. She struggles like every other person. Mornings are dumb and getting up early is the worst. We do it anyways. I bet you do too, or some other onerous, daily task.

I am not an eloquent writer, but I felt it was worth saying how amazing I think my sister is. She has always lifted me up and encouraged me when I was at my worst and ready to do nothing until forever.

We are so blessed to have her. I know you agree because I get so much feedback about how wonderful y’all think she is!

Thank you so much for your love and support!

So, really, until next time,

Helper Maddie

11 thoughts on “What I thought I was getting into and what I actually got into (Part 2)

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  2. Darlene says:

    Thank you for this very real blog post! This made me teary, made me feel normal as I sometimes feel adrift and I wouldn’t say depressed but overwhelmed and kind of lonesome! I think your AWESOME!!!! A note to Maddie you are like my Sister (older) no one lifts me up and makes me feel better than she can I’m certain as I am that Jo knows she is fortunate!

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