Every January I feel compelled to report on what I do - being a veg farmer.
Because I am asked by many people about my work load. And, sometimes, answering the question motivates me to prioritize and accomplish things I do not wish to do.
Usually the question is merely a way to start conversation or make a simple greeting a little more personal. Often, the question is meant kindly and is taken kindly. Rarely, the question feels like an accusation - a feeling many teachers get during the summer months.
Oddly enough, I find that I'm never satisfied with my answer. It's often simplistic, incomplete and somewhat inaccurate in the feeling it conveys. So, without writing an immense essay, let me give it another try.
Is the Winter an easier load?
Of course, the answer is both yes and no. The pace of the Winter months is definitely more laid back - and thank goodness for that! The order and pace of things are not dictated by a crop of (fill in the blank) that needs (fill in the blank) done *right now*. There isn't the big rush to get things picked, cleaned, packed and delivered. We can consider going to conferences, visiting people, etc.
On the other hand, there is plenty to do. Much of it is office or paper work. All of it is important and needs to be done before the growing season prevents me from spending quality time on it. So, I am plenty busy. I am not unhappy about this, but I can be overwhelmed by it all.
The most difficult part of all is the desire to relax and not get too worked up about my...um... work. As a result, I often have more of a fight to get going. I am fully aware that once things get going for the growing season, they will not stop for a long time. So, I think I can be forgiven if I'm a little reluctant to get too fired up on things in January. Yet, it all needs doing - so I find ways to complete tasks and still try to stay low key about it. This balance is....a work in progress.
(stay tuned for part 2)