Blessed & Broken, Thankful & Tired

Blessed & Broken, Thankful & Tired By: Adrienne DeSutter

The holiday season is filled with joyful moments of excitement and love. The sights, the sounds, the smells; it’s a magical time full of surprises and happiness.

But the holidays can also be overwhelming. Daunting to-do lists, exhausting travel plans, reliving trauma, financial constraints, or family drama can sometimes put a damper on your holiday spirit.

There’s a lot to love about the holidays, but it’s also ok to acknowledge that the season isn’t always perfectly joyful. You can love what you’re doing, but still feel tired and burned out. And just because you are eager to take a break doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for the overall experience.

Farmers, you know what I’m talking about. In a profession full of exciting opportunities and abundant blessings, we would be lying if we said there weren’t tough moments on the job. There are days when broken equipment has us fuming, and days when being in the field under a beautiful sunset grants us peace. Some moments leave us grinning with pride, while others make us question why we’re still farming.

Like the holidays, farming isn’t all snowflakes and sunshine. And that’s ok. We can be both thankful and frustrated, appreciative and tired. We can yearn for hard-working days on the farm, and still look forward to time away.

If you find yourself in a season of stress or exhaustion, here are a few reminders to help you weather the storm:

Break-downs aren’t always bad. Sure, equipment malfunctions aren’t great, but there’s another type of break-down that you might find useful: task break-downs. This is the simple act of breaking down your tasks and stressors, and prioritizing them into small, manageable pieces. There are times when it feels like the world is crashing down on us, or there is just too much on our plate. Completing even small portions of a project allows us to feel more accomplished, productive, and on our way to smoother days. If we can unravel the chaos going on in our mind, we have more control and less stress in our lives.

Use an attitude of gratitude. Science tells us that being intentionally grateful makes us happier, improves our health and optimism, and helps us deal with setbacks more effectively. We are able to find satisfaction in what we have rather than focusing on what we lack. Try sending a quick thank-you note or text on a regular basis, or make it a habit to write down or think about something you were pleased with in each day. Be specific, try to think of something genuine and new each day, and take a moment to reflect on how it feels to have something good happening in your life. And remember, it’s much more difficult for your brain to allow positivity and gratitude when you’re suffering from high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression, so don’t wait until you’re maxed out before practicing gratitude.

Your survival rate is 100%. When in doubt, remember this: you’ve had tough days before- a lot of them- and you’ve survived every single one. Give yourself a pat on the back for your perfect record, and remind yourself that you are a pro at coming out ahead of adversity. You’ve done it before, and you will do it again.