1 year ago this picture was taken! It was the day that I received yet another lay off from an industry that I have worked in on and off for 13 years. An industry that has more than just paid our bills, fed our family and kept a roof over our heads. It was an industry that kept me learning and growing into every new position I worked for. But this lay off was different. This lay off we made the decision that I would not go hunting for a new job right away but instead would double down on our business we had started and see where it could go. We had done this before.... It was not very successful.... The struggles were real and we were still dealing with the aftermath years later. The hesitation and scaredy cat in me was freaking out!! Was this going to be an epic failure and would history repeat itself or will this time be different?!
One thing was different already! We had learned from our past. We know where we had made mistakes and we knew how to do those things differently. We set goals and timelines and outlined the steps we would take to get there. We knew the best laid out plans tend to still go to sh*t but we also knew at least a somewhat plan was better than no plan. Whenever we hit a fork in the road we will gather all our information and make decisions and go from there; good or bad.
I wasn't so sure we would make those goals for our fall deadline but some how it happened. I wasn't so sure we would make those goals we set for the 1 year mark but we are just a hop skip and jump away from them.
If you would have asked me even 3 years ago if my full time job would consist of talking to chickens, cleaning coops, making things grow out of dirt and bottle feeding lambs in the middle of the night on my kitchen floor, I would have laughed at you. I was no farmer! Well I was wrong then and somewhere along the line a passion for this life and this industry was created. Every day is a new day. Every day it is a guessing game. Sometimes we win and some days we feel like we are on a run away train heading for a cliff and you just can't stop it.
I used to wear 4" heels and pencil skirts everyday and now I wear carharts, rubber boots and a hoodie that should have been washed 4 times over by now. Life looks very different for me now. I don't sit behind a desk and instead am on my feet a whole lot more. I really truly treasure all the small successes we have had and I feel the hard days a little harder but it is all about the journey.
With dirt under my nails and straw stuck to my socks, I have big plans & dreams for this baby business of ours. The scaredy cat in me still creeps in from time to time. I often wonder if I have enough knowledge to take the next steps. But we got here not by knowing what to do before we started but just figuring it all out each step of the way as we hit another roadblock. I really do hope that I will never have to go back to a "job" and can continue my own work but I am not 1000% sure that will be the case. So for now, we will enjoy the journey of growing, learning, teaching and sharing. And in another year we can once again reflect on how far we have come and where we plan to go next.
The next step for us right now is to break more ground for our first ever U-Pick this summer, start the clean up and set up on our on farm market and in a few weeks head on up to hatchery and pick up some more of those fluff balls to expand the flock. This 'retirement' story is just beginning and excited to see where the next year takes us!