I'm going to Show you not so ideal pictures. They will show you that our farm is not perfect. It is hard for me to publish less than perfect images. This is reality.
(This is the picture that fueled this post. Ignore my attire an funky knees!)
This is not about jealousy. This is not a rant. This is not about discrimination. This is not about hating.
This is about encouragement. This is about being content with who you are. This is about finding the good in what you do.This is about loving what you do despite your circumstances.
I posted a buck for sell the other day on a couple Facebook groups that I belong to. He's not a world-class ultra awesome buck. He's a good buck out of good genetics that happen to get Shrek ears even though both of his parents are Purebred LaMancha goats. I posted a picture of his dam to so people would know what kind of qualities he has. 2 people gave the picture a sad emoticon. I asked why. Well, they though her body condition was poor because you could see her ribs.
This obviously made me upset. They were essentially condemning my husbandry. I cried. I took it too personally. I added a comment that this doe is a very hard worker and she didn't have breakfast before that picture was taken. So there! Ugh. Sigh.
Why did I take that little yellow sad face to heart? Why did I care what those people thought of me or my goat? Could I have used a better picture? Did I have a better picture? Should I take a better picture? Are my goats good enough? Am I good enough?
I will be the 1st to admit that I am far from perfection. And you know what? I am perfectly at peace with that.
Are my goats perfect? Nope. I think they are wonderful. They have their quirks and attitudes. I have some that are hocky. Gasp!! I have some that are rumpy. Gasp!! Some of my girls even have, dare I say, droopy udders because I let them nurse their kids. GASP!!! I give my goats alpaca-like haircuts when I shave them. (I'm just not that great at goat shaving.)I haven't done appraisal to get their scores. They are not on milk test. We don't really show our goats. I can't take perfectly posing goat pictures. Does that make me less of a farmer because my goats aren't picture-perfect show goats?
Do I have a magazine-worthy barn? Nope. Far from it. It's small. It's half painted. It's old. There are cobwebs strung about it.
There are funky additions added on to it. It's not pretty. It is, however, where my goats live, sleep, eat, play, fight & give birth. I don't like to share pictures of my barn &barnyard because I was embarrassed. What if people see my manure pile??
What would people say about them? Would the be able to tell all the improvements & updates that we have made? Will they make mean comments? After all, they aren't perfect. Does that make me less of a farmer because of that mismatched barn?
The milkhouse that Milk my goats in is in not so perfect condition. It's old. The walls have cracks. The cement floor is broken.
I have mismatched milk stands. I milk by hand because there is no electricity to it. Does that make me less of a farmer because it isn't state-of-the-art?
What do these imperfect things make me? Me. Just me. These things aren't going in some posh country magazine. That's just fine. I'm not mad or bitter towards those that have all the nice farms and infrastructures. Good for them. Honestly. I'm glad that they can have those things & it makes their lives better & happier. That's not where I am in my farming journey. Maybe someday. Today is not that day. All of those imperfect items makes me want to work harder, do better, improve and strive towards progress. I'm going to focus on the beauty that I see.
I'm good to know that my goats are given the best care that I can afford. Those people don't see the hours I spent just sitting with a sick goat, the many times I drove to the vet for medicine, the hours I spent calling around looking for a custom feed that was perfect & the tears i cried when goats were sold off farm or died. I give the goats all that I can at this time. After all, they aren't my only concern. I have a family. A husband, a daughter & a son. They need me to be a wife & mom and not a goatherder most of the days. I have a house that needs cleaned and taken care of. Those children are homeschooled and need my attention a good bit of the day. I have 2 gardens that need tended in season. I could ramble on a list a mile long of all my responsibilities, but the fact remains that I am a busy woman.
so, To all the farmers, dads, moms, husbands, wives, men & women: Be content where you are with what you have. You are doing great. Keep up the good works. Don't look at magazines, web sites, Pintrest or Facebook with jealousy, malice or tears. It's ok to be right where you are. You'll get there even if it is a long journey. It's your journey. Enjoy it. Just be you. Keep the advice & words that are uplifting & helpful. Throw away the negative & nasty words that aren't building you up. Do your best. Strive to do better. What you have now is perfect.