Lessons From The Road.
During our travels throughout the Western US during the summer of 2008, we met a lot of people. Every new acquaintance was a learning experience for us, and hopefully, we were the same for them. Some of those we met will remain friends for life and others we’ll never see again. With very few exceptions, all of those we met have been good, intelligent people with kind hearts. Our main objective for the summer was to work with people who are involved with organic farming. Along the way, our lives were expanded and enriched. We were on large farms and places where the organic garden was no more than enough to supply the individual household. Even though each was different, from greenhouses to kiwis, berries to dairies, they all had one thing in common.
A human affliction, in all meanings of the word, seems to be to take on more than we have time for. Every farmer we met in our travels, big or small, organic or chemical, have all had too much to do in the time allotted. None of us have more than 24 hours in a day and if we jam more into that time frame than is possible to do, other things in our lives begin to suffer. Accidentally or on purpose, it can happen to all of us.
Some of us don’t have the ability to prioritize our lives and we jump from one project to the next before the first one is completed. Before we know it, we have so many things going on, we’re overwhelmed and nothing gets done. Others of us operate under the belief that we can do more than we can, and when we can’t, it makes it difficult for us and those around us.
Many times, when any of the scenarios of an overfilled life trap us, our personal lives, health and relationships begin to fall apart. One of the telltale signs of an overfilled life are drugs. Drugs used, legal or illegal, for this type of problem can come in many forms. A lack of time can’t be remedied with drugs, or stimulants for that matter.
Stimulants can sometimes get us to the next rest area, but if they’re what we rely on to get us through the day everyday, they’ll begin to take their toll. If caffeine is necessary to get us started and then keep us going until we crash, and then we have to do it all over again the next day, eventually we’ll find our bank account of life overdrawn. Nature will issue us an overdraft with our health as an indicator; if we choose to ignore it we’ll find our bank account closed.
Visiting and working on organic farms allowed us a view behind the scenes. Some have been a conflict of opinion where one person’s passion is the farm and the other person’s is different, like an outside career. Often, one person will believe the farm is strictly an income source and that enjoyment can only be found in other pursuits. Generally, when the other pursuit is taken on full-time, it becomes no different than what they had before. Very often, the farm becomes a financial burden. More often than not, this is a direct effect of taking on more farm than time permits and outside work is necessary to make ends meet. When that’s the case, the time deficit problem is magnified.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s the cause and what’s the symptom. Is a divorce, for instance, the symptom of taking on more than time allows, or is the divorce, and subsequent loss of one of the major participants in the farm and life, the reason that it’s not possible to get everything done during the workday and then some spills over into the next day and snowballs from there, eventually becoming overwhelming.
We were privileged to see, and hopefully learn, how an overfilled life can cause ill health and disease. Sometimes it takes years to manifest completely, even though the symptoms are there all along. The challenge is to understand and correctly read the symptoms, then follow them back to the cause and make the necessary changes. Treating symptoms as the cause almost always leads to more symptoms and very few, if any, solutions.
Tags: Travel , Hummingbirds , Organic , Farms , Volunteering , Joy Health , Wealth , Gratitude
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