Down through the years I have got involved in more and more organisations and committees.

I am in the habit of always saying yes, and no matter what I was asked to join I would always embrace it. If I’m honest, I have thoroughly enjoyed it all.

When I get into something, I like to give it 100%. But recently it had all got a little overwhelming, and most nights I have at least two meetings I could attend, in addition to some planned for the daytime as well.

It is impossible to divide myself in two, and there are organisations that I have had to let down. I definitely don’t like doing this so I have decided that I’m going to make changes, and am preparing to step back from some of my commitments and give someone else a chance.

I will miss being involved as I have made a lot of friends, but I am afraid of turning into a busy fool. I think I would be much better concentrating on a few and giving them the commitment they deserve.

Home farm

I also have to think about my farm. Although I have my three sons at home, we are building the farm up to try and make it big enough for us all. So, the farm still takes up a sizable chunk of my time and although it is getting closer, I’m not just ready to retire yet.

The way we have the farm set up means there are times when we are not as busy as others. Breeding the autumn cows finished in the middle of November and we have had three fairly quiet months since then.

We have started on six or seven weeks of intensive calving. Lambing starts in about two weeks and lasts for four or five weeks.

By the end of April, calving and lambing will be finished, but we will be flat-out over the next two months. After that, we can move on to something else.

Early days

In my early days with sheep I would start lambing between Christmas and the new year and I would be still lambing in May. I would also have cows calving every month.

At the time I thought it was great as I always had something to sell. But I was constantly watching for cows to calve or sheep to lamb. No matter when I went out at night or during the day I was always rushing home to check on something. I was certainly a busy fool back then.

I honestly would not like to go back to that kind of farming again. Everyone needs a little time off when we are not thinking about farming. For too many of us it is farming morning, noon and night, 365 days of the year. Too many don’t know what it’s like to do something else.

I don’t take a lot of holidays, but I enjoy lots of short breaks. I find it good for my mental health. The drudgery of farming can take its toll, so we all need some form of relaxation. In the winter months I play a little indoor bowls – I’m not very good but it’s a great way of letting off a little steam and leaving the farm behind.

Perhaps we should all take a good look at our lives and decide if we want to be busy fools or have a more relaxing and enjoyable life. I’m not suggesting that we stop working but we all need that work-life balance.

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