In 2001, two months before 9/11, I swore an oath to protect our country’s freedom. And while I was not a front-line fighter, I quickly grasped the importance of freedom from both training and experience. It’s a paradox when serving in the military because on one front you are fighting for your country’s freedom, and on another front you lack much of your own personal freedom. You have to make yourself available always. I intimately learned about that requirement when I once painfully left my six month old baby at home for a trans-Atlantic mini deployment.
There’s no sleeping in until noon. There’s no last-minute vacations. There’s no complaining. Well you can complain, but you will gain nothing from doing so. Complaining inhibits the ability to make fast, clear decisions. There’s no blaming. “No excuses, Ma’am!” That’s our mantra. You cannot fight for freedom without a team who supports each other. No pink elephants allowed….just no time for those damn things. There’s no passive aggressive behavior. Being so small-minded takes away from your ability to accomplish the mission.
Fast forward to today. Since I launched from childhood into adulthood committed to protecting freedom, it now serves as my default setting. And now I protect food freedom. I always have to be available. There’s no sleeping in until noon. There’s no last-minute vacations. There’s no complaining. There’s no blaming. There’s no passive aggressive nonsense. There’s no time for drama. There’s only time for the mission so you have access to my service. There’s only time for me to nurture the tribe with safe, healthy resources. There’s only time for saving our sick nation from the disease of poor lifestyle and food choices. There’s only time to steward others into this same mission.
I welcome struggles since they pave the main character development path. But I find uncontrollable struggles to be plenty for that development. I will not foster controllable struggles (mainly caused by relationships). For example, this morning I woke at dawn, heard a predator trying to access my chickens, and ran out to save them. And now I must return outside to save my apple tree, hand-pick bugs off of my crops, and repair fencing. This is a lot of weight to bear as a farmer, but this is my chosen method of service. I come across to those who attempt to interject negative behavior or entitlement as a harsh woman. I understand and empathize with those people who are quickly asked to leave my space. I certainly love all people, but I understand how to love from a safe distance (not historically my strength). I have to hold my ground, trust my heart’s placement with decisions, forgive my culture for seeding those actions in people, and leave room for the actual, real-life struggles that come my way.
If we allow for controllable struggles and combine those with the uncontrollable struggles, we will be swallowed up by stress, followed by massive amounts of anxiety, followed by sadness, followed by an entire personal shattering. I encourage you to find your mission, truly live it (walk the talk), love people at appropriate distances by carefully gauging who you allow right beside you, and implement positive changes. This is my simple two cents for the day as I return outside to the dirt….