Friday, January 3, 2014

The Pioneer

I do admit: 
My stomach was in knots the entire day on January 1st...and it wasn't because of the previous evening's champagne.
Well, not entirely.

As we ran errands weeks ago in his truck, Cody told me he wanted to work cattle on January 1st.
I remember when he said it we were lifting something heavy. 
It was likely when moving our things (when I type our things, I mean his) from temporary storage onto the next great adventure at the homestead
I remember that when he made the statement, four quick things went through my head:
  1. Oh...... (#*%&!) crap.
  2. Why are we moving this 200 lb. junker?
  3. What is this 200 lb. junker?
  4. January 1 = Fixin' To Be Just A Really Bad Day. 
In reality, "work cattle" encompasses things I've done and enjoyed for decades at Bowman Superior Genetics:
Blood test when appropriate. 

Yet, when Cody put it on our to-do list I was instantly consumed with worry. 
How would this rodeo turn out?
What will it be like working cattle in which I have never touched?
Where are my docile Shorthorns?
Will he yell?
...Louder than me?
I'm not yet totally familiar with the lay of this land - how will we corral them?
We're using that tub system for the first time: Is it ready?
Are we??

I had these visions of black cattle running wild down the state highway, crossing county lines, attracting attention of state troopers and even making headline news. And trust me, in my occupation, headline news is the place you work to avoid. 

But then the late-day cold set in on the first day of 2014. 
And so did real life.
And we got down to business. 
And the afternoon of working our cattle together went well. 
Really well. 

I told Cody when it was over - 
...after all gates were secured
...after the tagging box was put away 
...after the chute had been cleaned out
...after the girls had been sorted and each had hay and water
"That went so much better than I anticipated"
He responded, "Did you expect the worse?"

And sadly I thought to myself: Absolutely.

In that very moment, I realized that I've traveled into this way of living where I anticipate the worst based on past experience. 
Either from my own past, or others'.

A few poor experiences growing up, and while exploring the west during college, have completely changed my perspective. 
Fear is an incredibly powerful thing. 
It can make you cry. 
It can make your nerves consume every inch of your being. 
It can make you alter your entire way of living. 
But isn't it time that the fears that we live with - large or small - are put to bed?
In 2014 I challenge you to be a Pioneer.
The Pioneer eliminating the fear inside holding you back. 
The Pioneer that isn't afraid to do things alone. 
The Pioneer who accepts less money for more happiness.
The Pioneer who says the things that you need to, even if they break a heart. Even if it's your own. 
The Pioneer who is so brave that you don't realize there are people against you.
The Pioneer who actually stands up for yourself, for once. 
The Pioneer who loves. 
The Pioneer who pays no mind to those who surround. 
The Pioneer who forgets the expectation. 
The Pioneer who doesn't measure self worth with a mirror or a scale. 
The Pioneer who quits judging other people. Who are you?
The Pioneer that changes how you live in 2014. 
The Pioneer who has a full tank of gas and a week's vacation. 
The Pioneer who goes against the grain. 
The Pioneer who finally realizes "me" is enough.
The Pioneer who who questions authority. 
The Pioneer who finally appreciates it. 
The Pioneer who doesn't sneak over the wall, rather the one who breaks through it. 
The Pioneer who fords the river without a fear of pressing the space bar. 

We live in a place and time where it seems 
every square inch of this Earth has been discovered.
Still, our ability to be a pioneer in our own individual pursuits has never been greater. 

I don't know where you're going, or where you need to be. 
I don't know your passion or what keeps you up at night. 
What I do know is that you'll go much further if you let go of those fears 
- large or small  - 
that inhabit your mind. 

Be a Pioneer. 
Stand up to those worries, fears or concerns. 
Address them.
It doesn't matter if you know not where you're going - or even if you do -

Let your heart not be troubled. 
2014: May it be Your year - 

Oh pioneer
I sing your song
It's the hymn of those who've gone before and those who carry on
Your work is hard
But the future of us all rests on the shoulders of your heart

Where are we going
Oh I don't know
But still I've got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don't care
All I know is I'll go anywhere

Oh pioneer
So young and brave
Be careful of the careful souls who doubt you along the way
You orphaned child
Your mother is adventure and your father is the wild

Where are we going
Oh I don't know
But still I've got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don't care
All I know is I'll go anywhere

Let your heart not be troubled

I won't run when bullets chase me
I won't rest where arms embrace me
I will love when people hate me
I won't hush, no you can't make me
Send the dark but it won't break me
You can try but you can't change me
Take my life, they will replace me
I won't hush, no you can't make me
I won't hush, no we will sing

Where are we going
Oh I don't know
But still I've got to go
What will become of us
Oh I don't care
All I know is I'll go anywhere

Let your heart not be troubled

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