Take Time for the Extra

From:  The Progressive Farmer      August 2018

Take Time for the Extra
BY MEREDITH BERNARD
There are a lot of things I’ve accumulated in this life not
worth the money I paid for them or the space they’ve taken
up. Things I thought would make life more full, only to fi ll it
with more clutter.
Then, there are things I’ve accumulated that are priceless.
Things like childhood memories of trips to the mountains—
sleeping under a camper shell on a piece of plywood in the
back of my dad’s Chevy with my brother alongside. We’d
stop on the side of a windy mountain road to dip our toes in
a creek and skip from one big rock to another.
Thirty-some years later, I still remember the feeling of wild
abandon and carefree joy those moments brought. Vacations
were important to my parents. I always assumed I’d do the
same with my own children.
Then I married a farmer.
My husband doesn’t stop,
because the farm doesn’t stop.
There is no hired man, only a farm
wife and two farm kids. One season
rolls into the next, and there never
seems to be enough time to get
everything done, much less, time
for “extra.”
But if the extra doesn’t fi nd time,
our family suffers. So we’ve been
trying to make the “extra” happen more often. And we’ve
learned it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or even take a
lot of time. One night away can build lifetime memories, and
sometimes the best vacations can be “staycations.”
We have a creek on our farm much like the mountain
streams I grew up loving. We load up old inner tubes and
head there every chance we get during these dog days of
August. Yep, it can be muddy and messy, but I wouldn’t
trade those moments together, knowing the mess always
works out in the wash.
One of the biggest lessons this farm and mom life has
taught me is that being present in the present can be the
best gift. I’m determined to be sure life doesn’t get too full of
things that keep life from being full.
When not splashing in the creek, Meredith Bernard writes
about farm life at her website (thisfarmwife.com) and is
active on Twitter @thisfarmwife.com.

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