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A new year is coming....

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  • A new year is coming....

    Ahhh, finally some days free, soon it's Christmas and the new year is just around the corner. I'm sitting with a cup of coffee at the kitchen table and have my Filofax opened in front of me. The new calender for 2009 is at place and I'm filling in anniversary and birthdays in the calendar, marking these days with an orange marker. The days that I already know that I have vacation or other free time, is marked with a yellow ditto (yellow for sunny days, ). I'm using colors to mark out special days so I can get a quick glance of whats on my plate, based on the colors. Green is when I'm on courses etc. pink for staff meetings, blue is for meetings with clients.

    My workplace is at a tax-office.

    I'm having around 220 projects at work, (approx the same workload at home), a hectic day with a lot of telephone-calls, colleges asking for help with answers about VAT (which is my primary working-area). Questions about this or that.. but that's a part of my job...

    Sometimes I feel so stressed - just like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking-chair - so I'm just toast when coming home, but who wouldn't be?

    Anyway, sitting at the kitchen table with a new calendar, filling in the stuff you know is planned, staring at the blank pages and wondering.. How is 2009 going to be? How much work is there to gonna be, how much joy and pleasure, how much do you want to do and how much do you really getting done?

    A year is 52 weeks and a week is 7 days. A day is 24 hours...

    Filling the days up with work and the days are passing by in a frenetic pace... another week is over... What? Is it already August... what the heck happened whit the other months??? Working hard, the brain is at boiling point, don't forget to remember that, call him about ???, there are a million-zillion yellow notes on the desk, but just the one that I looking for is gone... WHY ME !!! Blood pressure rising, the good mood is sinking like the stock-markets these days.... and the clock is only 09:45 am.

    This is how it used to be, these days I'm working hard but I'm free of the yellow notes and all the other chaotic stuff... GTD is a part of my life, but I'm falling of the wagon sometimes... ( there were a period that I fell of the wagon and hit the ground with my head so often that I almost developed a constant dizziness ).
    These days I'm climbing back on the wagon.. trying to hold tighter this time...

    Life is so filled with work, hard work, so sometimes it's easy to forget that there is something called free time. And the free time is meant to be filled with fun stuff. Vacation, travel away with your spouse, do some of your hobbies, take care of your self, so go and get a spa-treatment or a massage, eat well, exercise a bit... it's so important that you taking care of your body.. You got only one.

    Don't you taking care of your car? Changing oil etc, doing regularly service?? What could happen if you neglect to taking care of your car? Yepp, it could break down... but what with your own body?

    So it's important to put some time in that calendar for your own wellness and health, so I'm putting in those “appointments with myself” to in my Filofax...

    It's best to keep my “engine” at a good mood, so I'm trying to load it with good healthy food, some exercise and to rest a bit and a good nights sleep.
    Not that I always succeed with that, especially with the sleep and exercise... but I'm trying to be as good that I can be... can't do more )

    Finally, I want to wish all of you out there a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    p.s. Do you know the story about Filofax? If not, follow the link and read about it.

  • #2
    I too have looked ahead to 2009. In my case I'm marking down when lambs will be due, when the fair is and backing out a month or more before that to start training the show sheep and chickens, planning when to get my order of baby chicks for dinner and so on. We have very few hard landscape items in terms of specific days they need to be done but a lot that are "hard" as in within a given month. I'm still working on how to incorporate those into my system.

    I also start my personal review, looking back over the list of things completed and updating the running list of major accomplishments that I keep. With so many on-going projects and so many that are years in length this review now when there isn't much farm work to do is vital to keeping my spirits up.

    I also try to spend a few hours each week just thinking about long term goals, things like the next 10 years tasks. Where I want to be in 10-20-30 years, What I want the farm to look like in 100 years and in 500 years. I write these down and keep a running set so I can compare my views as they change each year.

    This will be the first yearly review where I've been doing things in a GTD manner. It will be interesting to see if my perspective has changed or my plans for the future.

    Now off to feed the sheep, it's finally light and the wind has died down a bit.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
      ... start training the show sheep ....
      Oogiem, I had sheep several years ago, and I never got the impression that they could be trained---quite the opposite. How do you do it? Take existing habits and gradually modify them, or what? When you have the time, do tell. Yours is a refreshing voice in this community of desk-based folk.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Day Owl View Post
        Oogiem, I had sheep several years ago, and I never got the impression that they could be trained---quite the opposite. How do you do it? Take existing habits and gradually modify them, or what?
        Usually people ask about training the chickens not the sheep But I'll explain both:

        Sheep are actually quite smart, they will learn their names and come when called but show sheep have a lot more to do.

        First they have to be halter broke. That means they have to lead on a halter, stand quietly, stand tied and so on. They have to pose with all 4 feet square and not move even when the judge checks them over. For ewes that means having their udders felt for lumps and missing or extra teats and for rams the judge has to feel for both testicles and the overall size. They all have to have their teeth inspected and get the loins palpated and the wool checked on the shoulder, side and britch. Ewes have to be checked for horn buds, rams for width between the horns and the tip of the tail has to be inspected carefully for any white wool (a disqualifying fault). Training starts with the lambs being handled all over and getting used to the halter. We then progress to walking around on the halter and standing while someone does the judges inspections. Older ewes can be hard to train but get the same treatment. We work the sheep 2 or 3 times a day every day for a month or 2 before the fair. I try to get strangers to play judge so the sheep are used to being handled by strangers.

        Actually if you do a search on youtube for clicker trained sheep you will see a sheep trained to do dog agility. I never have had the time to do that but I know they could. I have seen sheep trained to pull a cart, one person I know trained a pair of sheep to pull a miniature Conestoga wagon in parades.

        Show chickens are also trained. They have to tolerate being bathed, groomed and their combs and wattles oiled. The need to get their toenails trimmed and manicured and the legs scrubbed clean. Dirt gets under the scales and so it can take a while to really clean them, I use a toothbrush. They have to stand up in the proper position for their breed on a judging stand without flying away or freaking out and without being held by the handler. The judge has to be able to pick them up and spread each wing out looking for feather faults, hold and inspect the head, feel the breast and hips, turn the chicken upside down to inspect the color on the bottoms of the feet and spread the tail feathers out. Hens have the vent checked to see if they are laying eggs if they are old enough. Some breeds are much harder to train than others, we start them as soon as the chicks have feathered out because a chicken brain is very small and they forget easily. We work the chickens 3-4 times a day at least 6 days a week.

        Showing is a lot of fun and I enjoy the training process too.


        • #5
          Thanks, Oogiem! That is fascinating. How glad I am that it never occurred to me to show my sheep. I had them only for their wool. Shearing them, trimming their feet, and keeping them within their fence was work enough.