I’m a procrastinator. Always have been and, most likely, always will be. I’m addicted to that rush of adrenaline you get when you know you’re almost out of time and really need to push to accomplish the task at hand. I thrive in deadline-driven environments and I crave that rush of excitement or that fire in your belly when you know you’ve pulled off another job well done. It is incredibly satisfying when I can cross off yet another task on my growing to-do list…
It started in Junior High. Mrs. Koonce, my English teacher (also one of my favorite teachers), assigned a portfolio project. It was a 1”- binder filled with assignments we were to complete over the semester. Creative writing pieces, vocabulary definitions, essays and a book review or two were just a few of the pieces of the portfolio. And, of course, without fail, I waited until the week it was due, even the night before, to get everything completed.
Did I mention I am also a perfectionist? Failure has never been an option for me. So, when it was time to hand in that semester portfolio, my purple 3-ringed binder was right there, on top, complete with color coordinating tabs and page protectors for each assignment.
Mrs. Koonce was an exceptional English teacher who saw the potential in each and every one of her students. She used her insight to challenge us and, in her way, nudge us in the right direction. Her portfolio assignment was supposed to teach us time management, prioritizing and also showcase what we had learned that semester. I understood the concept, but what I learned from her semester portfolio project is that I could perform under pressure. When I look back, I realize just how much of an impact that assignment would have on my life experiences, both personal and professional.
I think that is why I love and can relate to the spring planting season so much. This year, Mother Nature was the procrastinator. She made farmers wait and wait and wait for spring to arrive. And now that is has, farmers must perform under pressure. Machinery has been repaired, greased, washed and waxed. Seed has been delivered and sorted. They have done everything they can to prepare for their ultimate due date, spring.
When Mother Nature opens her window to let spring in, farmers have a short amount of time to work ground, apply fertilizer and chemicals and plant their crops. Breakdowns, weather and other factors can halt spring fieldwork in its tracks. Despite the long hours and frustrating setbacks, spring brings that rush of adrenaline, that excitement or fire in one’s belly. It also brings a new year, a fresh start and hope for a prosperous year.
For farm wives, spring brings change but in a different way. For me, it starts with a trip to Sam’s Club where an assortment of chips, snack foods, lunch meat, cheese and Gatorade is purchased. Up until I became a farm wife, I never realized just how big of a deal lunch is.
The lunch box is a big deal at our house. I had big shoes to fill because my mother-in-law is a lunch-packing professional. In fact, she has turned it into a fine art. Luckily, she has shared some of her secrets with me over the years. It takes some skill to fit sustenance to last anywhere from 8-12 hours in an igloo lunch box. Pure talent, my friends, pure talent.
The farm wives I know are inspiring and tough, superwomen in their own right. In fact, I think a cape should be given to each and every new farm wife as soon as she says, “I Do.” In the spring time I wear many hats. When I’m not working off the farm, I am the Thomas Family Farms lunch lady, first-aid nurse, parts runner, irrigation checker, seed deliverer and chauffeur. Throw in kids and livestock into the mix and I might have to buy stock in brown paper bags. But, I wake up the next day and do it all over again. If you visit with farm wives across our county or even the country you will find there is no exception. We do it because we love it. And while we might not all openly admit it, we secretly love the combination of procrastination, push and perfection that is Spring.