It was one of those weeks when I seem to have scheduled too much. I am not sure why I do this, I know that each week has seven days, each day has twenty-four hours and each hour has sixty minutes. Even with this knowledge and a firm grasp of math, I seem to over schedule myself almost every day. In fact, I feel like I run from one thing to the next without, life is too busy.
Tuesday was no exception. We are still getting a few calves and Tuesday we added two to this year’s count. At this point Dad and I have the calf working down pretty good, but it still takes a little while to work each calf. Time was of the essence too, the horse shoer was going to be at my house at 9:00 that morning to trim the horse’s hooves. Then I needed to travel to Wamego for a noon board meeting. I had set myself up for a tight morning time-wise.
Trimming the horse’s hooves involves a lot more than meets the eye. It involves Wayne trimming and filing the hooves to perfection while he and I solve the world’s problems. The topics of our conversations usually range anywhere from tractors, hay and livestock to social media and world problems. I am not sure if the horses enjoy their pedicures but I sure enjoy the discussion. Tuesday was no different, but it did involve a deadline for me.
Shortly after we got started and during the discussion of how hard this past winter had been, we both heard the rumble of an approaching helicopter. I live fairly close to Fort Riley and passing helicopters are not uncommon but I am still fascinated by them and often stop what I am doing to look up at them. This day was no exception; however, as it approached I could tell something was different. It was coming in much faster and much lower than normal.
Then just over the trees I saw the red and white of a Lifestar helicopter. It was low enough I could make out the identification numbers and letters. As it passed over, I made the comment that we needed to check our pulses, make sure we were upright and breathing because if we were, we were having a better day than the person that needed Lifestar. We both chuckled at my off hand statement and went about our work (OK Wayne went about his work and I kept watching). Soon the horses were trimmed and I was off to my meeting.
Early that afternoon I heard about the accident. I am not sure if Dad told me about it, if I heard about it on the radio or if I read it on my phone. The Lifestar helicopter had been sent to a tower collapse just two miles north of my house. Unfortunately two of the workers involved in the accident had died. The news really changed my outlook on the day.
I would guess that the men killed in the accident had started their day off much like mine. Probably a long list of things to do and not nearly enough time to do them. I can only guess how many other concerns they might have had when they arrived at work. It was probably just like most days on the job and they would have had no way to know what was going to happen in just a few moments. Working on towers is a dangerous job, so the idea of an accident is probably not far out of their minds. In many ways farming and ranching is a lot like that.
The news of the accident sure made me take stock in what I was doing. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two workers in the accident, I cannot imagine what they are going through. Many questions popped into my mind. Was I spending my day and my time wisely, was I really paying attention to what was important? Was all the rushing, being busy and filling every minute of my day really how I wanted to spend my life?
We are all really good at being busy, but are we good at being happy? It’s a lot to think about and I am not sure of the answer. All I know for sure is that every day we spend on this earth is a gift. No matter how bad the day is, it is a gift. How are you spending that gift is the real problem that we each need to solve. Are we just filling our calendars or are we really living our lives? I’ll let you answer that one.