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HERd Management: Don’t become stagnant

Christina Winch for Progressive Dairyman Published on 06 May 2019

As wives, mothers, “farmHers” and other off-farm professionals, we tend to get caught up in the day-to-day activities that go along with each of those roles. We can barely keep up with laundry and vacuuming. There’s the never-ending bookwork, low commodity prices, battling the weather, restless children, and the list could go on.

Taking one day at a time keeps us going, but while doing that we often forget about ourselves. Our “spa day” likely means a hot bubble bath in our own bathtub while sipping on a glass of wine. If we are lucky, someone will watch the kids so we have some peace. Unfortunately, we feel like we are stuck. We become stagnant.

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I felt this way a little over a year ago. For Christmas in 2017, my oldest son made me a little sign for my dresser. It’s a ladybug on a dandelion and says, “Let Your Dreams Take Flight.” I was also crossing over the bridge to a new decade by turning 40. Between those events, I made up my mind it was time to start doing something for myself – time to start going after some of my life dreams that had been put on hold.

In his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell says, “No one improves by accident. Personal growth doesn’t just happen on its own. And once you’re done with your formal education, you must take complete ownership of the growth process because nobody else will do it for you.” I was feeling stagnant and not growing. It was time to grow again. As a mom, I have always encouraged my boys to go after their dreams, but I put mine on hold. I decided not only did I want to keep growing myself, I wanted to inspire my sons by having them watch me achieve my dreams.

The first thing I did was sign up to take voice lessons. Singing is something I have always enjoyed but never had any formal training in. My goal was to sing a solo at church. After a few months of lessons, I sang a patriotic duet with my teacher around the fourth of July. Then at Christmastime, I sang a solo one Sunday. Today I continue my lessons and am working on my next solo.

The second thing I did was start working toward my big dream. Since college, I have wanted to be a motivational speaker and leadership trainer. Upon doing some research, I learned about the John Maxwell Team. After some communication with team members, everything fell into place. I took a leap of faith and joined. Audible’s digital books, podcasts and videos on everything related to speaking, coaching and personal growth became things I listened to in the barn, while cooking and cleaning, and every moment I could.

I started incorporating what I was learning into my classroom, my parenting, working with my 4-H club and more. Then on March 9, I boarded a plane to Orlando, Florida to participate in the International Maxwell Certification program. Three intense days of learning on speaking, coaching and training related to leadership for people of all ages. I was filled with skills and inspiration to serve others. I can now say I am an official John Maxwell-certified speaker, coach and trainer. God has had a hand in this since I started, and I am excited to see what plans He has for me. I know those plans include influencing many youth and farmers over the coming years.

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There are women reading this who feel the same way: stuck and stagnant with the mundane tasks of running a farm, juggling the family schedule and working off the farm. If you are feeling this way, I encourage you to just do something. Anything. Find one thing you can do for yourself to lift your spirits and get out of that rut. Maybe you have always wanted to run a marathon.

 Start by running 10 minutes a day. At one time, you found peace and relaxation in playing an instrument. Sign up for lessons and start playing again. There might be something more burning on your heart, like I had. Do a little research, seek out a mentor, and just do it.

We are never too old to go after our dreams. You might be in a stage of life right now where you feel stuck and stagnant. You are not. Let your dreams come to the forefront of your life, and take baby steps to making them reality. Nothing is impossible with faith, determination and belief in yourself. end mark

Christina Winch
  • Christina Winch

  • Dairy Producer
  • Fennimore, Wisconsin
  • Email Christina Winch

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