Thursday, November 21, 2013

Being Sick on the Farm and Still Feeling Like A Million Bucks!

I picked up a nasty cold a few days ago.  I rarely get sick.  I think farm life and being outside every day, being active doing physical work and being around animals all day makes for healthier living.  I get enough germs in me each day being around all this dirt and muck that I probably have a fairly robust immune system.  This is the first bad cold/flu I've had in years.  It has made doing chores more challenging that is for sure.  What I have found though is that I sure have some great friends.  They have come and offered to help with chores, help get errands and bring in groceries and just been fantastic.  When I lived down south and worked as an engineer, I never had anyone do things like this for me.  I don't know if city folk just don't think about doing that for each other or if I was just independent minded that I never allowed others to come and help me out. 

Having a farm and tending to animals, I have had to change that attitude of being so independent.  I had to quickly learn that there were many times that I needed a helping hand.  If an animal were sick or injured, I couldn't hold them and tend to their needs.  I had to reach out to my alpaca neighbors and friends to give me a hand from time to time.  That was one of the harder things I had to learn believe it or not.  I never mind helping others but accepting help has not been as easy.  It is kind of sad that we see reaching out for help as such a sign of weakness.  I'm not sure if I learned that because of being in a male dominated field for so long and unfortunately had a number of supervisors that were looking for any signs of weakness on my part.  It was quite engrained in me that fierce independence.  Boy was I ever wrong in that attitude.  It took a bit before I figured out that the key to asking for help is to ask the right folks too.  I've been so fortunate that when I moved to Oregon, I found some amazing friends that come through for me.  They have been here for the good times and the bad, the animal illnesses and my own and I have been there for them in return.  It's how it should be!  Life is way too hard to keep having that mindset that Independence is a virtue.  Yes, we need to be independent and interdependent.  A community needs each other.  Somehow we have become so much about "me, me, me," in this culture that we have lost that connection to the other.  There is such strength from having a community.   

So as I hack away and go through a box of tissues, I'm so grateful for those that brought me soup and helped me rake my fields and feed my critters.  I still feel like crud but at the same time, I feel like a million bucks knowing I have such wonderful friends!

Fall Colors also means Cold and Flu Season

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