I do not like being told what to do. Yes, I just gave you a robust declarative statement, but it was for your good: Close your feed and write.
We are no longer conditioned to write, yet our consumption of words, posts, videos, pictures is higher than ever. Your mind has become one-way as you push the vast majority of the traffic into your head and offer little back out, aside from a double-tap ‘heart’ or laughing emoji.
Overwhelm and anxiety stem from this one-way flow. Your mind is struggling to keep all this information in with no safety valve to release the pressure.
So I encourage you, close your feed, and write. To be clear, I’m not asking you to pen the next great American novel, but simply to start with the easy stuff and work up.
- Start with handwritten lists. I know your phone will track to-dos a hundred ways, but my encouragement is to grab a pad of paper and make your lists for the day, items to hoard at your next shopping excursion (I’m kidding, hoarding is pointless and bad), and your family schedule.
- Gratitude and feelings. Once your day-to-day to-dos are out of your mind, make a gratitude list. For appreciation, focus on small individual items and repeating day after day is not only acceptable, it’s real, and it is therapeutic. Are you warm? In a house? Have some family members with yo? Did you eat today? Did you get to walk? Did you get to work? Are you looking forward to a cozy bed? Did you enjoy peanut butter? – Don’t overthink it; just let it flow.
- If you have kids, get them writing, too. Give them pads, crayons, cool pens (like the Frixion pen I pictured above – Get yours HERE), colored pencils, and have them write lists for the day, schedules, meal requests, and ESPECIALLY, stories.
A dose of reality. You might think that farmers live an idyllic life in the beauty of God’s creation; that troubles never find us. While I wouldn’t trade this beautiful Southern York County farm for anything, and it is lovely, and I’m eternally grateful for the four generations that came before me, trouble finds us plenty.
The trade on this land is that we are charged with doing our part to feed, not only America but the world. You are counting on us, and that responsibility can weigh heavily on farmers as individuals.
I’ll admit that the added uncertainty can get even Farmer Hugh down from time to time. I’ve had days, maybe you have, too, where the enormity of the tasks ahead makes me freeze temporarily because I don’t know where to start.
It can be too big, too much. What I learned from years of watching my Dad, my mom, and successful people who have been a part of my life, is that it all begins with the written word.
Trust me; I’m a farmer. When things get overwhelming, I start by picking up my pen and writing things down.
As I write, the energy starts flowing.
One task out of my head eases the weight.
Then an idea, a separate list.
Then a note I need to write to someone.
Then a task I can delegate.
Each and every item written down brings another and another and another, and suddenly I’m unfrozen.
All it takes is the action,
The soft, smooth gel of ink on paper,
And I’m free again.
Ready to get things done.
Close your feeds, pick up your own pen,
Write and be free.
All from a place of encouragement,
PS Speaking of kids, we’re working on a special project for your younger writers and artists, so stay tuned to our email and our Facebook pages.