I have a saying I use quite frequently on the farm. “Cowboy up.”
When I first asked Elijah to help me haul heavy water buckets from our house to the barn for the animals, he wasn’t sure he could get the bucket all the way out to the barn. I told him, “Cowboy up, Elijah!” It means, stop complaining, toughen up and do it, even if you must struggle.
We’ve all had to cowboy up a little since moving to our farm, and perhaps I have the most. Little by little, the mushy, princess veneer is being scraped away by hauling water, squashing an infinite number of box elder bugs plus the occasional wasp, our super sketchy internet and phone service, tearing old, cobwebby cabinets off the wall, meeting a mouse in the kitchen (he was about to help himself to Jack’s kibble bowl when we both startled each other; may he rest in peace), cow poop being tracked into the house, ripping string off heavy hay bales and heaving them into the feeder and witnessing the joy of successful births as well as the discouragement of loss.
But lately, I’ve been dealing with a hideous hole in my kitchen wall, blackened and rotten by water, ever-dripping and open to the crawlspace under our house, which in my mind may as well be the gateway to the underworld, filled with critters that shall not be named.
Trust me, I’ve been repeating “Cowgirl up, Becca!” whenever I walk into the kitchen. Until yesterday, Ryan has been around to reach into that mess, remove the container and dump the water out as it nears the top while I stand a safe distance back, watching with a mixture of disgust and relief, happy to have a man around for “man’s work.” Well, Monday he went back to work and it just so happens this leak chose that day to begin dripping even more rapidly than before. Now it fills up every few hours, whereas before it would take all day. So now I have to reach in the wall several times over the course of the workday, pull this bucket out from under the leaky pipe, empty it and replace it. Now you may be rolling your eyes at me right now, thinking, “Umm, no big deal.” And you know what? You’re right. After doing it a couple times, although still unpleasant, it’s really not a big deal. Nothing has reached up from under the house to grab me. Nothing besides my good friends, the boxies, has crawled out (I’ve learned it’s a good day when the worst critter sighting is a handful of boxies). So far I haven’t been attacked by rotten wood or malfunctioning plumbing, either. See what happens when you cowgirl up? You grow. You become stronger, more independent, more confident, more helpful and brave.
Now this doesn’t mean I don’t revert back to my previous princess ways now and then. I’m just being honest here, folks. I was in the middle of a princess moment last night. Some would call it “venting” but I prefer to call things what they are; it’s a princess temper tantrum. After being married for almost 12 years Ryan knows to stay calm during these temporary lapses in my usual outstanding character. 😉 He just so happened to be reading a book by a successful pasture-based farmer and read a quote to me from the book. Wow, it was a timely word and just what I needed to hear.
“Believe me, few people get a farm dumped into their lap. If a dream is worthwhile it is worth some sacrifice, and that starts with little things before progressing to bigger things. Too many people want to get the bigger thing before they’ve proven faithfulness in the little things.”
~ Joel Salatin
What about you? Do you have a dream? Well, cowgirl (or cowboy) up! Make some sacrifices and struggle through it. I know it’s worth it.
Besides, cowgirls have more fun. 😉