• TheConfused Father

Why Do We Wake Up Early

Almost every day for the last two weeks our daughter has been waking up early. After she wakes up she picks an outfit, gets herself dressed, and puts her coat and shoes on. We don't wake her up, she does it on her own because she has something that she wants to do. She is getting up early so she can go help her mom feed the new bottle lambs. If she doesn't get herself up then she doesn't get to go. The first feeding time is early so that Erin is back inside to watch the boys so I can leave for work. The lamb's second feeding is during afternoon naptime and their last feeding is late after all the kids have gone to bed. So if Gabriella wants to see "her" lambs she has to get out of bed when she hears us start moving around and be ready to go.

These morning outings with Erin are less of a chore and more of a field trip for Gabriella. As she gets older she will probably be less excited about waking up early to help with farm chores but have a better sense of the responsibilities that they hold. As a farmer, even on a small farm like ours, your animals are your employees. It is your job to make sure that your employees have what they need to be productive. When it comes to animals that mostly means food and shelter. Growing up I remember hearing an old farmer telling his grandson "The food on our plates in the morning comes from our animals. If you do not put the work at first there will be no food when you are hungry later on, that is why we take care of the animals first." It didn't mean much to me at the time but now that we own livestock I get what he was saying.

The food we eat takes a long time to grow. Wheat is planted in the fall and harvested in the spring, then it can be milled, baked, and eaten. That slice of toast you ate from breakfast was more than half a year in the making. If you wait until you are ready to eat to plant your seeds you will die of starvation long before your crops are ready to harvest.

Staying at least one step ahead of your needs requires commitment, foresight, and time. When life gets busy the best place to find a little extra time is first thing in the morning. It is amazing what to can get done with an extra 30 minutes. Especially when that is the only thirty minutes of that day that you are not responsible for multiple small children. Productivity is not a skill, it is a choice. If there is something that you are truly wanting to do, then make the time and get it done. Then the next time you sleep in, you will feel more like you deserve it and less like you just wasted a morning.

But more on that later, I hope this message has found you in good health and of a sound mind. I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering...

What would you do with an extra thirty minutes a day?


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