Was Life Ever “Normal?”

By Riley Smith, NALJA Director

Hello again everybody! I know some of you may be reading this from the feed truck, the tractor, or maybe even chute side as we enter spring breeding season! This is always an exciting, yet stressful time of year for me. While I try to finish the school year out strong, a large majority of my time seems to be spent thinking about how a certain cow’s calf will look if bred to a particular sire. In a few short weeks, school will be out for summer, and many of us will begin gearing up for the summer shows. I can’t wait to see you all in Grand Island, NE for NJLSC. I know each of you will be bringing the heat in terms of quality cattle, and I can promise you the junior board will match that quality with great activities and comradery throughout the week.

During the beginning parts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I think we all had a chance to slow down. Honestly, I had kind of forgotten what a full schedule had looked like up until a couple of weeks ago. Events would be postponed or spread apart, and many were not available to attend in-person, so we all stayed home. But lately, life has been speeding back up. While I am so thankful for things opening back up, I feel like I spend half of my days needing to relearn how to use a calendar, and the other half trying to figure out how I am going to fit into the “going out” clothes that I stopped wearing over a year ago!

As time keeps passing by, I hear folks daily say, “Gosh! I can’t wait for life to just get back to normal already!” At the beginning parts of the pandemic I totally agreed, but as I have had some time to reflect and think back to pre-COVID-19, I really begin to wonder. Was life as we know it ever actually normal? I mean, think about it. Yesterday, the weaned calves found the hole in the fence, today a water line busted and the feed truck had a flat, and tomorrow who knows what could happen on the farm or ranch! To me, asking for normality is almost like asking for an easy way out. Instead I believe we should all persevere and work towards a better tomorrow, rather than long for an easier day that we may have had in the past. If we don’t focus on the road ahead, we may get caught looking in the rear view mirror and miss the S-curve that is right in front of us!

An all time favorite quote of mine is, “You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with.” I think this is so relevant to the world we live in today. You can choose to surround yourself with positive or negative, hard-working or lazy, and faithful or unfaithful people. Just know that in the end, you will become what you surround yourself with! SO, be wise my friends.

Proverbs 13:20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of a fool will suffer harm.

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