Finding time

Time. There’s never enough of it is there? And in bleakest mid-winter with it’s accompanying short days and long dark nights, sometimes it can feel like it’s slipping through your fingers like so many grains of sand. Well I’ve only made one resolution for this year, and that’s to find more of it. I have no strategy. No plan. No grand idea about how to accomplish this. I will simply just find more.

Because it occurs to me that it’s mostly in the mind. ‘I haven’t got time’ is the ultimate excuse. If you want to do something badly enough, you’ll just find the time to make it happen. Much to my delight, earlier this week my eldest daughter Gwen asked about participating in a parkrun with me. After checking the times for our nearest event and finding that it starts at 9am, my first thought was that it can’t be done. I won’t be finished feeding cattle and the rest of the morning farm jobs by then. But wait. No you don’t time you mean ol’ bastard. I can beat you by getting up an hour earlier, getting the farm work done, and running that first memorable race with my daughter.

I read to my girls every night, but I’ve found myself hurrying through it recently. Trying to get done by 7.30 so that I can get on with other things. Farm paperwork, writing jobs, marathon training, blogging, replying to messages. But no more. I’m resolving to find the time to not speed through reading with my girls. To savour every second before in the blink of an eye, they no longer need, or want me to. They’re discovering a love for literature, as I did at their age, and it makes my heart sing to be part of it. Soon we’re starting ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ together, and I can hardly wait. I’ll do those other less-important things after the stories are done.

I will find more time to be with, and talk to my wife. As a farmer I work long hours, almost every day of the year. When I’m not working, I’m either with the children, running, or writing. And when she’s not with the children, she’s chairing the village playgroup with all the roles and responsibilities that implies. It’s too easy to be passing ships in the night these days. But I won’t let that happen. I can’t. I need her too much. And I’ll find more time to spend with her, and make her laugh that incredible laugh of hers. And yes, that means less time for social media too. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in it, and before you know it, a precious hour has gone forever.

When I started this blog I didn’t have any expectations. I always wanted to give writing a go, and thought that I’d see what happened. Just get something out there. But now I’m enjoying it so much that I want to post more pieces on here, and particularly improve the look and feel of the site. I’m not particularly tech savvy, so just getting it up and running by myself was an achievement for me, but now I’ve done it, I’m no longer satisfied with it. Any advice or feedback in this department would be very gratefully received. And I will find the time to reply!

Ultimately, you can search all the religious, philosophical or scientific works ever written, and you won’t find a more truthful phrase in my opinion than ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person.’ Well I’m damn sure a busy person; I have a wife, four young daughters, two dogs, 330 cattle, 5000 free-range laying hens, and a few hundred acres of crops to find the time for. Not to mention a very average blog to work on, and a marathon in April to train for. But this year you can be sure that I’ll find more hours in the day to get things done. Because more than anything else in life, you’ve got to find time for the things that make you glad to be alive.



Author: fatherandfarmer

Livestock & Arable Farmer, living in the sticks with a Wife & 4 young Daughters, trying to make sense of it all..

14 thoughts on “Finding time”

    1. Time never really had much of an effect on me until I arrived 5 minutes late for a rather important meeting. That is to say that the meeting wouldn’t start without me. As I made my apologetic way to the appointed empty chair a friend said for the benefit of the assembly – “You have no respect for time – yours, mine or anyone else”. I had no polite response at the time however I was ready to knock his head off after the meeting had dispersed and I let him know it. His response shocked me. He said ” you will live forever. I have never met anyone who was so capable of managing time and you never let time manage you.”
      To this day I have respected the time of others but I have absolutely no respect for time.
      best regards

      PS –
      I am 67 and most people guess me late 40’s early 50’s and 35 yr olds ask me if we are done for the day so maybe my friend was on to something.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Agreed Will! That reading time is precious, and there’s probably nothing more important than adding time with Mrs. E. Sounds like the running and/or writing is gonna take a small hit, cuz you gotta sleep!
    I vote you don’t respond to all of us on social media. No doubt we love it! But we get it, and even if it saves you 10 or 15 minutes, that’s more time than most busy couples carve out for each other in a day! The “like” click is your friend, you rock star! 😊 Thanks for another great piece.


  2. PS If you can forsee getting help on the farm as you transition to a career in writing, NEVER MIND! Grow your legion of fans and friends! 😀


  3. Wow, I didn’t know you had so many hens. That’s a lot of eggs to get to market!
    I agree with Emma’s comment – if short on time, it’s the housework that goes!
    Totally agree with you on the bedtime reading. I used to be addicted to Coronation Street so getting back down to watch it at 7:30 with a cuppa was my “aaaah” half hour but when I realised I was rushing the bedtime reading, I stopped watching it. I could have recorded it and watched it later I guess but I often resumed working again around 8:30. Haven’t watched soap operas for years and never missed them. Wishing you a lovely 2017.


  4. A management consultant faced with such a time problem on your behalf might recommend delegation of some farm duties to staff and/or efficiency improvement in one or more of the farm enterprises. The time savings need to be found in the business aspects of your life rather than in the private parts, so to speak. They’d call it attention to work/life balance… and charge you a lot of money to help you improve the balance, I guess. Might be worth completing a time sheet for a month or two (you can download a free app onto your smart phone) to see exactly where the work time is utilised depending upon season. You could run the analysis as hours/month and work out percentages; that would focus attention on your farming enterprises and help you prioritise time and effort, I suspect. PS I’m not a management consultant, as you can probably tell!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely to read this. Giving time is the greatest gift we have, whether it is to do things with family or just to listen to a stranger. Thank you – and good luck.


  6. Will, your words resonate even for those of us who do normal jobs and have less than four children. I’m moving away from being “busy”. PS nothing average about your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

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