The Serenity Prayer solution

Farm Forum

This year at our place, the spring workload was fast, furious and very, very hectic. And for some reason, this spring’s workload zoomed right into the summer time workload. There was absolutely not a break between the two seasons. Geeze, Louise! Either the technological age has completely failed me in the efficiency category, or I’m just plain getting too slow and too old timey in the work completion group. Whatever the case, I needed a break this year; a time-out or at best a short vacation!

No rest for the wicked

I guess the words, “there’s no rest for the wicked,” certainly applied to my situation. It seemed that we would just get done with one thing, and then there was something else that just had to get done, and then we’d finish that task and here came something else. It seemed to be more exasperating to me this spring!

You see, actually, every year I complain to my hubby that I need a vacation right after the spring calving season or I will explode from the stress. This year I was nicer and even waited longer to begin my yearly tirade. I didn’t start whining until after both the calving season and the spring planting season were all finished. What a break for the old boy! Right?

But, my patient whining wait time did me no good because he didn’t budge an inch. He insisted that we had to get all the cows to pasture and the first crop of hay off, before he would even consider leaving the place. Well, I then added the threat that if I didn’t get some time off; I was packing several extremely large suitcases and leaving pronto for a very long vacation all by myself!

I even included a little color to my departure scenario with describing the large dust cloud that would rise in the west as I placed the pedal to the metal and skyrocketed out of our yard. In fact, this cloud of dust would be so huge that it would be broadcast on national television. I envisioned the national reporter stating: “The unthinkable occurred today on the plains of Dakotaland. Plain Jane Green bravely left the Green Rancho Grande for parts unknown in a full-fledged blaze of glory!”

Well, I might be getting a tad carried away here, but my urgent threats and colorful descriptions yielded me nothing! Nothing, except for hubby’s time-honored response of, “Well, dear, don’t let the door hit you in the rear on your way out!”

Umph! So-o-o, what was a body to do? In my book, those words of his were fighting words, but since my mother taught me to be a lady, I decided to do a little readjusting to my thinking. And the story goes like this…

Readjusting Class 101

Without a doubt, the huge spring and summer workload on our farms and ranches gets to be a bit much at times. And there’s no question that our ag people certainly deserve a break from the stresses of farm and ranch work. And I’m certainly not the only one who laments at times about needing some time off.

Everyone who works in ag country has days that you feel like you will explode if you can’t leave the scene for just a little while. And it’s important that our farming/ranching partners do just that, but how do we accomplish this feat? How do we dare take some time off away from our labors?

The Serenity Prayer solution

I found my answer to this question as I read over the words of the Serenity Prayer. This prayer is on a plaque that our daughter, Vicki, gave to me several years ago. I read its words every day; sometimes, several times a day because it’s located right in our main bathroom.

Yes, it’s situated in the bathroom right on the back of the bathroom stool. I placed it there so people would read the powerful words and also because the beautiful plaque matched our bathroom’s décor.

Reading the plaque every day, several times a day was one thing, but taking the time to fully reflect on its meaning was quite another. However, since I was looking for an answer to my ag stress question, I was more alert. In fact, I had been reading and searching everywhere, and there it was, right in front of me. The words to this prayer are indeed powerful. Read on….

First: The Serenity Prayer talks about accepting the things we cannot change. I know I cannot change the work load that must be done on our farm, so I accept that fact.

Second: The Serenity Prayer talks about having the courage to change the things we can. So, I’m going to ask my hubby to go on some mini-vacations to relieve some stress. Maybe we could take more leisurely evening drives through the countryside. Or maybe we could even have an actual date night and go out for supper and a movie. I know the food idea will work but going out to a movie—hm?

Third: The Serenity Prayer relates that we need to have the wisdom to know the difference between the things we can change and the things we cannot change. How very true and good thought to remember.


Farming is our way of life. Even though it requires lots of hard work, it’s what we love to do. Thankfully, hubby and I both realize that time away from the place is not only good for the soul, but also for relieving the stresses of country living.

You will find us taking some time off and relaxing a bit at the upcoming antique tractor events, cattle shows, family reunions, and of course, the South Dakota State Fair. Hope to see you there.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. E-mail her at: