June 27, 2022

Erdmann: Taking care of you

My perspective on taking breaks has shifted recently. I feel like I now have a better understanding of what that really means for myself.

Parenting while also working can be exhausting. I’ve found myself yearning for a break to have a chance for my brain to reset.

Time to soak in sweet silence and be able to use both my hands at the same time doing something that isn’t for the farm, isn’t for the kids, isn’t for Kyle; doing something that is for me.

Then I get those short breaks. Sometimes it’s a day to get my hair done or a few hours to work on a project.

After those short breaks it’s immediately back to the grind and feeling burnt out even faster than before the break.

Our family took two and a half days over the holiday to spend together at the lake. It was a family trip more than it was a vacation, but it brought me the clarity I didn’t know I was searching for surrounding the concept of taking a break.

The nature of our business doesn’t lend us a slow season. Sure, we have slower seasons, but never a slow season where we can breathe a little easier.

Agriculture moves quickly, and we live on its timing more than we ever live on our own timing. Throw in a couple more businesses and we definitely always have more on the to-do list.

I was scheduling few breaks extremely inconsistently and thinking they would be my magic ticket to resetting my mind.

Now I realize that breaks that few and far between aren’t getting the job done for me because it simply isn’t enough.

Breaks should be consistent.

Breaks should be often.

Breaks should be numerous.

We regularly fuel our equipment to keep it running. We have oil changes on a schedule. We repair worn parts before they become broken, but yet we run ourselves ragged.

Somehow it is different for a human body. We are expected to run like Energizer Bunnies without refueling or a maintenance schedule.

I don’t know yet exactly how I can remedy our situation, but I do know that breaks should be prioritized the same or more for us as we do for other maintenance around the farm.

Let’s schedule it, often. How do you do it? How do you prioritize and make the time to take care of yourself?

Chelsey Erdmann is the District 5 representative on the North Dakota Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee.