It is the time of year when many of us make resolutions. The new year looms before us, fresh and new, full of possibilities. A lot of people want to lose weight, get fit, eat healthier, get up earlier or change some other habit. Those are worthy goals but often the challenge is bigger than our resolve. Our plans fall by the wayside before the month of January slides into history.
How do you learn from challenges?
For us at Five Feline Farm, the changing of the calendar to a new year is also a time of reflection. A time to remember all we accomplished in the past year and make plans for 2019. One of the challenges we took on during 2018 taught us valuable lessons about how to face a huge undertaking.
As all of our fans and followers know, we decided to move an old wire mesh corncrib and turn it into a gazebo. Or as we refer to it now: “The A-Maize-ing Granary”.
This was not an easy task. The crib as it stood in the field was 15 foot tall to the bottom of the roof. The roof added another 10’ or so. Plus it is heavy. Not undoable heavy, but not something you just tuck under one arm and carry down the road. Keep in mind, we don’t own the proper equipment to move such a structure and hoped not to invest the cash in hiring those who do.
Here is what we learned:
1. Get Help
Even though we try to do as much for ourselves as possible, we did ask for help from family. (Brothers are a blessing.) We are also blessed with gracious neighbors who offered key assistance at just the right moment.
Know when to ask for help and accept it when it comes.
2. Think Critically
It helps to imagine each step of the project in your mind and even draw out a plan if possible. When I wasn’t sure if the round crib would fit on the square deck, I drew paper models to scale and tried it out. We didn’t foresee every possible obstacle, but we tried to think through what we could.
Plan what can be planned.
3. Accept Changing Plans
Sometimes you just have to get into the project and start working before you find out what will work. We had a plan to lower the roof onto a trailer to move. When we couldn’t get the trailer to the corn crib location, we changed plans.
Be flexible when necessary.
4. Work Hard
Meeting challenges, whether physical or mental is not for the weak. We have a lot of sweat equity in this project as do others. There were several long hot days of hard physical labor involved.
Hard work will pay off.
5. Believe in the Outcome
Any challenge will have an occasional setback, that’s why it’s called a challenge. You have to keep your eye on the goal and push forward, trusting it will all work out and be worth the effort. We now have a beautiful and unique feature at the Farm.
We hope you learn from our experiences and meet your own challenges.