New Year, New Challenges

Christmas was a tough time for all of us.

Despite my best intentions, I found myself stretched for time over the festive period and once more struggling to portion time off for myself.

The Tamsik philosophies that I laid down in the early days of the farm started creeping back into my lifestyle and I soon found myself working 15-hour days. However, this time I was ready for the increase in workload and found myself enjoying the rush, rather than suffering from it.

I had struck a fine balance between work and play in the run up to the festive period. In the wake of my rather embarrassing attempt at a dinner party, months ago now, I managed to successfully pull my house in order and create a life rather than simply survive on a day-to-day basis. With a little perseverance I was able to tick off many of the goals on my to do list. I took on three new lads to help around the farm, giving myself more time as well as affording my current workers an extra five days off.

They were a little sceptical at first when I told them about the changes. My farm hands are a hard working bunch, they’re proud of the work that they do and were understandably a little threatened by the entrance of new blood. Once they understood the rationale behind hiring more people they soon took to their training capacity and, within a couple of months, we’d formed a new larger, stronger team capable of dealing with the demands of the coming winter.

With that being said: we still ended up being understaffed come November.

Two of my long-serving employees’ wives gave birth during at the start of the month. Two children were born healthy: great news. But I also promised them 2-week of paternity leave…each.

Soon my new lads were struggling under the weight of more work and longer hours; I had no choice but to step in, carry the load and get on with the job.

ThereĀ were moments of respite between November and the New Year. Just before I dove back into my long hours I found myself a model plane kit to build, over the course of three months I was able to slowly assemble a Supermarine Mk II Spitfire. My hands aren’t the most dexterous, but it still felt good to make a little progress everyday on something that wasn’t the farm.

When it came to Christmas Day itself, I was shattered. I had nowhere near enough time to travel to my family’s homestead in York, so instead I’d settled on sorting the cows out in the morning and then settling down to a day in front of the television. Luckily my employees’ had other plans. When I’d returned from seeing to the animals I found a piece of paper taped to the front door inviting me to a full-blown Christmas dinner: how could I say no to my longest serving employee?

With the New Year comes new challenges, but I’m feeling more confident than ever now that I’ve got a well-rested team who are eager to get back to work.

Posted by: John on