Get a fresh start for summer

hay field

Do you ever feel like you are caught in a hamster wheel? Always running ragged and never catching up? Task after task keep flying your way and there’s no chance to take a breath in between? If you don’t get a chance to take that breather, you may consider quitting all together, when what you really need is to just slow down. Quitting doesn’t help us resolve those stressful tasks. Slowing down instead allows us to put those tasks flying at us into focus.

I was reminded of that recently while cleaning off my disastrously cluttered desk so that I could start fresh the next day. Among the things on my desk was my 2022 Good Housekeeping Live Life Beautifully planner. I loved that planner. It was full of helpful advice, recipes and organization tips.

As I flipped the page to June, I found the following passage: “Find Your Focus— Aim your brain at a problem. If you feel as if your mind is looping around itself, give yourself an (easy) task to do. When you’re stressed your brain may be saying, ‘Let’s solve the problem!’ so it keeps spinning, but that’s actually a good time to engage your mind. If you give your brain a short-term task to focus on, you’ll feel calmer and you’ll be better able to deal with what’s actually bothering you.”

Start easy

Instead of dwelling on your entire to-do list and what thing is the highest priority, choose one task that can be completed now and do it. The satisfaction of completing something may be just what you need to realign your focus to accomplish bigger tasks with a fresh mindset. If you are waiting for a chance to hit the reset button, wait no longer. The start of summer is a great time to take a deep breath and every morning is a new opportunity to start fresh.

Sure, there’s hay to be made and pastures to graze; fence to mend and stock tanks to clean; oil to change and calves to wean; weeds to tackle and ponds to treat; mail to address and bills to pay.

But it can all wait just a little while longer if you need a moment to realign and focus. Do the newspaper crossword. Organize your toolbox. Rehang that crooked gate you struggle with every morning. Change that light bulb that has been out for weeks. Maybe just clean your desk. It might just do the trick to help you slow down and refocus. Your mind and spirit will thank you for it.

If the big tasks on your to-do list include shopping for new farm equipment, buying fertilizer, taking hay samples, planning a new pasture seeding, designing a weed management program, figuring out the best way to make haylage, and/or setting aside pastures to stockpile grass for this fall, mark your calendars to take a day off from your farm tasks and come to the Eastern Agricultural Research Station in Caldwell, Ohio on July 14. OSU Extension and a team of sponsors will be offering a day full of inspiration and socialization for anyone in the pasture management and haymaking businesses with the return of Southeastern Ohio Hay Day.

Registration will open and the trade show will begin at 9 a.m. at 16870 Bond Ridge Road, Caldwell, OH 43724. Southeastern Ohio Hay Day will highlight the latest in hay making equipment with displays and hay making demonstrations from several manufacturers and dealers across the region.

There will be ample opportunities for attendees to visit with dealer representatives and their peers during the event. Multiple educational talks will be conducted throughout the day by OSU Extension professionals. The event is free and open to all. More details about Hay Day can be found online at:

While RSVPs are appreciated for the event, they are not required. If you just need a break from the farm and some inspiration for the tasks ahead, come join us without reservation! We look forward to having you.


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The author is an OSU Extension agriculture and natural resources educator in Noble County. Questions or comments can be sent in care of Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem OH 44460.



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