Just finished last Stockmanship and Stewardship event of 2019. It was in Monroe, Luisiana, and everything was good. The arena, the schedule, the format, the attendees, the horses, the cattle, and especially the crew that made it all go so smoothly from NCBA staff to LSU extension folks, were all better than good, so I should restate that. Everything and everyone was great.
I am on a plane headed home and wondering where I am headed. This was my last booked event of the year. My traveling and clinic schedule has been less than a quarter of the past. Traveling and workin with a microphone on has been such a big part of my life for a long time.
Quality of life. That’s been something that has always been on my mind. As with so many things, it is so simple to see but hard to get.
There is a program in the beef industry we call “Beef Quality Assurance” (BQA). In its simplest form it is doing all the component parts of creating beef the best way possible to have “quality beef”.
Some producers put a lot of effort into it, some don’t. Some producers make it very simple, some make it very complicated. Different environments and traditions create lots of different ways of producing beef. It’s the same with life.
The two biggest things I see that will improve BQA is learning new methods and being willing to change to improve. Some do, some don’t.
Should we have a “People Quality of Life Program”?
There is a hot springs in White Sulfur Springs, Montana that I stop and soak in once in a while. It has some nice life size paintings on the wall depicting native Americans in the same spot when they were the ones on the land, using the same hot springs I was sitting in. I got to wondering who had the best quality of life, us or them.
It would seem we do with all our modern conveniences and technology. I know we have it much easier, but I think it is much more complicated now than it was then. Everything they did was about survival and living off the land, and most of there time and energy was used to survive, and how well they managed that created quality of life. I imagine being comfortable, not starving and being safe we’re pretty big parts of quality of life. I doubt if there too many diet and exercise programs needed.
Now we have replaced hunting and gathering with working and spending. We work a lot and we spend a lot. Some are better hunters(higher pay) and some are real good at spending(debt). If you are not careful and smart about your work it can lower your quality of life, and it is real important to watch how you spend to create quality of life.
If you don’t like to hunt, but like to eat you may not have the best quality of life unless you can do something for the hunter that they don’t like to do. This is a good way to improve quality of life. The important thing to understand is to not complicate this or get it out of balance. It will then become a stressor and take away from quality of life rather than add to it. If you have to much “stuff” it won’t mean anything and it will become an addiction getting more stuff to try to improve quality of life and it may do just the opposite.
Every one is different, but for me beating hearts create quality of life. I don’t get real close to a lot of humans, but the ones I am really improve my life. With Wife Tammy’s new challenge in quality of life, it has actually improved mine in a funny way as it has made me realize how important she is to me and how I may not have been giving her the quality of life she deserved.
My children are such an important part of my quality of life and I am real proud of what and who they are(most of the time).
The animals I get to care for and be a part of are really important to me. My dog Possum has really improved life for me, as have Taco, Silver and Rials dog Porsha.
My horse Jaxson has become a real big part of the enjoyment in my life. He has gone from a dead runaway scared horse to a real partner, and I think I have improved his quality of life almost as much as he has improved mine.
Having all the 63 Ranch horses and trimming feet, putting shoes on and learning to age by the teeth again, and riding and caring for so many horses has taken me back through the years and got me back to really caring about all parts of being a horseman.
I am really looking forward to figuring out what livestock will work best on the ranch. Cows, yearlings, bucking horses? What will create the best improvements to quality of life on “The New 63 Ranch”.
I am so grateful for the internet, this iPad, the trucks and tractors, the wonderful house and propane heat, refrigerators and all the stuff that makes life easier than those native Americans from long ago. They really help create an easy life and allow us much more time to improve quality of life. But they can also create so many things that seem like they improve quality of life, but really take away from us and we may not even know it.
So in my “Life Quality Assurance” assessments I am going to enjoy the “stuff” that gives, get rid of or not use “junk” that takes and really learn, implement and change the way I deal with the beating hearts in my life to not only improve my quality of life, but other heartbeats as well.
I’ll tell you one thing, swinging my leg over Jaxsons back used to be like getting on a airplane. There was going to be a take-off. Less takeoffs creates better quality of life!