Having just finished a long stint of hay making on my family's beef cattle property near Goomeri, I had a lot of time to reflect on the year I had in 2021.
I also had time to reflect on some life lessons that can be learnt while raking hay.
One of my lessons was, 'Whatever you messed up yesterday can be fixed today. Whatever you mess up today can be fixed tomorrow'.
I now see that nothing is truly permanent and that you have the opportunity to correct whatever may have gone wrong...even if it takes a fair bit of work!
We do this every day in all jobs, however particularly in our agricultural industry, one that I feel so privileged to work and live in every day.
I am excited at the opportunity to learn more of the administrative and business aspects of my family's cattle and lucerne business in 2022.
Although with these current floods, I'm sure I'll be spending more time in the coming weeks fixing fences and cleaning up than anything else. Apparently it's quality bonding time...
Another hay raking lesson is, 'Sometimes slower is faster, but not always'.
Beyond the paddock, I spent 2021 in the school room teaching three incredible children as their governess.
When educating country kids, there were many times we had to slow down to get the task done properly. Other times, we needed speed to help the children put away their educational experiences in their memory bank.
This is no different than when in the paddock. When working cattle and horses, there are times when you need to slow down and there are also times when you need to keep on moving.
A big lesson was, 'You might not have control over the situation, but you do have control over the levers'.
This was one of the biggest lessons in our second year of navigating life with the COVID restrictions as part of our community.
I was very proud to represent the Goomeri and South Burnett regions in the state finals of the Queensland Showgirl Awards this year.
I also competed in many campdrafts and stockmen's challenges throughout the year.
While we don't have any direct control over the COVID situation, we do have the ability to control some of the levers that contribute to the continued connection of our communities.
Everything happens for a reason and we can learn from the situation arising from the chops and changes that the pandemic brought to strengthen our regional communities in 2022.
Another lesson I have learnt is that 'It's good to look back occasionally but if you look back too much, you tend to go off track'.
2021 sure was a busy year, one where you had to focus on the task at hand and not stress the small stuff!
As 2021 closes I feel content with the personal growth that I got as a result of my accomplishments, however I am now focusing on my goals for this year. I can't wait to see what 2022 has in store for me.
And sometimes... you've just got to turn the hay over.
As I move out of the cab of my tractor and into the new year, my mantra will be 'Every action we take is a vote for the kind of person we want to become.'
- Jacinta Rockemer, 2021 Showgirl state finalist
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