We are almost there.
The end of the year is in sight although personally, I wish we were still back in April - I feel like we have so much to do before Christmas.
We have given the staff their second-round muster pep talk.
The talk that warns of an increased chance of bickering and workplace injuries because the novelty of the year has worn off and we are all tired.
The talk that highlights the fact that we have already processed thousands of weaners and there still looks to be no end in sight.
We ask our team to push to the end of the year, work with us to manage any fatigue and take breaks when they need to, but mostly to look out for each other.
Normally this mid-year malaise is compounded by drought and the onset of hot days.
In a pleasing twist of fate, this is the first year since 2016 that we have received rain in every month of the year to date, and, although we are loath to say it, the wet weather is presenting its own challenges.
Managing through the dry times is hard but managing the wet times can also be hard.
We have had delays to our sales program, had to replace the top 12 inches of soil in our cattle yards and, oddly, it is not unusual for our crew to be seen in gumboots.
Recently, I saw a social media post that points out, sagely, that any path we take is hard.
For example, marriage is hard but divorce is also hard. Being obese is hard but being fit is also hard.
Being in debt is hard but being financially disciplined is hard.
Communicating is hard, but not communicating is also hard.
Finding time to do all your daily tasks is hard but delegating and training staff is also hard.
At the end of the day, we have the opportunity to choose our hard.
Between now and the end of the year, we will make a renewed effort to acknowledge the strains on our team and be compassionate and flexible in our approach.
We can only do this if we remind ourselves about the diversity within our team: to remember there are different priorities and different needs among all of them.
This style of staff management is hard, but it is the hard we are choosing.
- Anna Cochrane, station manager