Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sometimes it's just time

I was talking with my wife recently. Husbands should do that from time to time.

Current management at her place of employment recently laid off 3 employees and eliminated those positions. One the those eliminated was a long time employee of the facility. 45 years, to be exact. This person had started working there while in high school and had built her entire career around this facility. She was highly regarded in what she did.

As you can imagine, this did not sit well with staff and clients, my wife included. In my wife's duties, she worked with this person on a nearly daily basis and said that this person was the glue that held her department together.

And just like that, she was gone.

But this isn't a whine session about how business works, or if this employee was mistreated in being let go a few months short of early retirement age. It is a story about how people respond to things that are thrown at them from out of the blue.

Sure, she wanted to stay on until reaching full Social Security retirement age, but it didn't happen. The day after being let go, my wife had a chance to visit with her. She told my wife "You, know, this may be a blessing in disguise. This place has been draining the life out of me for 45 years. I think it may just be time to cut ties with it and move on." It was though the stress and pressure had just been lifted off her.

A few years before I hung up my milking apron, I had a friend call it quits from being a dairy farmer. His wife had no idea he was considering it until he said something to their lender. A few days later I ran into her and she said he couldn't stop smiling since making the decision to leave it behind.

Again, the relief from the stressors was that big.

And then there was me. Farming was my life. Farming was my career. I lived for my cows. I was burnt out from the stress of running the farm and trying to battle through the worst year with Meniere's. Sad thing is, I had made some decisions that last year that would likely have had a tremendous positive impact on the profitability of my business in the years to come. But the price was a heavy one that first year, and it happened right in the middle of the worst year I ever experienced with this disease. Not a good combination.

So there I was. Physically, I was a mess. Mentally, I was burnt out.

I reached the point I needed to decide something, and I felt the best course of action, at that time, was to leave my career behind.

Probably one of the top 5 worst days of my life was the day I loaded my dairy cows on a trailer. I was upset, sad, disappointed, and felt like a complete failure. That is, until the last trailer left the yard with the last cows on it. Then it was like the world of pressure was lifted off my shoulders. I didn't smile, but I had the feeling come over me that this was OK. I would be OK. My family would be OK. Life would go on.

I shared that with my wife when she was talking about her co-worker. She replied that she could imagine the relief on my part of no longer having the concern over who was going to care for the cows during any future attacks and days in bed.

And I could imagine the relief her co-worker may have felt when she said it may be a blessing in disguise.

There may never be a perfect time, but sometimes it's just time.......

'til next time


Just a guy trying to live with an invisible, potentially debilitating illness


  1. Dennis, may you be more than okay with the reduced stress and hopefully regain some quality of life. With this disease, we all unfortunately have to recalibrate life at some point. Best wishes on this next chapter, and keep the blog going! Lauren

    1. Thank you Lauren. Life is good. It does help that this has mostly left me alone for 4 years now. Do not miss it. Check out the rest of my posts when you have time.