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Day 5 - Buffalo Day & Schedules

As promised, here's some pictures of the buffalo we worked today.

These guys are between 2 and 3 years old. We were weighing them to track their progress and make sure they are steadily gaining weight. The smallest buffalo weighed in at 1,500 lbs and the largest at 1,650. They are definitely not finished growing. Our largest bull and sire of one of the herds weighs over 2,500 lbs. These guys are massive!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to get any down because they had already shed it at the beginning of summer. I expected that and harvested as much as I could during spring.

We walk them as calmly as we can using horses to gently suggest where to go. That's one thing I love about buffalo: everything you do with them has to be calm. They are not like cattle where you have to force them to do what you want. You can't do that with buffalo. They have to be led, nudged. You have to work with them instead of against them. If you go too fast, they get angry and antsy and tend to run off to where they came from, the exact opposite of where you want them to go. These boys were pretty frisky today though because they're basically teenagers with lots of hormones.

As you can see in the picture in the far right, one of the buffalo got away from the herd and was trying to make a break for it. He ended up not getting weighed today. We'll try again later.

Here's Clara intently watching the buffalo run down the chute. She dressed herself this morning complete with light-up shoes.

I didn't know we would be doing this, this morning. It's the kind of spontaneity that I love but also feel bad when I have to break my planned schedule. Schedules bore me though, so I don't mind too much. I only keep a schedule because I would never get anything done if I didn't have one. This is actually a life change that I was able to implement and keep. You may think that your personality is what it is, and you can't change. But you can. You can be the person you want to be. I allow myself to be myself within my own set of boundaries. I know how much I hate schedules but I also know that I hate the sinking feeling of not getting something done or even worse, flat-out forgetting to do it. I do a sort-of 80/20 compromise with myself. If I can follow my schedule and meet my deadlines 80% of the time, that's a win. That usually gets me where I need to be in terms of important things I have to do and allows me to filter out some of the less important commitments I may have tethered myself to. So it ends up being a 100% success rate if you don't count the stuff that probably either wasn't worth my time to begin with or not important enough to spend my time on. Of course, things will slip through the cracks and I will disappoint myself or someone else. I have to just keep going though. Admit my mistake and keep truckin'.

Speaking of schedules, I'll share with you how I prioritize and organize.

This planner is my lifeline. I absolutely could not be a functioning adult without it. I got this thing from If I'm being honest it's like an Erin Condren knockoff - at first. But the customization options are unbelievable. I can't sing the praises of this planner enough. I have mine set up so that I see a calendar at the beginning of each month, then, it goes week by week, with a space for each day so I can elaborate on what I need to do or jot down my schedule for that specific day. Each week has a whole page of just writing space, so I can brainstorm, write to-do lists, whatever. The end of each month has a two page shopping list section and an extra place for notes. In my next journal, I am going to add a blog planning section and meal planner in addition to my shopping lists, social media planner and extra notes pages.

I have tiers of organization. At the beginning of each month, I make a list of all that I want to accomplish. Then, at the beginning of each week, I take a gander at that list and pick some items from it that I think I can get done that week. I know what's realistic for me from experience. Sometimes, I write down what I did for each day if I feel like I want to look back and be encouraged by all the things I completed. I also stay organized by seeing what I need to do; doctor's appointments, meetings, classes. I plan my month and weeks around those dates. I even plan when I will have a day where I only work on dyeing or I only knit or work on granny square blankets. Some days I just write down that I want to tackle a small goal like dyeing at least 2 skeins of yarn. I know that I need to take small, consistent steps to build up to completing a goal.

I never thought I could be "a planner". I always believed I was doomed to a life of disorganization, forgetfulness, and being disappointed in myself for those qualities. I've been using a planner daily for several years now. Maybe I got to a point where I was so fed up, I just did it. I'm still exploring how I was able to make this habit stick, but I think it has a lot to do with how I do it. It works for me, I took the time to develop a system that works with my brain. It took trial and error and many years of using a planner on and off, but my life is so much more stress-free because of this habit. If you're the type of person that wants to use a planner but fail every time you try to make the habit stick, I would recommend getting online and doing major research. Find some layouts you like and feel like you would use. Find something that works with your brain, not against it. Draw out what you want. Ask around on blogs, the internet is powerful and it's people are excellent problem solvers. I think I did a month of research before I decided on Plum Paper. Before that, I had a planner from Target that worked fine, but I was craving something more personal. Just a few tweaks here and there that would make all the difference in my productivity. I knew exactly what I wanted and I actually found it. The personalized planner market is taking off, so now is a great time to get out there and see what you can find.

The next and hardest step is actually DO what you write in your planner! More on that in a later post.

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