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March 25, 2013: Git er Done

I’m told that this is the refrain of Larry the Cable guy. I’ve never seen this show – most people that I’ve talked to seem to know something about it. I’m not interested in seeing this show, not because I’m not interested in Larry or his handyman activities, but because I like the rallying cry minus the connotations. In fact, I wish that I’d come up with it.

Until today I pretty much thought that life is exclusively about getting er done. That is, knocking things off the ongoing list. And I’d pretty much accepted what I’d come to accept as a truism, which is that knock one thing off your list and three more will materialize.

So obviously, my list continues to grow. I’ve been okay with this – I’ve just kept my nose to the grindstone. Got a dispatch to write? Get er done. Got a proposal to finish? Get er done. Got an office space to clean up? Get er done. Got a photograph to take? Get er done. Got a Photoshop assignment that needs to be complete? Get er done. I’ve in fact learned to not look too far ahead. Otherwise I get overwhelmed and my life grinds to a standstill. I call this mental paralysis.

This condition occurred yesterday afternoon. I entered the horse pen and began picking up manure. It had continued to snow, so the not-so-fresh stuff was buried under snow. As I worked, more piles seemed to surface. All of a sudden it seemed to me as if there would never be any end to this. Hrimmi, reading my thoughts, lifted up her tail and let loose with a fresh load.

There were, I knew, also other tasks that needed doing. I had to haul the manure to the new compost facility, and as well, feed, water, and take all the horses for a walk. Plus, we were having friends over for dinner.

I was momentarily stuck – in a manner of speaking, frozen in time, like an icicle. The phrase, get er done then came to mind and caused me to smile. I then looked at the horses, dogs, and goats, who were all milling about somewhat aimlessly. It occurred to me that they don’t think in terms of getting er done. Rather, they think in terms of my getting er done. They all see me as the human food and water dispenser. And really, just about anyone could do this job. I, who am expendable, am the get er done gal.

I have no problem with having this label affixed to my psyche. I took all these animals on well knowing that it was my job to comply with this simple and ongoing request. Now, they don’t think in terms of their getting anything done; however, I do have this expectation of them. The dogs’ job is to alert their human counterparts to the presence of animal and human visitors. And the horses’ jobs are to carry us from Point A to Point B. And the goats’ job is to eat brush and make poop. (The goats – they have the least to do – I had previously hoped to train them to pull a cart and be pack animals, but for time-related reasons this has not come to be. Maybe someday, their job description will be more extensive, but for right now it is limited.)

Get er done. For some time I stood still, watching the animals. This, I knew was not getting er done if the definition encompasses actual, physical movement. But then, right then, I realized that there’s more to life than just getting er done. It’s also important to take the time not get er done. Just being is equally important. Horses know this – you see evidence of this when they are standing still, rear legs cocked (stay apparatus in place) eyes half closed. Dogs know this – you see evidence of this when they’re sleeping on their bed or our bed. And goats know this; you see evidence of this when they’re lying down and chewing their cud.

Do I really know this? Not yet, not fully. Get er done, sadly, is probably going to remain my rallying cry.

Next: 85. 3/26/13: Better Weather