June begins Hay Season at the family farm here in upstate New York. For the past two weeks, we’ve worked hard to unload as much first-cutting hay as possible before our foreman, Sam’s brother Dan, and his family leave to visit Krystal’s parents in Alaska. The picture above was taken right after our hay crew unloaded by hand 700 bales of hay into a customer’s barn.
At seven that morning, the hay crew was to consist of four guys and three girls. Due to a faulty alarm clock, our numbers reduced to three girls and two guys: Dan, Mark (my son), me, Krystal (Dan’s wife), and Crystal (my daughter). Fewer workers made each remaining crew member indispensable, and we had to unload five wagons in less than two hours.
The three girls took charge of unloading the wagons and tossing bales to the guys. The guys then stacked the hay in the barn in tiers. Like a well-practiced team, Crystal, Krystal, and I played to our strengths and each chose the position we liked best.
Crystal climbed up on top of each pile of hay and pushed bales down to us from above. Krystal tossed, rolled, or shoved bales to me. I fed them to the guys.
After the second load, tiers 1-4 were full up to the barn doors. The final three loads needed to be stacked on top of the existing tiers using a hay elevator (more like an escalator). The girls took their wagon positions, and the guys climbed on top of tier four and all but disappeared into the recesses of the dim barn.
I plugged in the elevator motor, and we started. The girl’s team spun like the gears of a well-oiled machine with as many as four bales on the elevator at a time. As the final bale disappeared into the barn, I unplugged the motor.
“GIRL POWER!” Mark shouted, and both guys climbed down to us with sweat dripping from their faces. “Thirteen minutes,” Mark said. We’d unloaded and stacked approximately 120 bales in thirteen minutes.That’s 6.5 seconds per bale!
A self-professed tomboy, I’ve long enjoyed seeing women perform well in roles traditionally filled by men. But whatever our role, whatever our task, when we work hard and succeed we feel good. The kind of good we want to feel all the time.
Every time I make the choice to put on my sneakers and go for a walk even though I don’t feel like it or when I grab the book I’ve been reading instead of grabbing a bag of dark chocolate chips, I feel elated! I want to feel that feeling every day.
More important than sneakers and dark chocolate chips is how we feel about ourselves. What in your life brings you happiness without shame or guilt? What makes you feel good every time?
You possess the power to make those moments increase.
For my next post, I plan to elaborate on the Girl Power theme and how we can apply it to becoming healthier in mind, body, and spirit.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!