One of my fellow farm and 4-H moms admitted to me today that she, like me, is over volunteered. In my head, I said, “Sister, you have no idea.” A number of wise individuals have, at one time or a hundred, told me that I need to learn to say no. My inner control freak said, “That’s cute that you think the world will go on without me running it.”

The past year has been exhausting for me emotionally and physically and this summer I stepped back and let the world go on without me.

I knew I had to do this when I could handle the failed political campaign and the heavy load of teaching other’s children, the demands of the farm and the never ending stacks of mother loving papers that live on my kitchen table, the balancing act of juggling a 12 year old’s schedule and the chaos of a one year old girl. When I could handle the struggles to find financing for a home on the farm that is both our livelihood and our liability. I handled the overflowing washer, the puking dogs, trying to decide which little, white, frozen package to cook for the hungry people who want to eat at the table covered in aforementioned papers and parts. I handled the meetings, the meetings, and the meetings. I handled signing the astronomical land loans and operating note with a smile after our previous banker told us he wouldn’t renew us despite following his directives to a tee. I handled the blown tires, tired kids, and constant stream of breakdowns that pushed my grease-covered husband to the brink. I handled helping drag a favorite sow out the door when the old girl gave up. I handled the people who call only when they need something and the friends who know they won’t hear from me until after summer break begins. I handled the snake in the garage, the sow who tried to eat three grown adults with a certain degree of success, and the huge changes that redefined families and relationships. I handled the string of rejection letters from literary agents that just keep coming. But, when the baby pigs dug up my rhubarb I couldn’t handle anymore.

Somewhere between the ridiculously dirty jeans, the sprayer parts in my kitchen, the tomatoes that need watered, and the tire that needs patched again I decided to give myself a break and am trying to remember that it doesn’t equate with being insufficient.