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Can you Handle It?

Throughout the day, I often hear the question, “Can you handle it?” I hear it from my boss when she has a special request that is outside the normal realms of my duties. I hear it from the mayor when we have a potential grant application to fill out. He gives me the information and points to the parts that will require a little creative writing. Then he asks, “Think you can handle it?” Randy got a deer this morning, and it required driving the four wheeler through the creek. At this particular point, the banks form a deep ‘V’, with the creek running through the bottom of it. As we loaded the deer in the trailer, he told me that it weighed approximately 160 pounds. “Can you handle it?” he asks. Then he and the dogs headed through the woods to track something else he saw, and he asked me to drive the wheeler and trailer back to the pasture, which meant back through the creek. “Can you handle the four wheeler through the creek?”

How I really want to respond is with another question. “Who do you think you’re talking to?” I am a Farm Wife. I ‘handle’ and move 50 pound bags of feed from the truck to the barn. I ‘handle’ and haul five gallon buckets filled with feed to the various coops, pastures and troughs. I can move swiftly through a herd of cows, dancing my way around hooves and horns. I can ‘handle’ and wrangle a 70 pound newborn calf, slick with afterbirth, in the back on a truck. In the rain. On a freezing cold day. I help process pigs, deer and chicken, and can an preserve frutis and vegetables three months out of the year in order to feed my family.  Some of those days start at 5:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 a.m. the next morning.  Yes. I can ‘handle’ it. In order to survive, I have no choice but to ‘handle’ it.

I may not be the best at my jobs, but I am good. I may not be an expert in all things, but I step up to the plate when it’s time to learn. I listen. I pay attention. I have had flops, drops, scatters, splatters and have been stepped on by the heaviest cow. I may limp a bit, but I keep on moving. I don’t quit. I deal with problems, mistakes and major setbacks all the time. I may look back and see what I did wrong, but only so I can look forward and do it right the next time.

I may have been born in the city, but those experiences and life lessons have served well here on the farm. I have applied my stubborn and determined nature in both lifestyles and come out on the other end successful. And if I have never heard of it, seen it or done it, I just figure that I am headed back to school to learn something else – I never, ever discount it as not doable.

The next time someone asks you if you can ‘handle’ it, take a moment to reflect on all the lessons life has taught you. Take a brief inventory of your personality and your level of stubborn determination. And then just smile and say, “This is easy. The real question is, can you?”