Last weekend was our first sheep show of the season. Our lambs had never been in the show ring before. They were nervous with all the different noises, animals, people. And it is to be expected.
After a long couple of days getting ready, we got there and had forgotten several important items in our showbox. Chalk it up to first day of the season. I was impressed we hadn’t forgotten more.
When we got home to the barn after accomplishing what we set out to do, I remembered we hadn’t cleaned out and bedded their pens. So instead of going home, we each grabbed a rake, a pitchfork and a wheelbarrow. We all pitched in and cleaned the stalls.
I saw my daughter was tired. We all were. I saw her frustration too.
Of course I had a movie reference. I told her about the Karate Kid, the older one with Ralph Macchio. I explained how Mr. Miaggi had him do what seemed like meaningless tasks like painting a fence or waxing on and off something. It’s been a while since I saw the movie. You get the gist. He did it over and over, building muscles, endurance, and stamina.
The moves became rote.
I explained to her how the muscles she is building, both physically and mentally will serve her well in the future.
She smiled. A little. Maybe it was half hearted. Hey, she didn’t roll her eyes. I will take it.
Have you thought about how we often do something over and over or don’t seem to get very far. Do you think we are gaining muscle?
On Sunday we drove several hours and she showed against major national competitors. We were not even in the same league. But she showed well and due to how they broke their classes, she was able to show a number of times. Practice, practice, practice.
The lambs got a ton of experience and by the end of the weekend they were further ahead.
However, she received a few looks that made it seem like why are you here? You aren’t good enough.
She focused on the judge and I was proud of her.
I am reminded of our first sheep shows, when we knew almost nothing.
One family was kind to us. One family helped us and it changed our day, and gave us just enough of an incentive to keep going forward.
I think back to that family and I am so grateful.
Whether it is animals, sports, your job, you are further along than some and not as far as others.
It’s a good reminder. If we are focused on how far we have to go, we may want to give up. But remembering how far we have come can help us get to the next level.
And often a kind word, or a helping hand can get us there.
The Rolling Stones song comes to mind. “You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you’ll find. You get what you need.”
In the big picture, this weekend was exactly what we needed, minus a few looks.
And it’s a good reminder that we aren’t here to please people.
Maybe I can take a lesson from my daughter and not focus on “them.”
My focus should be on my next steps and trust we are moving forward.
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