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The Job Search and Moving Cattle

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

Today I got up a little late, drank coffee, did my three-song-long yoga and walked with Rosie the dog in some old corn fields. The day was cool and overcast, and even though I already knew I had not gotten at least one of the jobs I applied for, it felt great to be outside. To watch the bees feast on thistle pollen. To just walk and listen and look at the world around me.

A thistle and bee
I saw this bee on a thistle covered with pollen while on my dog walk

I found out a little later that I did not get the other job either. A bummer, but also anxiety producing - what if getting a job is a whole lot harder than I anticipated? Is it my age? And if I can’t get these jobs after all this time and life experience, what kind of job can I actually get?

It also quickly reminded me how much looking for work sucks, and how the sting of job-rejection feels so much like the horror of dating. Do they like me? Did I say the right things? What if they like someone else better? It is just a nauseating feeling, like a sixth grade popularity contest where you just want to be liked and “in” even if you couldn't care less about the people judging you.

But then farm-duty called and we needed to again move cows to a new pasture, which, truth be told, is one of my least favorite farm events. Cows are big, and I am not that comfortable with them yet, especially when there are two bulls in the mix, butting heads (literally).

Two bulls butt heads in the pasture
Bulls butt heads while John watches

Bulls are huge - 2000 pounds a piece - and when they get behind a cow and mount her, I swear you can see their chest and arm muscles flex like a bodybuilder at the gym trying to impress his potential mates. Funny how much we are still just like animals.

But the flip side of it is that moving cattle calls for one’s full attention. No thinking about missed jobs or who likes you when standing in front of an animal 20 times your size.

Close up of osage orange wood
The wood of osage orange has an amazing yellow glow.

Later, I worked on my projects, today making shelves, sanding Ash and Osage Orange boards (check out how yellow (orange?) the wood is) to use in the tiny house.

I was disappointed about the jobs - I had hoped this transition would all go smoothly, without working too hard at making it happen. But interestingly, I didn’t perseverate about it. I did not think again and again about what I did wrong or that I could have done something differently. I just was. I just sanded, or walked or witnessed the bull testosterone. There was no wanting to run away, no moping or cranky Beth.

Which, I think, is a good sign. I think that being able to be in my body and not just in my mind, makes me feel more present, more in the moment then when I sit in a city bus or think about where to eat tonight or fill my brain with 1000 to-do’s.

Yes, I still need to figure out the job conundrum and how we will have health insurance. But in the meantime, nothing much happened today, except being outside and being creative. Which seems pretty ideal.

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2 comentarios

Beth - Your writing is style is beautiful and fills my senses with certainties of Iowa. I would love to share your stories with my friends in Washington, DC of life in Iowa. In Iowa respect is earned, not given-because of your provenance or the amount of power you yield. In Iowa I feel the everyday changes that occur in such a subtle way: the air smells different each time the wind changes direction; you have to leave the house early to get anywhere on time, not because of rush hour traffic, but in case there is a train on the tracks, or a tractor going down the highway; and no matter how far away you wander, Iowa will alwa…

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sasha stiles
sasha stiles
18 jun 2019

Beth - Enjoy each day on the farm!! Your job will be one thing now and another thing later. Or maybe you WILL stumble on the perfect job now. Or maybe that perfect job has not appeared yet...but maybe tomorrow. Important that you eventually find work that knocks your socks off. Til then there will be worry the rest of us. You are awesome. - But til then enjoy the farm. Supervising bulls however seems abit much....Sash

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