Forage Management: Mark Your Points

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Gary Bates

Dr. Gary Bates
Director and Professor
UT Beef & Forage Center
P: 865-974-7324

Maybe it’s just me, but time sure seems to past faster now than when I was younger.  It is hard to believe the new year has started.  It seems like just yesterday that we were all worked up about what would happen when the computer calendars switched from 1999 to 2000. Here we are over twenty years later, practically overnight. 

Although I know in my mind time still moves one second at a time, it feels like it is moving so fast I can’t remember everything that has happened.  Sometimes years tend to blend in with each other.  As I think about why that is, my conclusion is that things are extremely busy in my family’s life.  Between my work, my wife’s activities, and all the things the kids are into, there are very few moments to sit back and do nothing.   

Doing nothing is not really the best way to describe some of those times, however. During those quiet times in the past, I have been able to think about activities, have conversations with family, and just make specific mental notes about things we have done and enjoyed together.  As everyone in the family has gotten older and more busy, less of the quiet times have occurred. 

Instead of planning out my days, weeks, and months with activities, jobs, and assignments, maybe I need to schedule some time to slow down, think about recent events, and mark them in my mind.  If I am honest, I am usually more productive when I take time to think about issues and events than if I just quickly run from one to the other. 

Surely, I am not the only one that has this problem.  Between smartphones, computers, email, etc., there are usually very few times where I am alone with simply my thoughts, with no other distractions.  Even when my family is together, there are a couple of smartphones in hands, dividing attentions. 

On the early part of this year, decide that, instead of letting it fly by, so that December comes around and has you asking where did the year go, take some time to enjoy the year. Try to slow things down a little, taking special notice of things that should become special memories. That way when you think of the year it won’t be where did the year go, but how much fun some of these events were. 

Not that I am really the best one to be giving this advice. I am writing this column more for myself than any of you.  But my goal for this year is to try and have a few more quiet moments, so that I can enjoy the year and mark important memories that should be stored as precious jewels.