Polish the Dull (Silver Lining 5-21-2020)

May 22, 2020

Again and again, I find myself frustrated in the last few months.  I spend lots of time trying to figure out what is a good way to proceed.  Then, carefully, I start to implement my grandiose plan.  I make progress towards a goal. 

And then, I am told whatever I wanted to do just can’t happen.  The recovery has not moved on far enough, the rules don’t allow for it, and the time frame is not possible.

I feel my time has been wasted.  Worse, my hopes and enthusiasm are crushed.  So many things are out of my control.   

I am realizing that I grew up with situations like this all the time, because that’s what farming is like, too.  You can’t control the late frost that comes in after everything is planted, the hail that wipes out the tender new shoots, the lack of rain at the key time in the growing season, or the deluge as the wrong times, the strange disease that takes your favorite cow or the price you’ll get for your efforts. 

My brother-in-law now runs the family farm, and he is no stranger to having his well-laid plans thrown back in his face.  Ask any dairy farmer how much “control” they feel they have, and they will be explicitly clear.  They are on four years of record lows, which followed one or two years of decent prices—after another three or four years of poor prices.  It’s been ridiculous, truly.

Still, my brother-in-law has never been one to listen to a lot of complaining.  He will look me straight in the eye and say with a grin, “Well, if you can’t find the bright side, polish the dull.” 

At the end of a disappointing work day, I turn to write this “silver lining”.  As I had hoped, it forces me to seek for this “polishing”.  Today is not easy. 

But, today was well utilized. I am almost done with a major project, one that lays groundwork and should be good for my business… eventually.  I’ve not had time to get to it before, and I am proud of my efforts.

So… polishing the dull here today to find the silver lining, and practicing hope and positivity.  It makes me think, to, of a favorite expression I learned from Brazilian friends: “In the end, it all works out.  If it has not yet worked out, that’s because you have not yet gotten to the end.” 

I might have to repeat that one a bit more as I lay in bed tonight, mentally practicing on how to “polish the dull”.

Silver Linings…

started as my personal response to 2020’s global pandemic of COVID-19.  When I published them locally,  I was surprised by how much people responded to them.


I hope they bring some positivity to you, too, during this unsettling time

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