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  • Writer's picturerobyn

a break in the fence

I woke up this morning to find my cows were out. They were lounging in my hay field, eating the only area of green grass left on our farm. It is such a vibrant green, that I am sure they saw it from the creek and made plans days ahead of the breakout, scheming on how they would escape. They would calculate the weakest spot in the fence, and work at it, over time, to break it down. I imagine it similar to a prison break where an inmate has a nail file and spends years filing down the same spot until it is weak enough to break through. This is how I imagined my cows escaping this morning.

Except I know this isn't how it actually happened. Not even close.

My cows have been getting out everyday...for the last two weeks. Sometimes twice a day. They escape from the same exact spot...everytime. And when they do, I go to the break in the fence and 'fix' it, only to find them out in the green grass again the next day.

I have sat with this curiousity for the last week. Besides the possibility that I am horrible at fixing fences (apparently, but unlikely), I haven't been able to come up with any logical reasoning that makes sense as to why they keep getting out. Do I have an evil fence troll on the land that keeps breaking my fence in the middle of the night? Are my children playing a joke on me? Do I have dementia? alzheimer's? did I watch too many Twighlight Zone's as a child and it is now replaying in my adult life? eh...I don't think so.

When the answers seem to be just out of reach, I always seem to turn to the bigger meaning. The lessons to be learned. What I may just be missing. The one common denominator, in this case, is that I am approaching this problem the same way everytime. Cows get out. Tie the fence back together. Cows escape.

Cows get out. Tie the fence back together. Cows escape.

As in life, if we try and solve the same problems with the same solutions, we usually come up with eh... the same answers. In other words, we usually come up short....and so far, this hasn't served me.

To recognize that my old patterns and ways of looking at them are no longer useful is...well...huge.

And freeing.

To come to the realization that I can write my story of life anyway I want to is a game changer. I am not beholden to old storylines, imprisoned by 'shoulds' and 'woulds' and 'coulds'. I can have boundaries for how I want to be treated and if you trample on these, chances are, you wont have another chance to mend them. I don't have to gossip and don't have to have time for folks that do...and I love that.

I have few friends, but they are picked so very carefully, that I feel rich beyond words with the love in my life. I am ok with not having relationships with people, even if they are family.

My children argue. They sometimes even drive me crazy (oooooh...did she say that out loud?). I sometimes feel lost on how to raise them. I sometimes feel completely confident on how to raise them.

I sometimes fail my children. I sometimes don't.

I sometimes fail myself. I sometimes don't.

But, I am done comparing my insides to other people's outsides. Because everyone puts their good side facing outwards. And it doesn't serve me.

I am not destined to repeat the same mistakes that have come before me. I am not going to make the same mistakes that, in the past, have held me back. I am going to fix that break in the fence.

I am fixing that break in the fence.

And the cows? Well, they are on borrowed time. Their fence will be fixed, too.

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