I have a friend who turns 50 years old today. Many of you know her as well. Her name is Kelly and we write this blog together.
50 is a very, very long time to be alive, so to congratulate Kelly on achieving this level of success, I have a few Kelly facts to share.
Kelly owns and operates two ranches in partnership with her Dad and her brother. They work together grazing cattle, planning all kind of things ranging from their future goals for the ranch to where the cattle will be moved tomorrow, and generally managing the assets that they have accumulated as a result of many years of hard work.
Kelly is also an educator. As a certified Holistic educator and practitioner, she has enjoyed many years of leading various groups of people. Some of her students’ business is farming, and others run companies that are not related to agriculture. Using her expertise, she is able to guide them through the necessary planning and goal setting that is required to make their companies grow and prosper. Complementing her role as a Holistic Management educator, she holds a position on the Holistic Management International Board of Directors. Holistic Management International spreads itself between Canada, the U.S.A., Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Kelly can write. She writes interesting and informative articles for various magazines that range from personal stories about farm families to highlighting new and progressive techniques that are being used in Agriculture today.
She is a devoted wife and mom. Family and community are important to her. She keeps a healthy balance of work and play, and is lucky enough to be able to combine the two often.
An accomplished horseback rider, she enjoys taking the time to ride “Checkers the wonder horse” (some are a bit skeptical about just how wonderful he is). She enjoys encouraging her kids to ride as well, and now there are three more accomplished riders in her family.
These are only a few of the reasons that I used to think of her as a mentor, someone who I could strive to be like one day. Growing up as a ‘town kid’ I had a few lessons to learn when I married my farmer. When I heard stories about this cool lady who could manage a ranch, check and process cattle, ride horse back and fix fence I thought she must be truly amazing. I should try and be just a little like her.
When my husband and I decided to take a Holistic Management course, Kelly was one of our instructors. We knew each other a little at this time, but I think that after spending time helping us to develop everything from grazing plans to goal setting, Kelly couldn’t resist wanting to know us better. After all, we’re pretty cool too.
When you were little, did you ever have a friend offer to push you on the swing? Did that friend ever push you on the swing way higher than you wanted to go? Did she giggle when she saw how uncomfortable you were, but knowing you would be fine, she kept pushing? Did you ever find that after you let go of the fear of falling, you actually liked flying that high? Did you find yourself grateful to that friend for pushing you past your limits and encouraging you to try something that you wouldn’t have done without them encouraging you?
Kelly is the adult version of that friend. She has pushed me outside of my limits and has encouraged me to try things that I would have been happy to watch, but am happier to be part of.
Now that our families have spent all of these years together, I no longer think of Kelly only as a mentor. She is still someone who I respect and admire, but I no longer put her on a pedestal like I used to. It’s her own fault too.
Kelly has a tendency to raise people up. She is intelligent enough to listen to people and not only hear their stories, but asks questions in an attempt to learn more. She has an infectious laugh, (half the time I’m laughing at her laugh and I don’t even know what was so funny), which puts everyone at ease and encourages us to relax and be ourselves. She gets a kick out of seeing people reach their potential, and is an active supporter of our local producers, artists and entrepreneurs.
Have a really great 50th Birthday Kelly! Congratulations on living for so very very long; and for encouraging the rest of us to do what we can, with what we have, where we are.
I’ll close off with a version of Kelly’s current favorite quote. I can’t remember exactly how it goes, but the message is this:
‘The best thing that women can do for each other is to help each to achieve her full potential.’
You’re doing a great job of that Kelly. Thanks and Happy Birthday!