In managing my life, similar to others, there are big things and little things. The big things include paying off a mortgage, buying a car and work. If we own a home then there is maintenance – big jobs and small jobs. My experience is that if we ignore the little jobs before long they become big jobs! There is a lesson there for all of us.
The big job facing Australia right now is managing the bushfires and bushfire recovery. I am astonished with the print and broadcast media, as well as social media commentary that is uninformed. What I find amazing is all the blame and finger pointing about whose fault it is. Is it necessary? Just let the political and community leaders and the military get on with their job in supporting people rebuilding lives and communities.
A big job for Australia is addressing our water harvesting. Across Australia we are experiencing a severe drought and it will not be the last one. The bushfires have been intense as the countryside is tinder dry. We need water for daily living, for pets, for livestock, for businesses. I was always surprised when travelling in western Queensland (during my working life) that there was no notice about water conservation in motel bathrooms. Water must be treated as a precious commodity. It has become liquid gold. We all need the reminder!
The worst state affected by the bushfires is New South Wales (NSW). How is the state managing their water harvesting? The last dam built in NSW was in 1987 at Split Rock near Tamworth. The population in NSW in 2007 was close to 7 million by 2017 it was almost 8 million. In the decade the population grew by 1 million. Keeping in mind that people who live in remote bushland and many small towns are reliant on rainfall to fill their tanks, not on the council pumping it into their homes.
The water harvesting issue reflects on government leadership, or the lack of it. The country cannot continue migration at the current rate without more water holding capacity and infrastructure. In 1987 the Australian population was just over 16 million. In 2019 it is just over 25 million. The difference is 9 million. Where are all these people getting their water supply? It does not take Einstein to work out why the creeks, rivers and dams are either dry or running out of water. Water management is a big thing, a very big thing! While everyone likes to talk about climate change the conversation right now should focus on water harvesting. How is every state in Australia managing water harvesting? I can’t answer all the big questions.
All I have influence on is the things at my place, some big things but mostly little things. Little things like preparing nourishing meals for my One & Only (O&O) and me as we grow older. Little things like filling up a bucket with water from hand washing in the laundry. My O&O then gives the water to our plants many which are dying due to water restrictions. I wash my hair in the shower but after it is wet I turn the shower off while I shampoo. Fortunately for us we have an indoor hot water system the other side of the wall (in our walk-in-robe) and hot water is instantaneous – no water wastage waiting for hot water to arrive.
There are little things like taking care of a sick chicken. Nine days ago, we set up an infirmary and I isolated her from the other three chickens. I have done hours of research online trying to find out what is wrong. My early diagnosis of heat stress was incorrect. After our generous neighbour, a vet, came and looked at her the problem was quickly diagnosed. She has a parasite in her throat that is common in pigeons. This can be passed on to backyard chickens. Although it was only a little thing last night I had to treat all four chickens with a ½ tablet given to them in their little beaks! This is something I am not good at but if I did not do it and continue to do it for 5 days I could have a big thing to manage – a flock of very sick chickens who would eventually die.
It is a good time at night to administer tablets to chickens. Once they roost and go to sleep they are dopey and easier to handle. I did have a mishap whilst giving one chicken her ½ tablet. It fell out of her beak and onto the ground. I found it this morning! My experience tonight should be better as my O&O found my head lamp with its red light. The red light is not as bright and keeps the chickens calm and I have both hands free.
I manage my life through the principle that if I am faithful in managing the little things then one day I will be fortunate enough to have big things to manage. The big things such as a home without a mortgage. When I was a single parent with a 7-year-old son I was renting a home (it was half a house) and I had a little garden. I believed that if I was faithful in caring for my small garden one day I would have a bigger garden of my own. Today I have a beautiful home, a lovely garden and chickens! I have much to be thankful for. Even with the little amount of water, my O&O and I can make little things grow into big things. If we want more in life, if we want bigger and better things, if we want to reach for the stars we first must take care of all the little things.