by: Miranda Reiman

WHAM! Tap-tap-tap.

Some changes are the current remodel and addition to our 115-year-old house.

Anyone who has lived through construction dust knows the disruption.

The crew knocked out the wall between the living room and new, unfinished space just before Christmas. We ask the kids to wear shoes almost everywhere they go, and pray the baby isn't picking up too much extra hardware as she crawls along in the work-in-progress house.

To say it's a bit uncomfortable would probably be an understatement.

But isn't change that way a lot of the time? It's not always "in your face" like the nail gun I hear running next door to my home office, but sometimes just the idea of doing something out of our routine can be nerve racking.

Are you contemplating a change in your farming or ranching operation? Maybe you're considering moving around your breeding season or thinking of how to set up so you can wean calves at home this year. Perhaps you're perusing bull sale catalogs right now, thinking of different thresholds for traits or looking at DNA testing to aid with replacement heifer selection.

It feels a bit exciting, but also daunting, doesn't it?

We have a "girls room" and a "boys room" in our house, which worked fine, until the scales were tipped unevenly at a ratio of five daughters to one son, and they're growing up. Their need for separate dressers and normal-sized beds are becoming more apparent each day. So life forced us to make some decisions. We got out a calculator. We analyzed our income, probability of moving, places to make room and what we could purge.

In the end, we decided to add on. It was the right decision and all the data and options weighed pointed us that way, but when they came to dig our basement we still felt a bit uncertain.

We wanted to be sure we were making the right choice, both for our family and for our pocketbook.

Have you put a pencil to your ideas? Talked to some experts or other cattlemen who have already been down that path?

Don't let the unknown paralyze you. Think about the end goal and why you're inspired to do something different in the first place.

Maybe you're looking to recoup some investment or perhaps just trying to make specific points in the calendar flow a little more smoothly. Maybe you hear about these loads that are reaching 50 percent Prime and thinking, "I want my cattle to do that."

The only way toward accomplishing an audacious goal is to take the first step. Make a change, even if it's uncomfortable at first.

Over the "rrrr-rip" of the Sawzall, I'll be cheering you on.

Next time in Black Ink®, Nicole Erceg will provide perspective on priorities. Questions? Email mreiman@certifiedangus

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