Goats Hate Rain.
And they will tell you and everyone else in a five mile radius ALL about it.
If they have shelter (and they should), you will find them indoors at the first hint of mist.
They will complain and yell endlessly, causing the neighbors to complain and yell endlessly, and start circulating petitions behind your back.
Last storm, I heard one of our neighbors over the fence yelling “SHHHHUT UPPPPP!!!” His sheer frustration could have blown the barn down and it immediately made my neck go into a spasm.
Since I couldn’t make it stop raining, I did my best to keep the goats amused till the storm blew by.
Keeping goats amused isn’t difficult. You just need a bucket, or a rake, or a yoga ball, and they are entertained for hours.
The problem is when we stop entertaining them because we need to eat, or work, or have a life, they again yell and complain, much like us humans when our internet connection goes down.
I come from a long line of complainers and changing my own habit has taken some real awareness and effort. My brother told me it was built into our Italian-ness growing up.
He said in Italy when asked how you are, you NEVER reply with “Great!” (the way we do in California). The frequent response is “Si tira avanti.” and translates roughly as “one struggles onward”.
Endless complaining can wreck our immune systems, our friendships, and our ability to be creative.
Unfortunately complaining does nothing good for us. It only strengthens the automatic connections in our brain to the miserable story we keep telling ourselves about the world. And subsequently it deepens the groove of our unhappiness.
Telling our sad story is only healing the first couple of times we share it with someone we trust, after that, it keeps us stuck and causes additional and unnecessary suffering.
When we retell a story our nervous system relives the event as if it is happening in present tense.
Martha Beck refers to this as “Story Fondling”.
This is why those weekly monologues about our wretched childhood in traditional talk therapy can leave us feeling just as bad or worse than when we came in. Studies are now finding it just doesn’t help the way we thought it did.
Since our brains are the most energy hungry organ we have, to think the same thought over and over conserves energy and the body likes that, but just in order to survive.
Re-telling the same sad story is like turning off the lights in our brain, it saves energy. It is very calorie efficient but limits our ability to find a better way, see a new solution or create a different less painful story. Plus it aggravates people.
It takes a whole lot of calories to think a new way but it is well worth the effort because a world of freedom and happiness are waiting for us there. Like throwing open the window and letting in fresh air.
Here are some few tips (like a rake and yoga ball) to retrain your brain.
Your friends, family, and neighbors will surely thank you for it.
To see our goats hiding from the rain and playing with stuff watch this: