Trading in work for quality time

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Certainly, as agricultural producers know, there are always jobs to be done. And while harvest and planting seem to get the lion’s share of our attention, there are always daily activities that need our time and efforts. Suddenly each day ends with what seems to be a never ending “to-do” list waiting for the next morning.

Hours turn into days, days into weeks, weeks into months and suddenly we’re staring at yet another calendar changeover. Then that age-old question comes up: where did THAT year go?

It seems fitting that at the end of the year we should take a look back at what was accomplished during the year. Of course, a lot of this “reflection” takes place while assembling tax records, but there’s more to life than numbers. What important things did you accomplish this year that made you appreciate what you do? What changes did you make to improve your farm, your family, your lifestyle?

The beauty of farm life is that it’s not only a profession, but it is a way of life. And, too often, producers I speak with get so wrapped up in the profession of farming that it creeps into their lifestyle.

I don’t farm, but as a freelance agricultural journalist there is never really an “off” time. Stories need to be written, photos taken, deadlines met, and there are meetings that run late, interviews that take place after dinnertime, you name it.

Yet as hard as it can be, there also needs to be an “off” switch on the work, and an “on” switch for the other things in life.

That’s an important thing to remember, especially this time of year when faith, family and friends are at the forefront. For me, it’s very difficult. I can always find some work to do. But turning the computer off, walking away from the email, taking a break from the office, and trading in for quality time for those people that matter (yourself included) is time well spent.


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