I find it interesting that people keep bragging on my work ethic. Now, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate their kind words. I just don’t think of myself as working any harder than adults did as I was growing up. I mean a day of work followed by dinner and dishes and gardens and taking care of animals. I grew up in rural farming country. Everyone worked that hard. Now, I’m aware that people are working more hours than they did a few decades ago. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are working harder. I’m not working harder than my parents did, I’m just working different and filling up my days with things that matter to me.
People compensate for that extra hour of work by picking up take out instead of fixing dinner and cleaning up. FYI…if you work an extra hour for more money, then spend that money on take out, it’s really just switching one chore for another. I mean, which would you rather do, spend an hour at the office or an hour in the kitchen?
Back to my point. When I was a kid, my dad would leave for work in the log woods before it was daylight. He would come home right before dark. Then, he would be outside taking care of our horses or building a seesaw for his kids. My mother was up with my father, and she cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She did the laundry and the house cleaning. Tomatoes came from the ground, not from the store. She kept the animals watered in the Summer. There were only a few local channels as we lived in the middle of nowhere and there was no cable. Of course, that was when satellites were super huge and super expensive. My parents didn’t find television as a need. That tells you my age.
Now, it wasn’t all work and no play. Play was a Saturday evening fishing, riding bikes and horses, and catching fireflies. Simple, and free…well, I mean my parents had to buy our bikes, but then it was all free. Life was so easy back then, even though my parents were constantly busy. We didn’t watch a movie every night; we watched a movie every Sunday night. My parents were not constantly buying and entertaining, but they were making an awesome childhood in the 80s.
Flash forward a few decades. (That hurt!) I found myself working for things like the latest video games and expensive clothes. My kids were spoiled. I took a look in the mirror and realized something. I was overworked and life was not paying me. I work less hours now, and I’m getting paid more. Well, technically, I’m working more, but I’m working at things that matter. Sitting in front of a computer was not paying me what I needed. Don’t get me wrong, let’s be realistic. I still have my job, and I’m only working a few less hours a week. I used all this empty land. I got some Siberian Huskies to breed. Too bad I’m so attached to them…I really want to keep all the puppies. We built them a really cool habitat in the woods. Also, we built a chicken coop, and who would have thought chickens could be so calming?!
We put out a vegetable garden, nothing huge, but more than we need. It’s really been great work for my kids. We’ve been working on improving our home and our property. It’s been really great for all of us. The biggest change of all? I stopped buying junk toys. My kids are getting too old and really didn’t need so much junk. I’m not sure when or why I started thinking I could show my kids love by buying them every toy that came out. I’ve been filling their hours with a little hard work and it’s keeping the family busy from sun up to sun down every day of the week. Amazingly, it is fun! We’re doing more together and seeing results from our hard work.
We’ve been fishing and swimming. We have been playing outside and enjoying movies TOGETHER! I enjoy watching things with my kids. They usually ditch me for a Playstation still, but they are also watching things with me. Took me a while to get our priorities straight, but I think we’re going in the right direction!