Sometimes this is what my day looks like.
Many people don't know about my world. I don't really "get sick" or "get tired" of explaining these things because I think it's important to share knowledge and educate folks. But these are the conversations I tend to have over and over.
1. This isn't the "simple" life. I do not know who got this falsehood started. There is nothing simple about it. Sure I tend to do the same thing over and over but it's all different all the time. There are always complicated problems and the stakes are high when the circle of life spins so close to where you are standing. I'll always tell you The Truth About Farming... and it is not simple.
2. Meat chickens and pigz are not my friends. They are dinner and I don't feel bad about it. Farm raised meat tastes like victory.... or as someone said, "Revenge Bacon."
3. I used to be someone. With a job. And a nice house. Now I'm someone with a farm, and dogs, and a full time occupation. It's a long way from there to here. But I remember what regular life is like.
I think it's kind of hard for folks to look at me now and even guess that I was a normal person once. I used to shop at Nordstroms, pay over $100 for a hair cut, and think my biggest problem was that stupid person at work who made my life hard. Ridiculous things happen to me now.
4. No. I don't have nice clothes. This is as good as it gets. Some of us say, we have farm clothes and church clothes and nothing in between. The last clean shirt I ever owned was before I learned to put little creatures in my bra. Nothing I own now has not been pooped on, peed on, or worse.
5. Just because I "don't work" doesn't mean that I have a lot of free time. No, I cannot drop everything. During the growing season I figure that I need at least two weeks notice before I can make any changes to my schedule. This is both frustrating and bewildering to people around me. It's even more confounding because I never actually know what day it is. My closest friends have learned to send me reminders before we are supposed to meet up. I am eternally grateful for that.
6. No, I'm not going back to the rat race. The only rat race I'm interested in is seeing if our barncat, Shine, can run down that huge rat that has been living in the turkey house. Other than that I think I'm stuck with this life - funny tho it is. People are really interested in the money thing tho. Maybe that is what they are really asking and maybe I'll talk about it. But to answer your question, yes I miss the money. But not enough to go back to it.
This next one is a freebie because it was actually my pal, D, was the one who said it....
7. No, I am not wasting my education.
I don't think education is ever wasted and I whole heartedly believe that you should get the best education that you can afford.... but I'll follow quickly with a reminder that unless you are in a specialty field then most likely your education is just a ticket to your first real job. My experience is that from that first job it's more about your work history and your ability to network with other people than your degree.
But am I wasting it? Nope - are you kidding? You always have to be learning, solving problems, managing, crafting, creating, scheduling, figuring, promoting, communicating, and crunching the numbers in this life. You must run your farm effectively - like a business - or it will fail. You have to investigate, research, strategize, and science the shit of of this life.
Regular people think that farm folks are not educated. That is not true. Friend, I have amassed a huge body of knowledge from this life. I couldn't get this education anywhere else. So nope, all those hours sitting in university courses were not wasted a bit. In fact, it helped.
Happy Wednesday everyone! Do you get asked the same questions over and over? What are you tired of explaining?