Slave to… your job?

Dave Ramsey fans are familiar with the saying, “The borrower is slave to the lender”.  To me that paints a picture of a man hunched over pulling on chains and heavy weights.  I don’t often feel like that.

I’m not lying when I say I love my life.  Sure, a lot of days I’m frazzled or frustrated about the latest bout of dog nausea or unexpected bills.  Still, the fact that I have a comfortable home and a loving husband is not lost on me.  I’m the first to say I love where we live and treasure the memories we’re making.

If I whine about one thing very often it’s having to go to work.  Now, let me put up a disclaimer here, and not just because my co-workers might stop in: my job is pretty darn good.  I work with girls that are my friends and we actually have quite a bit of fun together.  I only have a 10-15 minutes drive and I only work about 35 hours each week.  For the most part our clients are great to work with.  I get to educate people, most of whom actually want to hear what I have to say so they can be better caretakers.  Plus, after starting out in my career not that long ago I’ve finally reached a point where I feel like I’m good at my job.  And I do feel appreciated.  My particular job is not the problem.

What gets me is that feeling I get on Sunday night when I’m in the basement hanging laundry up to dry and I’m so into peeking at the chicks hatching that I can’t imagine going to work and missing one.  When the hay is just dry enough to bale and it’s going to rain and we’re both at work because we’re scheduled there until 5 or 6 even though the storm is coming in at 4.  When the horses are out and the neighbors call and I have to go to my boss and say, “soo…”, which I also had to do that day I got to work and realized I didn’t turn off the hose that was filling the stock tank.  Or how about the 15 farm meetings we can’t go to because they’re all on Tuesday mornings.

What gets me is not that I can’t do any one of those things because my employer is really great about being flexible when things are important.  What gets me… is that I HAVE to go.  It’s not like I can just stop going.  I’m no different than most people – we usually don’t have a choice.  Graduate, graduate again, get a job, work work work, retire and draw a pension (ha!).  It is not for me.  I’m not a princess and I’m not spoiled.  I don’t have a complex.  I just don’t think that’s how it should be.

I’ll pull out the blame-my-parents card on this one.  My Dad hated his job when I was little so he quit and started his own business.  That’s how it was for most of my childhood.  He could schedule around us and during the summer I could go to work with him if I wanted.  It was fun.  Granted, I was a kid, but I think my Dad liked it too.  My Mom had a normal job working for someone else but she only worked weekends so she was home with us all week.  There was none of this 9 to 5 crap for me growing up.

Did anyone else read Little House on the Prairie as a kid and think it warped them?  I can’t help but feel like THAT is the way life should be.  I’d rather grow my food and take care of my family directly than go to work to earn $$$ to pay for groceries with ingredients that I can’t pronounce.  I know not everyone shares my thoughts on this.  Some people are passionate it about their jobs, love being there, would hate to do anything else.  That’s great for them, and I’m certainly glad we have people like that out there working.

In case this post isn’t very clear, let me give you another example of that feeling I get about work that I’m trying to describe.  I used to drive horse carriages in Frankenmuth.  At the end of the night we fed all the horses and swept up the barn.  I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there and go to bed!  Tonight Brian and I were out in the barn doing chores.  We doled out hay and grain to everyone.  I collected eggs (we got 9!) and hung around watching the sheep eat, checking their udders.  Even though I was still in my scrubs and my shoes were wet I didn’t want to go in.  I guess it’s just different when it’s your project.

Where do you stand?  Are you good with where you are and what you’re doing or do you dream of something else?


9 thoughts on “Slave to… your job?

  1. Farmer's Daughter

    I totally understand what you mean. My job is great, and for years I’ve loved going to work, feel like I do a good job, and have fun. However, now with a baby on the way, I’m starting to wish I didn’t HAVE to work, which I do, to pay the bills. I knew that going into it, and one of the reasons I chose to be a teacher was that I knew I’d have summers off and weekends and holidays at home, so it was the best of both worlds. And I’ll get to spend the first six months at home, but I know going back to work will be an ugly thing! My dad has his own business and my mom stayed home with us until I was in high school, when she went to college full time. So I was totally spoiled as a kid, too, having my parents around and never going to daycare.

    And today… with a 90-minute delay, it makes me wish I could stay home all day!

  2. deb

    I absolutely HATE going to my job. It’s not that its difficult. It’s just that it is so very boring and I don’t mean a little boring, I mean mind numbing boring. The job provides no challenges whatsoever and is the same mundane thing every. single. day. I spend 8 hours inside four walls at a desk that feels more and more like prison. I hate to complain or say anything too negative because I’m quite lucky to have such a well paying job, but, if I had a choice I’d much rather be at home or working more at my own business. However, I am a slave to the lender so I have no choice but to come to work everyday and put on a happy front. I keep thinking someday I’ll be able to just walk away, but I’m afraid someday will never come 😦

  3. Julie

    I think I get what you’re saying. I’m sort of old fashioned. I’d much prefer to stay home and wish we could be more self reliant. I love that I can homeschool my kid(s!) and that it can be part of a natural lifestyle. I wouldn’t choose to do anything else, but I do wish we had more property. I’ve always wanted a small farm. I have to say, though, I worked in the bakery at a farm a couple of years ago and while I loved it, I would HATE having the public come and pick stuff and buy things all the time. I’d like to be more private than that!!!!

    1. marriedtothefarm Post author

      I think we’re on the same page. Kudos to you for homeschooling. I don’t know if that will work out for us but I know we will consider it when the time comes. It’s funny that you say that about the bakery. I’ve been telling my Mom that we need to open a bakery. There is no good place to buy donuts around here and I think we could make it work. We have a lot of people in and out of here. It used to bother me a lot but I’m slowly getting used to it. Brian is very firm with people that they need an appointment to buy hay. A few weeks ago there was guy waiting in the driveway when I got home from work wanting to buy hay. He was so rued that Brian gave him an earful and told him to never show up here like that again. We do rent out our grain bins so we have other farmers and trucks in and out a lot at certain times of the year. It’s not too bad except that the dogs all bark every single time. They’re starting to get used to strange vehicles which is NOT what I want.

  4. Farmer's Daughter

    I totally get what Julie’s saying. Growing up on the farm, it was hard to have people in our backyard picking apples and stuff in the fall. We try to keep our houses private, but people still wander around, and we’re pretty private people so that was really tough. Now I’m happy we’re a few minutes down the road, close enough to visit but we don’t live there.

    And Jena, I’ve given you an award because you brighten my day! Come on over to check it out 🙂

  5. Sandy

    I read the Little House books too, and loved them. I wanted to live like them. I still do. First I need a farm, and some animals, and maybe no TV and no computer.

    I can remember as a child not having a TV. Never heard of a computer. Didn’t know what the weather would be like from day to day, or from morning to evening. We got more joy out of the simple things in life.

    For example the weather. It was a constant surprise. Storms were exciting, because we didn’t expect them. A lovely evening, with no wind and clear skies, and mild weather–that was something to be savored, because it happened as quickly as it left.

    No emails back then. Just hand-written letters, so letters were special.

    It seemed like time was slower. A long time between breakfast and lunch.

    When we did something, whether raking leaves or baking cookies, it was entirely in the moment, with no distractions. There were fewer choices in most areas of life. We did’t have as much back then, but it felt like more, without the distractions of the fast pace of today.

  6. Dessa Wolf

    I completely agree with you–I love Little House on the Prairie, too. I have this feeling in my bones that families are supposed to be together–not going their separate ways for most of the day and then meeting up for an hour or two before bedtime. I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it.

  7. Frank

    I have seen both worlds! Wife, kids and I made a living for 25 years on our century + family farm. I described ourselfs as the smallest full time farmers in our county! By doing without luxuries (everyone has a different view on this) we were able to live a somewhat free of the rat-race life! Society finally won out, forcing us to search for full time (paying) jobs to support our fmily. After 20 more years we are beginning our retirement. Small farm is still family owned witch I am thankful for. Allowing me to tinker at what I can over land that my ancestors cared for. Some tough, nerve racking and heart wrenching years have passed now, but over-all I feel very good about where we came from and where we are now! Thank You for inspiring me to express these feelings! In spite of our goverment the working people of this country will always physically repair and support the ship of freedom for our childrens futures, as our ancestors did for us!


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