The Recovering Farmer

Friday, September 24, 2010

Relationships R Us

When I take a look around I am reminded, on a daily basis, of the amount of work farm women do. Read an article this week that suggested that farm women generally have three jobs. They are the primary care givers to their kids. Many have off farm jobs to help pay the bills. And at this time of year many hurry home from their day jobs, throw together a six course supper, do some laundry, help kids with their homework and rush out to the field to help bring in this years crop. Wow. I get tired just thinking of the amount of work they can accomplish.

That is just one of many relationships that we have. Relationships can prove to be difficult at times and, quite honestly, a lot of work. In spite of anything and everything else happening in our lives relationships must be maintained and enhanced otherwise they fall by the wayside.

During this busy time of year for farmers, the struggle and stress of getting the crop off, getting ready for winter and worrying about bills that will not be paid, wreaks havoc with relationships. The challenge is how to find that balance that keeps things intact till life slows down just a bit. Communication is helpful. In fact, read an article by one psychologist who suggested that even complaining helps. Accomplishes a couple of things. Number one gets it out of your system and secondly when you complain to someone else they generally normalize and validate your complaints, making you feel better about your situation.

As many of you assess and reassess your life take the time to build on relationships. My wife and I had the opportunity to have our kids, along with their significant others, home for the weekend. Spent some time cycling and hiking. Cheap entertainment but good for relationship building. Aside from the fact that my butt is still sore (not used to a bicycle seat) and my muscles still ache (seems to go on forever) the weekend turned out good. What a great way to renew and refresh relationships. I refer back to something I have said before. Relationships provide us with identity, purpose and direction. In essence, relationships and therefore community is a life giving, life defining, life nurturing process. Make it a good one.

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