It’s a hot topic right now, this balance between work and life. And it’s a topic that I’ve at times tackled wrongly, from all directions.
The challenge for me is that I love my family, AND I love my work. And, most weeks, I feel like I’ve done neither one justice!
I’ve come to conclude that perfect work-life-balance is a myth. For me, I think there will always be a tension there.
Fortunately, working in agriculture allows for what I will call “work-life-integration.” (I imagine some other professions allow for the same.) Follow along with me here for a minute… Instead of attempting to split my time into compartments, I’ve found that there’s often a chance to overlap “work” and “life.”
For example, Rachel and I spent 20 minutes together this afternoon relocating a navigationally confused steer into the correct pasture. It was work, for sure, but also allowed for a nice stroll with my wife through sunny pastures.
Back at the house, we’ve been bottle-feeding lambs. This makes for a great family activity with a toddler and a preschooler, both of which are excited to be involved. Lambs bring a new meaning to the concept of taking work home.
Other opportunities in our industry (growing farm-to-table wine and food,) include working events and hosting wine tastings with Rachel. Both are certainly work, but can make a fun date at the same time.
If this seems to you like shameless propaganda for the family farm, you are right. Farming is a pretty great gig, one that I recommend wholeheartedly.