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Priorities and busyness

Are you too busy? I know, I know, there are the kids, the job, the house, the yard, the spouse, the grandchildren, the church, the organizations, a tiny bit of free time, and sleep. So where do your friends and extended families fit in? Or do they? Here is a litmus test to help you sort out your priorities and hopefully open your eyes. If one of these friends or extended family members died, would you have time to go to the funeral?

If the answer is yes, then you may need to re-evaluate your busyness. Decide to have the frame of mind that you would rather spend some time with a living person than a box containing a dead body — and carry through to set a time to get together.

How do we get so busy? Is it the dollar signs in our eyes? Is it the illusion that if we work ourselves to the ground when we are younger, then we will magically have all this extra time when we retire? It seems most retired people fall into one of two categories; they are either busier than ever when they retire, or they die. I just hope that those retired folks who are so busy are doing things they want to do and seeing people they want to see, and are not just putting them off, like they did when they were younger and working for a living.

I like the story of a Mexican fisherman who had a small boat, fished enough to feed his family and sell enough to meet their needs, had a daily siesta, spent a lot of time with his family and enjoyed his life. In the evenings, he went into the village to see his friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. He led a full life.

One day an American business man came along and asked him why he didn’t fish for more hours in a day, sell more fish and buy a bigger boat, so he could go farther out to sea. Then he could catch more fish, buy more boats and after 20 or so years, he could have an entire fleet of boats. The businessman said then when the fisherman got to be retirement age, he could sell his big boats, buy a small one, fish just to feed his family, take siestas, spend time with his grandchildren and enjoy life. I don’t know what the Mexican replied, but it may have been Spanish for “Duh!”

Though it may sound simplistic, it might make you think about what you are accomplishing each day. Is your goal to see how much you can accumulate or is it to be available to your family? Sometimes it’s one or the other, though in production agriculture the family and the jobs are often intertwined, which is the best of both worlds. Children learn and you teach by doing farm or ranch projects and most of all, you are together.

The moral of the story is to know where you’re going in life… you may already be there! ❖


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