Time well wasted
Time is money, or so it has been said. Every minute, and every hour of the day is to be spent making money. Chase the almighty dollar, work seven days a week and don’t worry about a vacation, you can have one of those after you retire. This mentality seems to be becoming more and more the norm, rather than making time for church, family, and our own well-being. Often too many people are so focused on their own goals and aspirations that they forsake the things that really matter. Society focus’ so much on material things that we take for granted what really matters the most.
How many times have you heard a story of a person who has their whole world up ended by a life changing health diagnosis? The common theme among most of these people is that they wish they had made more memories while they had the chance. We wake up in the morning and take it for granted that we were able to get out of bed. Good health isn’t appreciated until it is replaced with illness or injury. Think about that for a second. Would you be able to do your job the way you do today if you were missing an arm or leg? To be able to see the ones we love because we have our eyesight is a gift. Not too many years ago I wouldn’t bother to find the ear plugs or safety glasses when I was working in the shop, but with age comes wisdom. I realize that God only gave me two eyes to see and its easier to hear my kids laugh when my ears aren’t ringing from being around loud equipment all day.
Accidents happen. Part of working in agriculture is knowing that at some point in your career there is bound to be an accident. 1,400-pound cows are surprisingly agile and fleet afoot for their size. They have a mind of their own and can put a hurting on a feller in a hurry. Farm machinery is designed to cut, chop, crimp, pinch and grind. To think that flesh and bone can do battle with iron and win is a pipe dream. Most accidents occur when a lapse in judgement, or a mental mistake occurs. As farmers and ranchers, we are all guilty of cutting corners to save time and money. We keep the cow around that almost got us last year but tell everyone that she is all bluff. We don’t take the time to shut the PTO off before we make a small adjustment on the baler. The 2 a.m. calving checks, and the late nights spent in the tractor bringing in the harvest take a mental toll on us all.
Take a minute and try to imagine your own funeral. It’s a scary thought. The loved ones that you leave behind, a farm or ranch left for them to manage, finances, and the burden of grief. What will the pastor say? Will your family be proud of the life you lived? What kind of legacy will you leave? While the thought of our own mortality is not a happy one, it could change the way that we live our lives in the here and now. While we all need to be profitable to survive, there is no dollar amount that is worth your health or the health of your loved ones.
Life is short, it is precious and should be enjoyed. Don’t spend everyday chasing the almighty dollar. Take the time to coach your kid’s little league team, go out on a date with your wife without it being your anniversary, and take a vacation once in a while. You don’t have to go all out and spurge on a Hawaiian beach getaway, an afternoon picnic without a cell phone will do just fine. That’s all for this time. Keep tabs on your side of the barbed wire and God Bless.
Meinzer is a fourth-generation rancher raised on the southeastern plains of Colorado. He and his family live and ranch in Oshkosh, Neb.