Day 19: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I recently saw a list that estimates the amount of time an average person spends on various tasks. Twenty five years sleeping, 3.66 years eating, and, sadly, 2 years watching commercials (I’m not sure if this was written before or after the DVR made it possible to fast-forward through them).

Not suprisingly, one of the activities that took up much of an average person’s time was work – 10.3 years, figuring 40 hours a week from ages 20-65.

That’s a pretty long time to do something you don’t enjoy.

I’m nearly 33 years old, which means I’ve been around long enough to have had some life experience, but not so long I can’t relate to the younger set (I hope. Maybe using phrases like “the younger set” mean I really can’t). If someone in their late teens or early twenties was to ask me for advice on how to be happy in life. I’d say it comes down to several choices: your choice of mate, your choice of career, and your choice of outlook. During this series I have or intend to elaborate on all of those choices. Little C hasn’t asked for it yet, but tonight I’m going to give her some advice on her future career.

Here goes.

It’s hard to be your happiest self when you’re spending a good part of your life working in a job you don’t enjoy. I know that sometimes in order to get there, you have to pay your dues, and I hope you are never too good to do some of those things. But I also want you to have big dreams and keep your eyes open for opportunities to get to that job you love and are excited to wake up and go to, even on Monday mornings.

Some people find that on their first try. Your father is one of them. He knew from the time he was small that he wanted to be a farmer, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. Even on days that run late into the night, when  trucks break down and the weather won’t cooperate, he loves being a farmer.

Grain Bin

Some people need a little more time to find where they fit. I’ve worked for the same company for 10 years, but have had four different jobs there. Each one, in its own way, prepared me for the next, and I’m excited to see where my next step will be. Some people try out several different companies or even career paths before they find the right one, and that’s all right too.


Wherever your working life takes you, whether you work in an office, in a classroom, in a hospital, as a stay-at-home mother, or even back on the farm, I want you to choose a career that uses your unique talents in a way that can help others and that you enjoy. I promise not to push you toward any certain field, although I may make some strong suggestions!

Little C, my little farm girl, your job does not define who you are, but it certainly affects your overall happiness in life. Choose wisely.


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