When I worked in Memphis, I had the dream of having a jersey milk cow when we finally made it to the farm. One of my co-workers could not contemplate the idea of ME - milking a cow. I mean, I guess I shouldn't blame her. All my co-workers saw of me at work was - ME AT WORK. I wore dress clothes, I administered one of the software programs we used, I trained company employees on that software. I was very professional. Other than some of the comments I made about our farm or our goals for it, the business side of me was all she ever saw. What I always wanted to say to her was - YOU DON'T KNOW ME.
These days, I am in a different career, but even so...people do not understand why we would possibly want to do what we are doing. Even though we live in a (very) rural area, people look at me like I am crazy when I talk about the farm or our animals, or me milking a goat (and drinking goat's milk), or our goal of raising and selling our own meat. Call us crazy, but we think that people should have another choice besides the ground paste that's offered at the supermarket. We also think that farmers should be getting a larger percentage of the profit from meat sales than grocery stores and middlemen. We think that it's important to know where your food comes from, how it was treated when it was alive, what it ate, and what's in those little packages in your freezer or fridge. If all this talk sounds crazy to you, YOU DON'T KNOW ME.
But - I want you to. I want you to know why I am so passionate about the things I am passionate about. I think we spend far too much time being consumed with things that just don't matter, and all the while - the things that really do matter are falling by the way side. I think that people's ideas about what's important have become extremely skewed. Is it really that important to have the newest game console available on the market (especially when you already have two older game consoles and about a hundred games between them)? Do we spend more time sending our kids text messages than we do actually talking to them? How about unplugging for a little while? Do your children know that milk and eggs and meat all come from animals and that potatoes grow underground (and that they have a plant that grows above ground)? That would be a pretty cool way to spend some time with your kids. Grow something. Educate them AND feed your family. (Of course, I am not biased!)
Women (and I can say this because I am one and I am just as guilty as the next lady) - we spend far too much time worrying about what other people are saying about us. We gossip. We listen to gossip, instead of just shutting it down. We try to keep up with the superwoman who brags about how much she accomplished this week and then feel defeated when we can't keep up with her. We listen to those people who make us feel bad or inadequate because of choices we make (bottle-feeding vs. breast feeding, working outside the home vs. staying at home, homeschooling your kids vs. public school, immunizations, etc.). Why do we do this to ourselves??? In the end, each of us will have to give an account for our own lives, not someone else's. So, let's stop beating ourselves up over things that just don't matter. We are not in a contest with each other - so let's stop competing. :)
This may not be something you hear every day. Then again, you might. Yes, I am opinionated. Am I crazy? Probably. Do I care? Not a bit. We all have to make choices for our families and we can't dictate what those choices are for other families. I must be honest and say that I have felt inadequate when I have gotten those condescending looks and comments (my former co-worker I talked about earlier said to me "Yeah, I'd like to see you milk a cow!") so I am talking to myself, too. But, you know what? I am the one who is responsible for my choices and I feel pretty good about the ones we are making. ...and eventually, I am going to mail her a picture of me milking a cow! :)