It’s more than 180 years since land that is now the state of Iowa was opened for settlers. The America of the 21st century is far different from the nation presided over by President Andrew Jackson in 1833. There is, however, one constant feature for Iowa
There are jobs I like and jobs I don’t like.
That is certainly no surprise because everyone has certain tasks they don’t mind and other tasks that they look at with hesitancy that frequently is accompanied by dread.
I tried to figure out what the jobs I didn’t mind doing had in common, and I believe I have an answer.
The jobs that I do easily with minimal complaining have an ending point.
When I reach a certain place, I look at the job and know that is it, I can’t go farther. I am done.
For example, planting season ends when the last seeds are in the ground on that last acre.
Planting is so done the equipment can be put away.
Harvest ends when the last bushel is emptied out of the combine bin on the last acre.
There is no place left for the combine to cover. That is it until next fall.
These jobs have the advantage of measuring the progress, hour-by-hour, acre-by-acre.
You know where you started and you know where you’ll be when finished.
Some jobs have a starting pointing, but it is difficult to measure progress until the job is done.
My 50th high school reunion was just held and I was the planner and executor, a committee of one because I like to work by myself.
I had a plan of my own design I followed, but it wasn’t until the evening was over if I knew it was a success and it was a success as measured by the smiling faces I saw as it wound down.
And there were a few who told me directly how much they enjoyed the evening.
It was such a success I will be in charge of the all-school reunion next summer, but this is too big of a job for one person.
I will carefully pick out the committee people I will work with to ensure that it’s a success.
I also enjoy running the dishwasher and doing the laundry because I know once I hit the start button on those machines, it is just a matter of time until I empty them with clean dishes and clean clothing ready and waiting.
Now what do those jobs I do not enjoy have in common?
These are the jobs that have no end.
Mowing the lawn in the summer and shoveling snow in the winter are two jobs where I find no joy.
You can also put dusting on the list.
Why? Because they do not have an end. I do those jobs and mere days later, there they are again, looking like I never did them.
The sense of satisfaction from completing those jobs is fleeting. Admiration of what was accomplished is only good for a day or two.
I have saved the worst job for last. It has a lot in common with lawn mowing. I hate shaving.
I look in the mirror two days after shaving and nothing has changed. It looks like I didn’t shave at all when it was only two days ago.
So I grumble, lather up, and do it again, knowing in only 24 hours there will be hint of what is needed, and in 48 hours, I will be looking in the mirror at some grizzled old character who is in need of a shave.
Which reminds me of my favorite Burma Shave sign:
Who’s bald on top
Says, “Wish I could
Rotate the crop”
So true, so true.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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