Around age seven I was getting up at 5am and milking cows before school, then coming home and milking cows again, putting in 5-7 hours a day of chores. I rode my horse every day. My parents as farmers were hard-working. (My father called my mother a “working fool” when even after he had a heart attack and had to cut back, she still was gardening constantly). My father always woke me up before he went outside to look the cows over to be milked, so he got up even earlier than me.
When I was old enough to put my foot down about having to come home to a curfew, I was shocked to come home at 2am to find my father outside working. (Trust me, when I went to bed a 2am and got up at 5am, I went back to bed for a nap). We had cattle, hogs, cats, calves, baby pigs, heifers, and 360 acres to plant & grow on.
When I was in high school, we were in the top 10% of farms in the nation raising livestock. We raised 3500 hogs a year & milked 150 cows, raising up all the calves because my Dad believed everyone deserved a happy life. He wouldn’t sell calves for veal. We did it all, the three of us, with 1 full-time hired man to help.
When I moved off the farm, it took me years before I felt okay not doing something physical around 5pm, namely chores. I would get such an uneasy feeling. I know it is why I had goats when I first moved away from home. I had to have SOMETHING that qualified as chores. Having horses wasn’t enough.
When I went to Pharmaceutical District meetings, I climbed the walls because we were just sitting around talking, not doing PHYSICAL labor. Now that I know that experiences are written on your DNA, those feelings make sense to me. I came from a long line of hard-working farmers.
Now, my belief is that we create our reality. However, the word “hard” is respected and written into the fabric of the American Dream. Listening to President Obama speak, he talked about “hard working Americans”. When someone wins the lottery, people expect that person to lend them money, help them out – because they didn’t “work” for the money. In fact, statistics show that most lottery winners go thru the money they “won” in an average of seven years.
The meaning of “hard” can be interpreted in different ways. I taught Tae Kwon Do in my own school for 14 years. I knew that by the time students got their black belt, they would be challenged with difficulty.
For some students, this was a physical difficulty; they couldn’t break their boards right away or they couldn’t get a technique down. Yet others would be so physically talented, it seemed like they breezed thru everything that was required of them, no matter how physically challenging. Many times those same people had a very difficult time memorizing the information they were required to know and test on to receive a black belt.
Often the physically talented would try to get me to waive the educational requirements, because they WERE so wonderful at Tae Kwon Do. Wasn’t that the point? To be physically superior to other people who weren’t doing the martial arts and to be able to protect yourself?
I pointed out to them that the knowledge requirements of a martial art are AS important as the physical requirements, that together both aspects created a great black belt. Time after time, it would bear out that you could be physically talented, but wouldn’t get a black belt unless you worked HARD to learn the knowledge and the protocol.
So does “Hard Work” always refer to physical activity?
So I would like to propose another way of looking at your reality. What if you are MEANT to have abundance? That instead, reality isn’t about hard work but rather about opening to your destiny. If we value hard work, does that mean we do not value the things we receive by not working hard for them?
There have been studies done on train workers – the engineers versus the men that loaded the luggage and did the physical labor. What surprised everyone is that the men that did the physical labor and handled the luggage, walked up and down the aisle were far healthier down the road than the engineers that just sat and piloted the train. This has been confirmed in other recent studies on sitting versus having a job where you move around more. In fact, the people doing the studies are calling “sitting” the new “smoking”- sitting all day is that bad for you. The studies recommend getting up and walking for a few minutes every hour.
We know that people who sit without moving are also at a higher risk for blood clots – healthy young people in their 20’s have died from Pulmonary Embolisms that formed while sitting on Trans Continental flights.
I apologize for not having the source of these studies readily available, but I assure you the information is accurate. I present these thoughts for you to consider giving up working so “hard” for what you want, instead state the future you want to experience, and call it to you.
Our default isn’t suffering or being despondent. Our default is JOY. Will you be happier if you WORK HARD for something? Or can you enjoy the riches of abundance life has to share with you, simply by you choosing it and calling it to you?
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That’s a very interestng story, Ann! And I love how you ponder the imponderables with your blog.
In music if you overdo practice it’s possible to practice the same thing many times wrongly and so they say, “Practice smart, not hard.” Or Work smart, not hard. But it could as well be “Work smart and not JUST hard.”
We want to avoid burnout and your mom was right about getting educated, to learn a lot of things! Including as one older woman mentor said to me, “how to think”. But that could as well mean Logic and Philosophy as opposed to What (Wot:) to think, I would say now: Independence of mind.
One professor encouraged us to economize energy and I was like, “Well, wait; what about burning calories?” Or as David Sedaris would say, accumulating steps(on his FitBit)? And sitting being the new smoking….
I love your background stories, love animals and also spent some years on a farm, but not like yours by any stretch!
Also took a little Tae Kwon-do(In one semester almost made green belt, so impressed that you had your own school)!
One thing about books is I find they do not get published in total seclusion. We need manuscript readers, editors and just the good company of friends for relaxation, inspiration and basic sanity. I used
to think some one genius just wrote a book and then realized, “No.”
And if you look at David Sedaris, et. al., there are the book tours?
Thanks Zottali! I appreciate your support! What are you talking about with book tours? You are right, I am getting material together for a book again. It is a process, and it needs input from several people.
Hi, Ann! Usually someone who writes a book does book-tours to lecture about it and so advertise. So just the idea that no one just “sits back” and writes a book all by themselves and has it come out well. At the very least, typos.