Sept. 11 2019 03:36 PM

Take time to relax even amongst your crazy dairy schedule.

How many people have you heard utter that sentence? I feel like once a day someone in my vicinity says it out loud. Imagine it, your perfect vacation. Maybe it’s a sandy beach at some fancy resort with a drink in your hand. It definitely has one of those tiny umbrellas. Or maybe it’s a trip around Europe where you hit all the big tourist spots – the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London, all of Italy. But really, how many people end up taking their dream vacations?

I hope everyone gets to take at least one big trip in their life, traveling can be equally thrilling and therapeutic. As much as I’d love to do a ton of traveling, farming isn’t exactly a profession that lends itself to that lifestyle. So, I’ve adopted a new theory.

Instead of constantly looking forward to the next time we get to leave our lives, maybe we should work harder to make our lives into something we don’t want to leave.

And yes, I get how hard that is as a farmer. The pay, the hours, and responsibility can be crushing, we all know it. So maybe it’s arranging to have one night off a week to spend with your family. Maybe it’s a game or movie night once a month with friends, even if you fall asleep halfway through.

We work so hard to make sure our cows are healthy and happy, then feel so guilty when we take one night a week to do the same for ourselves. Why? I know that I do better for them when I feel better myself, don’t you? Why should we feel guilty for that? Maybe, doing something for ourselves is just as important as what we do for them.

I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me, I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever take a vacation. Maybe that’s the way you unwind and that’s awesome. But growing up a farm kid, I know how hard it is to get away. The only family vacations we took were decided on Monday, we left Tuesday, and had no planned stops along the way. And they were all amazing; I have the best memories. But seeing as I chose to carry on the family business and vacations are few and far between, I choose to make my life one that I don’t need or want a vacation from. At least until the day I completely lose my mind and buy a ticket to Italy that leaves less than a week later. Because let’s be serious, at some point, we all actually need to leave the farm.

Jessica Peters

The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.