Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Proud to Wear Dirt

I am writing this post for two reasons: 1) it makes sense to honor a hard worker at Labor Day, and 2) there is no better time to celebrate my mother than on my birthday.

A couple of weeks ago a Facebook friend who rides at my parents’ horse stable commented that she could not believe how dirty she was after spending a few hours at the barn. I replied, “Now you know why my mother looks such a mess most of the time.”

My mom did not think this was amusing, but after I thought about it, I think it can be paid as a compliment, because I know she wears her dirt with great honor. She loves her job. She gets to work with horses every day. She gets to teach people how to work better with their horses so they form a wonderful relationship. While she is a teacher, she is also always in student mode, soaking up every bit of information she can find, whether from a book, video or another instructor.

Because of her success and great love for her job, she always gave me the same advice when it came to my career. “I will be proud of you no matter what you do; I just want you to be happy doing it.” She did not push me to go to college (even though I did) or have a job that would make lots of money (though sometimes I wish I had chosen that route). She just let me find my own happiness, and I can truly say that I also love my job.

When I speak to school children, and even now to my peers, I proudly say, “When I was thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never in a million years thought that I would work for farmers. But I am so glad that I do, because I cannot think of a job more important than providing food to people who can’t provide it for themselves.”

While working with the land or livestock may not be the fashionable career choice, it is most definitely an honorable career choice. I hope, like my mom, anyone who gets their hands dirty to make a living, will stand strong and be proud to wear their dirt. I appreciate you!

My parents gave me a wonderful birthday present on this Labor Day - they took me and my daughter horseback riding at one of their favorite riding spots. Thank you so much!

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