We live a simple life, by choice. We don’t take grand vacations, most of our clothes come from the thrift shop, we rarely eat out, etc. Still by most of the world’s standards we have a ton of luxuries. We have cable tv and a computer and a laptop and a smart phone and running water and more shoes than a person truly needs and and and… I’m grateful for all of the things we have, the superficial bits of extra that make life a little more playful. I have that gratitude because I appreciate hard work. After all, it’s the hard work that makes the rest possible.
We work really hard. We also don’t confuse hard work with drudgery. Nothing about our lives is drudgery. I have no complaints the path we’ve chosen or the hard work that goes into it. Jeff doesn’t either, we talk about it often. We both love getting up and puttering around the farm. We enjoy seeing the work of our hands surrounding us, love seeing the wood shed fill as we work together stacking the logs. We like seeing the pantry shelves fill with glass jars from the plants we nurtured in the garden. We also love falling into bed at the end of a long day and chatting about it as our eyelids fall from the day’s work.
The thing is all that hard work makes us appreciate every luxury. The wood heat is amazing and comforting on so many levels beyond just keeping our bodies warm. We couldn’t have that heat without the work of stacking the wood. A jar of home-canned peaches or cherries opened during a blizzard in February is pretty close to heaven in my book. We couldn’t appreciate that in February if we hadn’t done the canning in August.
Beyond just appreciating the luxuries, I enjoy the teamwork in our lives. I’m grateful that we do it all together and that we appreciate hard work as a team. I know how very lucky I am in that, I know how very blessed I am to not only to share my life with someone I love but also to share and work towards a dream with that same person.
It’s a much better way to look at the world, in my opinion. I’m going to appreciate hard work today so that I can be more grateful for the simple luxuries later. It also helps me stay more in tune with the seasons. This season’s work is appreciated in the next, it’s a rhythm we follow, a fun one too.
I’ll hope you’ll join me by telling me in the comments what bit of hard work you appreciate as you’re doing it and how you’re grateful for that luxury later on.
Monday 17th of March 2014
I'm grateful for everything I get from hard work. We work outside the home and have a 90 min commute everyday. We come home and tend to the house and the garden and I looooovvvveeee every leaf of arugula that comes out of it!
I make sun dried tomatoes, pesto and freeze a lot of veggies.
Monday 17th of March 2014
Yesterday our whole family spent time working in the garden. The kids are 4, 12, 14, 16, 18. It's amazing how much work we got done. Our luxury will be next fall when we have homemade salsa and spaghetti sauce. Oh, and basil pesto - my kids will do anything for the promise of pesto.