It;s that time of the year isn’t it? Where people who can take holidays do, office parties, Christmas lunches and shopping. It’s a great place to be if that’s your thing, taking the last working day to have a long lunch or just a short lunch and having a couple of drinks with the people you spend most of your time with, whilst you work, if you’re lucky the boss may even shout (pay) and then allow you to go home early. I love this sort of thing, in my medical rep days, we all use to meet at a pub and lunch together, all those reps that worked from home and didn’t have colleagues within the same state met and we lunched.
It is an opportunity to share the highs and lows of the year, to wish each other joy and to get to take a break. I miss this and I suspect many people do, to some it gives them time to spend with families and enjoy the weather and plan for the coming year, for others it represents periods of forced loneliness. Some people suffer at this time of year and dread it, some may feel totally trapped at home and work was a relief to go to, where others may find that distance – through changing states or countries for work or families them just that little bit more homesick.
For others it represents nothing but a day in the year, looking at farmers it is not a pleasant time of the year, it’s hot, it’s humid, we wait for rain as the land dries up and so too does the feed. It is now time to check stock daily for water problems, feed hay out, check fire fighting equipment is working well and having plans in place to try to get out for Christmas day knowing that it is only a 24 hr stop over “just in case”.
Doctors, nurses, police and service station attendants all work rotating rosters and are on duty as well, my Huz favourite saying is “weekends and public holidays are only for the general public.” This is true for all farmers, there is always something that needs doing and they don’t get paid for it. Working for somebody even the government gives people an income and on the public holidays, penalty rates, so for the 8 hours people miss out on being with family it’s not so bad (I was a nurse and did many a night duty over Christmas so I could see my daughters delight on Christmas morning). No one pays the farmers an hourly rate for their hours of work and dedication.
Yesterday watching my face-book news feed of my city friends having Christmas lunches and parties made me feel melancholy, wanting to be part of it, knowing I wasn’t. What I am not is not ready for Christmas this year, I have not planned as well as I have every other year, I feel very naked of gifts, there is nothing wrapped under my tree, it’s weird. There must be others like me, work from home, live in the country or city, no work colleagues, that want to have a lunch to celebrate the end of the year? Perhaps over the next 12 months we should start a network and plan one, a meet up, a chance to wish each other well and raise a glass to a year almost gone (and for me to travel to the city to Christmas shop). Next hurdle New Years Eve…….